While computer hardware and electronic parts have continuously been improved to reach new heights of power and compact construction, they still require proper heat management to prevent the chance of facing damage during operations. While a cooling fan may be beneficial for creating air flow, there are other devices that may be used to more efficiently mitigate thermal buildup. These devices are heat sinks, those of which are beneficial for the cooling of quick-heating devices and centralized points of heat.
In its most basic form, a heat sink is a type of passive heat exchanger that is capable of removing heat from the surface of an object through conduction. As it gathers heat, it will dissipate it into the surrounding area. Heat sinks are commonly designed as a solid block of either aluminum or copper, and fins extend out to increase the amount of surface area that can serve for heat transfer.
While there are many materials that could potentially serve heat sink applications, aluminum and copper are the most widely used due to their low price point, durability, and commonality? In regard to pure copper, such materials exhibit a thermal conductivity value of 386 W/mK and a density value of 8.96 g/cm3. Aluminum, meanwhile, has a thermal conductivity value of 204 W/mK while having a similar density of 8.96 g/cm3. Furthermore, the 2018 prices for a metric ton of copper and aluminum were $6,000 and $2,300 USD respectively.
Despite copper surpassing aluminum in terms of thermal conductivity, aluminum can often be beneficial due to its price point. Oftentimes, the choice between the two metals depends on the various specifications of the application in question. In some instances, both materials may be combined to balance needs, some heat sinks featuring a copper base plate while utilizing an aluminum heat sink. This can often be the case as the heat transfer from such materials into the atmosphere is fairly equal. Nevertheless, aluminum often finds more use on average.
While thermal conductivity is important, so too is the design of heat sink fins. There are two types of fin configurations, both of which slightly differ in their cooling capabilities. The pin fin design is where a plethora of fins extend from a flat base, allowing for ample cooling when air is flowing axially through the pins. The straight pin design, meanwhile, is where straight fins stretch across the flat base for increased surface area, efficiently cooling parts when air is running tangentially. If one wishes to modify their heat sink, they may also take advantage of active cooling, cross-cutting flat fin parts, or augmented fin design.
A last consideration to make before finding the right heat sink fin is the manufacturing type. These include extruded, bonded fin, zipper, folded fin, and skived designs, each varying in the construction of their base, fins, and other elements. Once you have successfully narrowed down the type of heat sink and electronic parts that you require for your operations, let the experts at ASAP Parts Online help you source all you require with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times.
ASAP Parts Online is a premier purchasing platform for aviation parts, electronic parts, computer hardware, networking devices, and countless other items that you may have on your procurement list. Take the time to explore our inventory as you see fit, and our team is always ready to assist you through the purchasing process however necessary. If you would like to receive a quote on items for your comparison, fill out an RFQ form through our website and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in just 15 minutes or less. At ASAP Parts Online, we are your strategic sourcing partner for all your operational requirements.
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