A heat pipe is a sealed copper tube under vacuum. It is made up of a closed structure container, typically a cylindrical shape, whose internal surface is lined with a thin layer of porous material, usually referred to as a wick house in an envelope that includes a working fluid.
The high thermal conductivity enables a heat pipe to transfer, and dissipate heat to a more convenient location through a capillary action. (Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, or even in opposition to, external forces like gravity.)
The pores of the wick are filled with a liquid appropriate to the application. The balance of the heat pipe is filled with the vapor of the liquid. Since the liquid and its vapor coexist in equilibrium, the pressure inside the container is equal to the vapor pressure corresponding to the saturation conditions.
The simple configuration is very efficient to transfer heat from one end of the heat pipe to the other. As heat is applied to one end, the liquid evaporates from the wick. The vapor, then carries the heat flows towards the colder condenser section.
The vapor then condenses and dissipates the heat. The condensed liquid returns to the original heat source through the wick structure by capillary action. This cycle of phase change processes and two- phase flow circulation continue as long as the temperature between the heat source and condenser are maintained.
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