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Heat pipe reliability testing and life prediction
Keywords: heat pipes, reliability testing, acceleration factor
When heat pipes became commodity items in the mid to late 90s, OEMs established test methods and a predictive model to allow users to estimate the life expectancy of heat pipes in elevated temperature. A simple method for determining an acceleration factor for reliability testing was published and commonly used, despite concerns by some that the test didnt appear to be quite accurate. In the presentation we will discuss the standard industry test and review the work that led to it. An alternate approach for determining the acceleration factor is described. In addition, this presentation will discuss ongoing tests of heat pipes from three different manufacturers. The heat pipes are operating under power at three different elevated temperatures for extended periods of time to characterize the heat pipe reliability and validate the proposed method for establishing a correct acceleration factor for the testing.
George Meyer,
Celsia Technologies
Santa Clara, CA

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