Working fluid in the oscillating heat pipe (OHP) with low turn number (< 9) positioned in the horizontal heat mode could not easily backflow to the evaporator due to the absence of gravity. In this paper, copper OHP with superhydrophilic nano-structured inner surface by introducing additional capillary force was investigated through the visualization and thermal experiments. OHPs with 6 turns, charged with pure water as the working fluid, were fabricated with copper, and nano-structured inner surface and tested for comparison. Contact angles of water on the copper and superhydrophilic surface were 36.7 and 0 deg. The filling ratio of water was 50%, 65%, and 80%, respectively. Startup performance, thermal resistance, and liquid slug oscillation of OHPs were investigated experimentally at the heat input of 100–380 W. Experimental results showed that OHPs with the superhydrophilic nano-structured surface showed an enhanced heat transfer performance due to the nanostructure-induced capillary action for water in the horizontal direction. The optimum filling ratio was 65% in this work. Dryout was observed in the OHPs with the filling ratio of 50% at the heat input higher than 220 W. At the filling ratio of 80%, the working fluid was accumulated in the adiabatic and condensation section, and the driving force due to the water evaporation in evaporator was not high enough to activate the movements of liquid slugs. Heat transfer performance of OHP with nano-structured surface was higher than that of bare copper surface by introducing the additional capillary force.

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