A sintered heat pipe can also be known as a powder wick heat pipe. During the manufacturing process a solid mandrel is installed in the centre of the pipe leaving a gap between the mandrel and the inside wall of the pipe. Copper powder is poured into the gap between the pipe and the mandrel and vibrated to ensure that it is sufficiently packed.
The parts are then placed into a sintering oven or onto a belt furnace, once up to temperature, the copper powder will stick to the inside wall of the pipe and each particle bonds to the particles that it is touching, this forms thousands of internal pockets similar to a sponge. The mandrel is removed leaving the centre of the pipe a void. A small amount of working fluid is inserted that soaks into the thousands of internal pockets, a vacuum is pulled and the pipe is sealed.
Because of the small pocket sizes the capillary pumping force is superior to that of grooved or screen mesh and is capable of returning the working fluid against gravity in a vertical orientation.
A sintered wick heat pipe can be used in applications with radial heat fluxes up to 250 W/cm2.