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Heat Pipes FAQs

Can Heat Pipes be machined?

No. Heat pipe heat conductors are designed to be installed into other structural components of the mold, as is, and cannot be machined. They contain a small amount of gas and, if punctured, the heat transfer gas will be vented and the device will stop functioning.Updated date: December 19, 2018 -heat-pipe.jpg

Do Heat Pipes cool differently than water?

Yes. Heat Pipes are so efficient that they can remove heat from plastic at higher water temperatures. This is due to the fact that the surface of the heat pipe is almost the same temperature of the water. Chilled water is not recommended and, consequently, as a side benefit, eliminates sweating and short thermal shocks. Heat Pipes also have a high thermal mass that cools the plastic in a different manner than water cooling. This provides a plastic part that is more stress-free than a water-cooled part.

Note that for the TPL Series Heat Pipe, tower water that is usually 60-80ºF (15-27ºC) is recommended. The TPH Series Heat Pipe should be used with a water temperature of 90-110ºF (32-43 ºC), typically from a thermolator.

How are Heat Pipes Installed?

Heat Pipes can be installed with one of the installation heat transfer compounds. The silver compound is 8 times more thermal efficient than the copper compound.

How can I tell if a Heat Pipe is functioning?

Simply stir the Heat Pipe or the molding portion of the core in a cup of water. The Heat Pipe should cool uniformly along its entire length.

How do I know where to install Heat Pipes within the mold base?

Simply check the mold one hour after it has reached operating temperature. This will tell where the hot spots are and where the next cooling needs to be accomplished.

Is water cooling needed on the Heat Pipes?

In many cases, such as the use of slides, remote sections of the mold and other moving parts, water is not feasible or necessary. The heat will transfer into the colder areas of the mold base. However, water is preferred as the cooling medium to the Heat Pipe.

What about the use of Heat Pipes with small diameter holes or where high water corrosion or scaling exists?

Heat Pipes, in general, reduce cycle time. Since Heat Pipes do not scale or corrode, they perform consistently and uniformly over the life of the mold, resulting in less maintenance and no change in cooling rate over time. For those experiencing high corrosion or scaling in their water review the Digital Scale Control unit.

Digital Scale Control System Continually Dissolves Calcium Scale in Systems

What is a Heat Pipe?

A Heat Pipe is basically a sealed copper-alloy tube filled with a thermally conductive gas mixture. The gas mixture is non-toxic. The device is designed so that when one end of the heat pipe is at a higher temperature than the other end, heat is rapidly and continuously transferred from the hotter end to the cooler end. Heat pipes are inherently more thermally conductive than copper. Heat pipes will heat or cool within their temperature ranges and are available with maximum operating temperatures up to 600ºF (316ºC) (for high-temperature, use the TPH-type heat pipe). Please note, if running water coolant in your mold, water coolant temperature should not exceed the regional boiling point of water (typically 100ºC or 212ºF, but may be lower at higher elevation).

What should be considered regarding the performance of very large diameter and long Heat Pipes?

These types of applications should be reviewed. If the heated length is more than four times longer than the cooling length, the application is not recommended. In many cases, the heat is removed via the mold base as well as the water cooling on the end of the Heat Pipe. The mold length must also be taken into consideration when determining the ratio of one to four.

Why is there a low temperature (TPL) and a high-temperature (TPH) series of Heat Pipes?

The lower the maximum temperature, the more efficient Heat Pipes are within their temperature range.

Will adding Heat Pipes to other parts of the mold reduce cycle time?

Yes. Heat Pipes can be used anywhere there is a hard portion of the mold that is in contact with the plastic. Take that heat and move it back to the ‘cold’ base. Simply drilling holes and installing them into that section of the mold will reduce cycle time and tune up the mold to enable the production of better quality parts. Many people have tuned up their mold by adding many layers of Heat Pipes and benefited from greatly reduced cycle times.

Will Heat Pipes work in a horizontal position?

Yes. Heat pipe heat conductors have been specifically designed for mold cooling where the molds are usually in a horizontal position. The device will also function very well in a vertical position with the heat input at the bottom, but the units lose efficiency as the heat is caused to move downward.

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