A rate-of-rise facility for measuring properties of wick structures

January 11, 2023

A. Elkholy (1), J. Durfee (2), J.P. Mooney (3), A.J. Robinson (3), R. Kempers (1)
Measurements Science and Technology. (11 January 2023). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6501/acad1c


Heat transfer, two-phase flow, heat pipes, wicks, porous structures, permeability, effective pore radius


This work details a mass rate-of-rise (mROR) apparatus and analysis method for the accurate and precise determination of capillary wick parameters: permeability, K, effective pore radius, reff, and porosity, . Three factors were examined: (a) the accuracy of the theoretical models and their curve-fitting approaches associated with the mROR technique, (b) the influence of the experimental procedure on repeatability, and (c) how the uncertainty of the experimental input parameters propagates through the data analysis procedure and compounds the overall uncertainty of the wick parameters (K and reff). Four models and fittings methods were investigated: the Lucas–Washburn method, the gravity-based dm/dt method, the gravity-based t–m method, and the gravity-based m–t method. It is demonstrated that the m–t method developed here shows the lowest error and, equally importantly, that it is free of user decisions in the context of 'data scrubbing' because the entire mROR data set is used in its raw form. To test accuracy and repeatability, a precision-controlled mROR apparatus is proposed. Experiments were performed for commercially available wicks. A robust Monte Carlo error analysis method was developed and applied to quantify the overall uncertainty in the wick parameters as a function of the input uncertainties of all measured quantities.

How Our Software Was Used

Pore, particle, and wick regions of interest were defined by subtracting the base plate using Dragonfly’s histographic segmentation tool and Dragonfly’s deep learning segmentation tools. The volume for each region of interest for the porosity calculation was also extracted.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Mechanical Engineering, York University, Toronto, Canada
(2) Magna International Inc., 337 Magna Drive, Aurora, Ontario, Canada
(3) Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland