Principal investigator: Sheng Shen

University: Carnegie Mellon University

Industry partners: Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), in collaboration with Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), who is a Pennsylvania based developer of cutting-edge thermal management systems, are proposing an innovative additively manufactured pulsating heat pipes (PHPs) for future electronics cooling applications. PHP, as a special class of heat pipes, is a passive heat transfer device, which is capable of spreading heat for a long distance with small temperature gradient between the heating and cooling regions. Unlike conventional heat pipes, PHPs do not use wick structures to transfer liquid. Instead, they rely on the pressure difference built up between evaporation and condensation regions to induce an oscillating (sometime pulsating) motion of the liquid slugs and vapor plugs within a serpentine channel. Heat spreading is enabled by the fluid oscillation. To date, PHPs have been successfully fabricated by traditional manufacturing methods. However, it is still challenging to manufacture complex, multi-layered PHPs, which are less prone to operating orientation limitations and have a smaller start-up power requirement. Based on the strong and complementary expertise from CMU and ACT, the team aims to leverage the state-of-the-art additive manufacturing techniques to develop a prototype of 3D printed PHPs for compact, efficient and reliable thermal management of electronics (and potentially for space applications). This joint effort between CMU and ACT can significantly advance the manufacturing of thermal systems in PA and benefit the whole thermal solution industries in USA.