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John O | March 2019

Article explores the benefits of using tubed or submerged-fin cold plates in electronics cooling

By Josh Perry, Editor


The latest article from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS), a leading-edge thermal engineering firm based in Norwood, Mass., explores the developments in tubed and submerged-fin cold plates and how they are being used in electronics cooling applications.


Standard, liquid coolant-containing metal cold plate. (Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.)


“A cold plate in electronics cooling is often an aluminum block with an embedded, coolant-filled metal tube,” the article explained. “Another common cold plate type is made with metal shells that are brazed or friction-welded together and filled with a liquid coolant.  On the inside, the metal shells have integral cooling fins that are submerged in the coolant.”


Tubed cold plates are typically used in lower power applications and provide the simplest version of a cold plate. Continuous tubes are set into grooves in the metal plate and coolant flows through the tubes, pulling heat away from the device that the plate is resting on. Sometimes the tubes are manufactured continuously, and other times are connected by soldered joints.


“Tubed cold plates ensure minimum thermal resistance between the power device and the cold plate by placing the coolant tube in direct contact with the power device’s base,” the article noted. “Direct contact reduces the number of thermal interfaces between device and fluid, thus increasing performance for the application.”


Submerged-fin cold plates feature internal fin fields to increase the surface area contacting the coolant and maximizes thermal performance. These cold plates are more commonly used in higher powered applications.


“In most high-performance applications, fins are made of copper or aluminum,” the article added. “Aluminum fins are preferred in aircraft electronic liquid cooling applications due to their lighter weight. Copper fins are mostly used in applications where weight is not an important factor, but compatibility with other cooling loop materials is.”


Read the full article at https://www.qats.com/cms/2019/02/26/tubed-and-submerged-fin-cold-plates-in-electronics-thermal-management.

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