Grooves are broached or extruded in the heat pipe wall, creating channels for the liquid phase to flow from the condenser section to the evaporator section of the heat pipe. The channel can be a variety of shapes, with a trapezoidal shape being the most common. Due to its simpler manufacturing process, this wick is very easy to create in large quantities.
The open channels provide the best porosity of the various wick structures, ensuring fast liquid flow and excellent conductance of thermal energy. However, the capillary head is the lowest among the wick structures, making grooved wick structures vulnerable to gravity effects. The open channel also creates interactions between the vapor and the liquid, which can affect the heat pipe’s function.
Grooved heat pipe wicks are the most affected by orientation, which makes them efficient in vertical gravity-aided applications. Environments with fast-changing orientation (like aerospace) and little to no gravity effects (like satellite thermal management) are also excellent applications for this wick type.
Novark manufactures grooved heat pipe wicks on an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) basis, due to the ease of manufacturing of this wick structure. Due to the highly customizable nature of grooved heat pipe design, please contact Novark for a custom design that fits your thermal management needs.