Due to the unique design for this ISOBAR® Heat Pipe, the performance of this ISOBAR® would have to meet specific testing requirements and achieve consistency and reliability in the manufacturing process in order to prove viability.
This custom Isobar® heat pipe design had to meet certain specific geometric constraints, performance criteria and quality standards, including the demanding Six Sigma process improvement methodology.
In addition, the manufacturing process of embedding the ISOBAR heat pipe into the chassis would have to include a complete process improvement package consistent with the customer’s existing quality management system.
Discussions Between the Engineering Teams is Required to Determine Client Requirements
This was a unique application challenge for Acrolab and due to several uncertainties surrounding the heat pipe build, as well as the installation process into the chassis, a deliberate study was initiated and presented to the client to ensure that the client’s requirements were fully understood and achievable.
There were several discussions between the client and Acrolab’s engineering team to both fully understand the client’s performance objectives and process improvement methods to determine how a suitable solution could be achieved.
Once we confirmed our mutual understanding of the application and the challenges to be overcome, we proceeded with the design of jigs and fixtures for the ISOBAR® heat pipe integrated chassis design.
Embedding ISOBAR Heat Pipes Into Chassis
Developing the manufacturing process to embed the heat pipe into the chassis was one of the main areas of research for the Acrolab engineering team in order to validate the proper materials and equipment necessary to achieve repeatability and consistency in the manufacturing process.
Several different materials and equipment were tested and validated to ensure that the process was repeatable and reliable. Once the final sample ISOBAR® heat pipes were manufactured and embedded, the chassis was tested for thermal performance. The testing results demonstrated that the heat pipes worked very well, meeting initial expectations, and that the manufacturing process for embedding the heat pipes was both feasible and affordable, but would require ongoing development to meet final production standards.
Prototype Chassis Tested for Production
The completed prototype chassis units were sent to the customer for more rigorous testing. Based on the results received back from the customer the card chassis (thermal frames) demonstrated acceptable performance with their thermal resistance values being well within tolerance, with only minor variations between the different chassis due to possible inconsistencies in both the build of the heat pipes and the embedding procedure.
Compared with the prototypes provided by other suppliers, our solution was competitive and capable of meeting the client’s requirements. Further study was later requested by the client to further reduce the thermal resistance between the heat pipe and the chassis.
Acrolab Research & Development is an Ongoing Activity
With the successful results obtained from this project, Acrolab continued to conduct research and development and additional product testing using different materials and embedding methods that would contribute to the manufacture of similar custom ISOBAR® products in the future.