Vapor chambers developed for high-heat-flux operation require advanced evaporator wick designs that can sustain capillary flow when boiling occurs over the heater region. A two-layer evaporator wick inte- grates a thin base wick layer that is supplied with liquid from a thick cap layer through an array of ver- tical feeding posts distributed over the heated area. This design allows boiling to occur within the thin base layer, while separating the incoming liquid feeding and outgoing vapor venting pathways. In our prior work, boiling in two-layer wicks was experimentally demonstrated to provide high-heat-flux dissi- pation over larger heater areas and at low thermal resistance. The current study experimentally explores the effect of two-layer wick design parameters, specifically the dimensions that alter the area available for liquid feeding and vapor venting, on the thermal performance and dryout limit of the wick, using water as the working fluid. Four different two-layer wick designs are fabricated over a 1 cm 2 evaporator area by sintering 180–212 μm copper particles. Increasing the vapor-venting area from 7% to 16% of the total evaporator area yielded a significant increase in the dryout limit, from 315 W/cm 2 to 405 W/cm 2 . Increasing the liquid-feeding area using wider posts increased the dryout limit further. Finally, a paramet- rically optimized design with fewer but larger posts and vents resulted in better performance compared to a design with denser features. With this two-layer wick design, we demonstrate an extremely high dryout limit of 512 W/cm 2 over the large 1 cm 2 heated area at a thermal resistance of 0.08 K/W.


Dryout limit, High-heat-flux dissipation, Boiling, Two-layer wick, Vapor chamber

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S. Sudhakar, J.A. Weibel, F. Zhou, E.M. Dede and S.V. Garimella, “The Role of Vapor Venting and Liquid Feeding on the Dryout Limit of Two-Layer Evaporator Wicks,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 148, 119063, 2020.