Boiling experiments were performed with FC-72 on a series of nine in-line simulated microelectronic chips in a flow channel to ascertain the effects of channel orientation on critical heat flux (CHF). The simulated chips, measuring 10 mm × 10 mm, were flush-mounted to one wall of a 20 mm × 5 mm flow channel. The channel was rotated in increments of 45 degrees through 360 degrees such that the chips were subjected to coolant in upflow, downflow, or horizontal flow with the chips on the top or bottom walls of the channel with respect to gravity. Flow velocity was varied between 13 and 400 cm/s for subcoolings of 3, 14, 25, and 36°C and an inlet pressure of 1.36 bar. While changes in angle of orientation produced insignificant variations in the single-phase heat transfer coefficient, these changes had considerable effects on the boiling pattern in the flow channel and on CHF for velocities below 200 cm/s,’ with some chips reaching CHF at fluxes as low as 18 percent of those corresponding to vertical upflow. Increased subcooling was found to slightly dampen this adverse effect of orientation. The highest CHF values were measured with near vertical upflow and/or upward-facing chips, while the lowest values were measured with near vertical downflow and/or downward-facing chips. These variations in CHF were attributed to differences in flow boiling regime and vapor layer development on the surfaces of the chips between the different orientations. The results of the present study reveal that, while some flexibility is available in the packaging of multi-chip modules in a two-phase cooling system, some orientations should always be avoided.

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