Research Article Open Access

Flattening Effect on Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Sintered-Wick Heat Pipe

Weeranut Intagun1, Pradit Terdtoon1 and Phurt Sakulchangsatjatai1
  • 1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chiang Mai University, 50200, Thailand


The effect of pipe flattening on heat transfer characteristics and the internal phenomena of a sintered-wick heat pipe has been investigated by using three-dimensional Finite Element Method. The calculation domains were focused at three important regions, i.e., vapor core, wick and wall. The Cartesian coordinates and the three-dimensional tetrahedral elements were applied in this model. The selected total elements were 638,400 to ensure the accuracy. The original diameter and total length of heat pipe were 6 mm and 200 mm, respectively. The composite wick made from sintered copper powder and grooved copper pipe was applied with water as working fluid. The vapor flow was assumed to be laminar and incompressible. The predicted results from the program were validated with the experimental results conducted with all similar controlled parameters. It was found that the predicted wall temperature and thermal resistance agreed well with the experimental data with the standard deviations of ±5.95 and ±32.85%, respectively. Furthermore, the overall thermal resistances of the tubular heat pipes (original diameter of 6 mm), which were flattened into the final thickness of 4.0 and 3.0 mm, decreased from 0.91 to 0.83°C/W due to an increase of the contacted surface for heat transfer surface. However, the overall thermal resistance of a flattened heat pipe with the final thickness of 2.5 mm increased to 0.88°C/W, resulting from drastic increase of pressure drop in narrower vapor core. The pivotal final thickness of flattened heat pipe, which is the minimum thickness of pipe to be flattened, has been analysed to be 2.75 mm (about 45% from original diameter).

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 10 No. 7, 2013, 760-766


Submitted On: 3 April 2013 Published On: 4 July 2013

How to Cite: Intagun, W., Terdtoon, P. & Sakulchangsatjatai, P. (2013). Flattening Effect on Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Sintered-Wick Heat Pipe. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 10(7), 760-766.

  • 40 Citations



  • Flattened Heat Pipe
  • Three-dimensional Finite Element Model
  • Final Thickness
  • Thermal Resistance