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Novel thermal management applications based on pulsating heat pipes



Prime contractor
Organisational Unit
11 March 2024

Duration: 18 months


Currently, materials with high thermal conductivity or simple cylindrical heat pipes are used to cool high-performance electronics. The limitations of such solutions are well known and the demand for innovative thermal solutions based on two phase systems is already recognized by thermal architects. In order to overcome the disadvantages of classical cooling techniques, Pulsating Heat Pipes (PHP) have recently been proposed. The aim of this project is to develop innovative heat management systems based on PHP for cooling electronic devices with high heat losses. The main focus will be on the demonstration of the ability of integration of plate-shaped PHP in various space and terrestrial applications. Since the PHP can work against gravity, it is suitable for integration in housings for high-performance electronics. Another application is to transport waste heat from the source (e.g., the base plate of an electronic system) to a remote heat sink or a direct integration into deployable radiator. For manufacturing of the plate-shaped PHP it is planned to use an innovative process CoreFlow™, a derivative of friction stir welding, which is a solid-state process that allows sub-surface networks of channels to be created within metal parts directly, thus enabling smaller form-factor and lighter thermal management components. In the proof-of-concept phase of the project, the process capability will be assessed. By the mean of manufacturing samples, the fabrication quality and reliability will be evaluated. The process suitability for the two-phase thermal applications will be demonstrated with verification tests on simplified models. The design of simplified models will be determined by the technical concepts and requirements established at the beginning of the projects. In the demonstration phase of the project, the thermal performance of proposed PHP systems will be evaluated by tests on functional demonstrators in the intended environment.

Contract number
OSIP Idea Id
Related OSIP Campaign
Open Channel
Main application area
Generic for multiple space applications
Novel thermal management applications based on pulsating heat pipes