Titanium Heat Pipe Thermal Plane
The objective of the Phase II program is to complete the development of the titanium heat pipe thermal plane and establish all necessary steps for production of this heat pipe. The main aerospace application for this titanium heat pipe design is fuel cell thermal management. Electronics cooling is expected to be the largest commercial market for this technology.
The Phase I program was successfully completed five weeks sooner than deadline. All main technical objectives were met. Three thermal plane units were produced and thermally tested. One unit was shipped to NASA GRC and one unit is currently in a "burn-in" setup for Non-Condensable Gas (NCG) generation prevention. NCG generation still remains the most important issue to be resolved before heat pipe will be ready for production. Another limiting factor for wide commercial application of the titanium heat pipes is their high manufacturing cost. These issues will be addressed in the Phase II program.
The Phase II work effort is divided into eleven tasks: ten technical tasks plus one reporting task. The work involves reviewing requirements, thermal plane design, alternative materials development, design optimization, non-condensable gas abatement concluding with the fabrication test and delivery of several titanium thermal planes to NASA. All tasks will be accomplished at Thermacore, Inc. facility.
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