The development of a high-performance Ni-superalloy additively manufactured heat pipe

Sheng Li, Khamis Essa, James Carr, States Chiwanga, Andrew Norton, Moataz Attallah

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Additively manufacturing (AM) has been used to manufacture fine structures with structured/engineered porosity in heat management devices. In this study, laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) was used to manufacture a high-performance Ni-superalloy heat pipe, through tailoring LPBF process parameters to fabricate thin wall and micro-channel. By using novel laser scanning strategies, wick structure heat pipes with maximised surface-area-to-volume ratio, fine features size around 100 µm, and controlled porosity were successfully fabricated. Microscopy and X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) were used to investigate the 3D structure of the void space within the pipe. Wick test results showed that most of the heat pipes made by LPBF had better performance than the conventionally manufactured pipes. This study also investigated the influences of the process parameters on the porosity volume fraction and the feature size. The results showed that LPBF process could fabricate thin structure due to the change of melt pool contact angle. The relationship between process parameters and bead size reported in this study could help design and manufacture heat pipe with complex fine structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Manufacturing
Early online date1 Aug 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Rolls-Royce plc, Aerospace Technology Institute, and Innovate UK for funding this research through the Advanced Repair Technologies (113015) programme. The CT scans were performed in the University of Manchester, which was established through EPSRC Grants EP/F007906/1, EP/I02249X/1 and EP/F028431/1. HMXIF is a part of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, established through EPSRC Grants EP/R00661X/1, EP/P025498/1 and EP/P025021/1."

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Heat pipe
  • Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF)
  • Melt pool
  • Microtomography (micro-CT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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