Metal Mesh structured Heat Pipes
In this type of heat pipe, the wick is in the form of metal mesh that is inserted into the pipe and made to be in contact with the inner walls of the pipe to facilitate capillary action. This type of wick is used in the majority of the mainstream products and provides readily variable characteristics in terms of power transport and orientation sensitivity, according to the number of layers and mesh counts used.
Some times a metal felt based wick structure is used which is held in support by a metal foam. Copper and stainless steel are the most common materials used to produce screen mesh. By varying the pressure on the felt during assembly, various pore sizes can be produced. By incorporating removable metal mandrels, an arterial structure can also be molded in the felt. These methods serve in increase the capillary strength of the wick which translates into even better heat pipe performance.
Heat pipes with screen mesh wick structures are capable of operating in gravity-aided and horizontal orientations, and are capable of returning the working fluid against gravity at angles up to 5˚ from horizontal. These heat pipes can also be used in applications with radial heat fluxes up to 40 W/cm2.