Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20030192671 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/201,877
Publication dateOct 16, 2003
Filing dateJul 23, 2002
Priority dateApr 16, 2002
Also published asCN2543011Y
Publication number10201877, 201877, US 2003/0192671 A1, US 2003/192671 A1, US 20030192671 A1, US 20030192671A1, US 2003192671 A1, US 2003192671A1, US-A1-20030192671, US-A1-2003192671, US2003/0192671A1, US2003/192671A1, US20030192671 A1, US20030192671A1, US2003192671 A1, US2003192671A1
InventorsTsung Lee, Cheng-Tien Lai, Zili Zhang, Yun-Chu Tien
Original AssigneeLee Tsung Lung, Cheng-Tien Lai, Zili Zhang, Yun-Chu Tien
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Heat pipe with inner layer
US 20030192671 A1
Abstract
A heat pipe (10) includes a main body (12), an inner layer (16), a chamber (13) and working material (18). The main body is made of metallic material having a high heat-transfer coefficient. The chamber is surrounded by the inner layer, and is substantially a vacuum. The working material is sealed in the chamber. The inner layer is fixed to an inner surface of the main body. The inner layer is inert to the working material, and isolates the working material from the main body. Furthermore, the working material readily globularizes when it is in contact with the inner layer.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(17)
What is claimed is:
1. A heat pipe comprising:
a main body made of metallic material having great heat transfer capability;
an inner layer fixed to an inner surface of the main body and defining a sealed chamber therein; and
working material sealed in the chamber;
wherein the inner layer is inert to the working material and isolates the working material from the main body, and wherein the working material readily globularizes when it is in contact with the inner layer.
2. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 1, wherein the chamber is substantially a vacuum.
3. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 2, wherein the working material has low viscosity and is chemically stable.
4. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 3, wherein the working material has great heat absorption characteristics, and a low phase-change threshold temperature.
5. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 4, wherein the working material is water.
6. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 1, wherein the main body has low weight, and is resistant to deterioration.
7. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 6, wherein the main body is made of aluminum.
8. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 6, where the main body is made of high carbon steel.
9. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 1, wherein the inner layer is fixed to the inner surface of the main body by electroplating.
10. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 1, wherein the inner layer is fixed to the inner surface of the main body by displacement.
11. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 1, wherein the inner layer is made of copper or nickel.
12. The heat pipe as claimed in claim 1, wherein the inner layer comprises a plurality of protrusions that cooperatively form a wicking structure.
13. A heat pipe assembly comprising:
a chassis adapted to abut against a heat generating device;
a plurality of heat pipes arranged in a matrix manner, each of said heat pipes including:
a tube-like main body made of metallic material having great heat transfer capability;
an inner layer applied to an inner surface of the main body and defining a chamber therein; and
working material circulated in the chamber; wherein
one end of the main body is in contact with the chassis.
14. The assembly as claimed in claim 13, wherein said end is embedded within the chassis.
15. The assembly as claimed in claim 13, wherein said main body is perpendicular to the chassis.
16. The assembly as claimed in claim 13, further including a plurality of fins spaced from one another with said heat pipes engageably extending therethrough.
17. the assembly as claimed in claim 13, wherein said fins are perpendicular to said heat pipes.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to heat pipes, and more particularly to a heat pipe which has an inner layer fixed to an inner surface of the heat pipe.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Most natural substances exist in one of three states: solid, liquid, and gaseous. These three states are also called three phases: solid phase, liquid phase, and gaseous phase. Many substances can change phases repeatedly with an accompanying transfer of heat.

[0005] A heat pipe is a device utilizing phase change of working material to transfer heat from a vaporizing end of the pipe to a condensing end of the pipe. Commonly, a heat pipe connects between a heat-generating electronic device and a heat dissipation apparatus. An inner chamber of the heat pipe is substantially a vacuum, with liquid working material accommodated therein. In operation, the working material absorbs heat, becomes vaporized, and moves away from the vaporizing end. When the vaporized working material arrives at the condensing end, it condenses back to liquid form and releases heat. The condensed working material is then pumped back to the vaporizing end. This continuous cycle transfers large quantities of heat from the heat-generating electronic device.

