Experimental studies of surface modified oscillating heat pipes

Tzong Shyng Leu, Cheng Han Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Oscillating heat pipe (OHP) is a two-phase heat transfer device which has the characteristics of simple construction, high heat flux capability and no need of wicking structures for liquid transport. There are many studies in finding the ways how to improve the system performance OHP. In this paper, studies of the effects of contact angle (θc) on the inner wall of OHP system have been conducted first. Glass OHP systems with unmodified (θc = 26.74°), superhydrophobic (θc = 156.2°), superhydrophilic (θc < 10°) and hybrid (superhydrophilic within evaporator region and superhydrophobic within condensation region) surfaces, are studied. The research results indicated that thermal resistance of these four OHP systems can be significantly affected by different surface modification approaches. Although superhydrophobic OHP system can still work, the thermal resistance (Rth) is the highest one of the four OHP systems, Rth = 0.36 °C/W at 200 W. Unmodified pure glass and superhydrophilic OHP systems have similar performance. Thermal resistances are 0.28 and 0.27 °C/W at 200 W respectively. The hybrid OHP achieves the lowest thermal resistance, Rth = 0.23 °C/W at 200 W in this study. The exact mechanism and effects of contact angle on OHP systems are investigated with the help of flow visualization. By comparing the flow visualization results of OHP systems before and after surface modification, one tries to find the mechanism how the surface modified inner wall surface affects the OHP system performance. In additional to the reason that the superhydrophobic dropwise condensation surface inside the hybrid OHP system, hybrid OHP system shows more stable and energetic circulation flow. It is found that instead of stratified flow, vapor slug flows are identified within the evaporator section of the hybrid OHP system that can effectively generate higher pressure force for two phase interfacial flow. This effect is attributed to be the main mechanism for better performance of the hybrid OHP system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3329-3340
Number of pages12
JournalHeat and Mass Transfer/Waerme- und Stoffuebertragung
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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