The present paper describes the results of a series of microgravity experiments on thermal management device, actually wickless heat pipes, with using the so-called "self-rewetting fluids" (dilute aqueous solutions of high carbon alcohols) as a working fluid. Although most of liquids show a decrease in the surface tension with increasing temperature, self-rewetting fluids show exceptionally an increase in the surface tension with increasing temperature. This particular characteristic allows for a spontaneous liquid supply to hotter interface by the thermocapillary flow. When liquid/vapor phase change takes place, furthermore, additional Marangoni effect due to concentration gradient by the preferential evaporation of alcohol-rich composition in the aqueous solutions is induced. A considerably strong liquid inflow to dry patch or thin film is therefore expected at three-phase interline or liquid/vapor interface. One of the most promising applications of the self-rewetting fluids in space is wickless heat pipes in which condensate spontaneously returns to evaporation region by enhanced Marangoni effect. Demonstrational experiments on the fluid behavior in a transparent glass tube wickless heat pipe were conducted in JAMIC, and spontaneous liquid return velocities were measured. The present authors then performed parabolic flight experiments on heat transfer characteristics of prototype wickless copper heat pipes, and the performance was compared with ordinary heat pipe having wick structure and with other working fluid.
|ジャーナル||Microgravity Science and Technology|
|出版ステータス||Published - 2005 1月 1|
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