[0006] However, a heat pipe is generally not inert to the working material. Chemical reaction occurs therebetween, particularly after prolonged use. The heat pipe is prone to dissolve and become completely damaged. In addition, gaseous by-products of such chemical reaction are generally uncondensable during normal operation of the heat pipe. The uncondensable gaseous by-products increase a pressure in the chamber of the heat pipe. This retards vaporization of the working material. Furthermore, the uncondensable gases are pushed to the condensing end of the heat pipe by vapor produced at the vaporizing end of the heat pipe. This decreases an available condensing surface area and adversely affects the heat transfer capability of the heat pipe. Over time, the uncondensable gases build up the pressure inside the chamber to a point where such pressure is equivalent to a maximum pressure at which the working material can be vaporized. At such point, the heat pipe can no longer function and must be discarded.

[0007] A further problem is that the working material tends to be partly absorbed by an inner surface of the heat pipe when it is in contact with such surface. This retards flow of the working material along such surface from the condensing end to the vaporizing end.

[0008] A still further problem is that a conventional heat pipe is made of copper. This makes the heat pipe unduly heavy, and increases manufacturing costs. Moreover, a layer of oxide is liable to be formed on an outer surface of the heat pipe. This adversely affects the heat transfer capability of the heat pipe.

[0009] It is strongly desired to provide an improved heat pipe which overcomes the above-mentioned numerous problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a heat pipe which has an inner layer fixed to an inner surface of the heat pipe in order to attain optimal heat transfer capability and durability.

[0011] In order to achieve the object set out above, a heat pipe of the present invention comprises a main body, an inner layer, a chamber and working material. The main body is made of a metallic material having a high heat-transfer coefficient. The chamber is surrounded by the inner layer, and is substantially a vacuum. The working material is sealed in the chamber. The inner layer is fixed to an inner surface of the main body. The inner layer is inert to the working material, and isolates the working material from the main body. Furthermore, the working material readily globularizes when it is in contact with the inner layer.

[0012] Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013]FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional side view of a heat pipe in accordance with the present invention;

[0014]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a plurality of the heat pipes of FIG. 1 engaged with fins and a chassis to form a heat-pipe heat sink; and

[0015]FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the heat-pipe heat sink of FIG. 2, taken along line III-III thereof and showing movement of working material in the heat pipes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] Reference will now be made to the drawing figures to describe the present invention in detail.

[0017]FIG. 1 shows a heat pipe 10 of the present invention. FIG. 2 shows a plurality of the heat pipes 10 engaged with fins 20 and a chassis 30 to form a heat-pipe heat sink. The chassis 30 is attachable to a heat-generating electronic device (not shown) such as a central processing unit (CPU), for cooling the heat-generating electronic device.

[0018] The heat pipe 10 comprises a main body 12, an inner layer 16, a chamber 13, and working material 18. The chamber 13 is surrounded by the inner layer 16, and is substantially a vacuum. The working material 18 is sealed in the chamber 13. The working material 18 is a liquid at room temperature and pressure, has low viscosity, and is chemically stable. The working material 18 in liquid form has great heat absorption characteristics, and a low phase-change threshold temperature. Water is suitable working material 18. The main body 12 is made of metallic material having a high heat-transfer coefficient, such as aluminum or high carbon steel. The main body 12 has a low weight, and is resistant to physical and chemical deterioration. The inner layer 16 is a thin layer fixed to an inner surface of the main body 12 by electroplating, displacement, or other suitable means. The inner layer 16 has a high heat-transfer coefficient for quickly conducting heat to the main body 12. Accordingly, the inner layer 16 is made of copper, nickel or other suitable material. The inner layer 16 is inert to the working material 18. That is, no chemical reaction occurs between the inner layer 16 and the working material 18, even during operation of the heat pipe 10. Furthermore, the working material 18 readily globularizes when it is in contact with the inner layer 16. That is, the working material 18 is not absorbed by the inner layer 16 when it is in contact with the inner layer 16. This allows the working material 18 to readily flow along a surface of the inner layer 16. The inner layer 16 comprises a plurality of protrusions (not shown) that cooperatively form a wicking structure in the heat pipe 10, for facilitating recirculation of condensed working material 18.

