The size, shape, and type of grain structure of copper materials is dependent on the speed at which the extruded copper is cooled. The grain structure that this particular customer is looking to achieve requires faster cooling.
High-temperature heat pipes require expert engineering and complex thermal analysis.
Problem: Inefficient Cooling
Molten copper is pushed through a die that molds and cools the copper into a tube. Cooling is done through a liquid-cooled loop from the outside of the pipe. To increase cooling performance of this liquid loop would require significant investments. ACT sought to improve cooling performance through the inside of the pipe instead.
The goal was to transport heat away from the molten copper and spread it to a cold section of the pipe where the grain structure can no longer be modified.
Solution: Internal Cooling Structure
To spread the heat at such high temperatures, ACT developed a sodium Inconel high temperature heat pipe with an integrated flange. The heat pipe would be lowered into the copper extrusion die. As the copper is extruded, heat is pulled from the inside of the die, and transported to a cold section of pipe, increasing the cooling performance.