Heat pipes have been gaining a lot of popularity in electronics cooling applications due to their ease of operation, reliability, and high effective thermal conductivity. An important component of a heat pipe is the wick structure, which transports the condensate from condenser to evaporator. The design of wick structures is complicated by competing requirements to create high capillary driving forces and maintain high permeability. While generating large pore sizes will help achieve high permeability, it will significantly reduce the wick’s capillary performance. This study presents a novel experimental method to simultaneously measure capillary and permeability characteristics of the wick structures using fluorescent visualization. This technique will be used to study the effects of pore size and gravitational force on the flow-related properties of the wick structures. Initial results are presented on wick samples visually characterized from zero to nine g acceleration on a centrifuge. These results will provide a tool to understand the physics involved in transport through porous structures and help in the design of high performance heat pipes.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.