[0019] Referring also to FIG. 3, vaporizing ends of the heat pipes 10 are fixed in the chassis 30 such that the heat pipes 10 are oriented perpendicular to the chassis 30. A plurality of the fins 20 is stacked at uniform intervals on the chassis 30. The fins 20 are parallel to each other and to the chassis 30, and abuttingly surround the heat pipes 10. The fins 20 provide ample surface area for dissipation of heat into surrounding air. The working material 18 is located at the condensing ends of the heat pipes 10.

[0020] During operation of each heat pipe 10, heat is transferred from the heat-generating electronic device to the chassis 30. The working material 18 absorbs heat from the chassis 30, and is vaporized. Therefore, a temperature of the chassis 30 is decreased. The vaporized working material 18 then travels to a distal condensing end of the heat pipe 10, whereat a slightly lower temperature causes the vaporized working material 18 to condense back to liquid form and release its latent heat of vaporization to the fins 20. The vaporized working material 18 is then pumped back to the vaporizing end by capillary forces of the wicking structure, and by the force of gravity. This continuous cycle of the working material 18 in the chamber 13 transfers large quantities of heat from the chassis 30 to the fins 20. Thus, reliable heat transfer from the heat-generating electronic device is achieved.

[0021] In the present invention, the inner layer 16 is fixed to the inner surface of the main body 12 to isolate the working material 18 from the main body 12. The inner layer 16 is inert to the working material 18. No chemical reaction can occur between the working material 18 and the main body 12. This protects the main body 12 from deterioration, even after prolonged operation of the heat pipe 10. Because no chemical reaction occurs, no uncondensable gaseous by-products are produced. Vaporized working material 18 can freely condense back to liquid form. A maximum condensing surface is utilized in the chamber 13, and pressure in the chamber 13 is maintained at a low level substantially that of a vacuum. Vaporization of the liquid working material 18 can readily take place. In addition, because the working material 18 readily globularizes when it is in contact with the inner layer 16, condensed working material readily flows along the surface of the inner layer 16 from the condensing end of the heat pipe 10 to the vaporizing end thereof. Accordingly, the heat pipe 10 can maintain great heat transfer capability even after prolonged use. Furthermore, the main body 12 has low weight, and is resistant to physical and chemical deterioration. The main body 12 provides more advantage compared with typical heat pipes made of copper.

[0022] It is to be understood, however, that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size, and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7106589 *May 17, 2004Sep 12, 2006Aall Power Heatsinks, Inc.Heat sink, assembly, and method of making
US7195058Dec 1, 2004Mar 27, 2007International Business Machines CorporationHeat sink made from a singly extruded heatpipe
US20110214842 *Mar 5, 2010Sep 8, 2011Lea-Min Technologies Co., Ltd.Heat sink
DE202008006125U1 *May 5, 2008Nov 12, 2009Ledon Lighting GmbhHeatpipe
Classifications
U.S. Classification165/80.3, 165/104.33, 165/104.26
International ClassificationF28D15/02, F28D15/04
Cooperative ClassificationF28F2245/00, F28D15/0275, F28D15/046
European ClassificationF28D15/02N, F28D15/04B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 23, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: HON HAI PRECISION IND. CO., LTD., TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LEE, TSUNG LUNG;LAI, CHENG-TIEN;ZHANG, ZILI;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:013135/0170
Effective date: 20020702