Conference Year



Additive Manufacturing, Porous Media, Heat Transfer Enhancement, Mass Transfer, Capillary Motion


Heat pipes and other heat transfer applications use capillary-driven liquid motion to enhance performance. This research uses water and a low surface tension fluid FC-40 to test additive-manufactured polymer wicks using a rateof-rise test. The rate-of-rise tests give a measure of the wicks’ performance capabilities as well as being able to calculate the wicks’ permeability and effective pore radius. Four wicks were measured having two different internal structures (i.e., 1.0 mm triangle and 1.75 mm square) and two external structures (i.e., layered and column). The 1.0 mm Triangle wicks performed better than their 1.0 mm Square counterparts for both water and FC-40. Both 1.0 mm Triangle wicks performed similarly for both water and FC-40, with the column wick (11.0 mm) performing better than the layered wick (8.98 mm). Using a least squares method from the rate-of-rise results, the permeability and effective pore radius of each wick were calculated for the 1.0 mm triangle layered wick, the 1.75 mm square layered wick, and the 1.0 mm triangle column wick. The 1.75 mm square column wick was unable to wick either liquid, so the permeability and effective pore radius were not able to be calculated. The permeability and effective pore radius for each wick were 3.00 um2 and 130.1 um, 0.95 um2 and 221.1 um, and 77.8 um2 and 1099 um, respectively. Some challenges involved with polymer additive manufacturing design and creation were also discussed.