The sintering process used to create this type of heat pipe wick is the same as that used in the creation of metallic filters and certain machine components. Metal powder of a specific particle size is partially fused to itself and the pipe wall through a two-step forging method, creating a porous structure. A specially prepared mandrel with non-stick coating is used to leave a central space for the vapor flow.
Because this wick structure bonds well to itself and to the pipe wall, it conducts heat efficiently from the working fluid to the material. The capillary action is also excellent, due to the ease with which pore size can be controlled during the sintering process. This structure can also easily accommodate pipe bends and various geometric configurations. Such flexibility is necessary for many thermal module assemblies.
As with most heat pipes, sintered wick heat pipes function best when the liquid phase flow is aided by gravity. However, the increased capillary pressure of this wick type allows it to operate effectively at any orientation. Novark uses copper tubes and copper powder to create its sintered wick heat pipes. Due to the highly customizable nature of sintered wick heat pipe design, please contact Novark for a custom design that fits your thermal management needs.