An investigation of the effect of using aluminum and titanium as the case material in a flat heat pipe (FHP) configuration is presented. In the heat pipe analyzed, the working fluid and the wick material were water and nickel foam, respectively. Identical configurations, dimensions, boundary and initial conditions were assumed in the numerical analysis for the two case materials. The flat heat pipe was subjected to a non-uniform heat input in the evaporator for a short period of time, and the condenser was cooled by natural convection and radiation effects. In both cases, non-uniform temperature distributions with peak values at the center of the evaporator side were observed. The titanium heat pipe gave a comparatively higher temperature range. The low thermal conductivity of titanium was understood to be responsible for the elevated temperature at the evaporator side. Consequently, it was also verified that for a low temperature range of operation and a short period of transient heat input, the aluminum heat pipe presented a better performance than the one with titanium as the case material. Discussions of the selection of the working fluids for the heat pipes based on the dimensionless merit number and other quantitative and qualitative parameters are also presented.

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