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John O | May 2019

What is the thermal performance of heat sinks with heat pipes in server cooling applications


By Josh Perry, Editor
jperry@coolingzone.com

 

A recent article from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS), a leading-edge thermal engineering company based in Norwood, Mass., looks at the thermal performance of heat sinks with embedded heat pipes and vapor chambers for cooling high-powered blade servers.

 


The article explores the thermal performance of heat sinks with heat pipes or vapor chambers for cooling blade servers. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

Adding heat pipes or vapor chambers to a heat sink can improve heat spreading from high-powered devices because of the improved effective thermal conductivity (in excess of 5,000 W/m°C, according to the article) and the lower density of heat pipes or vapor chambers compared to copper heat spreaders.

 

The article explores comparisons between five different heat sinks with embedded heat spreaders at different air velocities and temperatures. In each case, engineers studied the thermal resistance and pressure drop and the overall thermal performance was much greater with the heat sinks using heat pipes or vapor chambers.

 

“Because the heat pipes and vapor chambers use capillary force to drive liquid back from the condensation section to the evaporation section, their thermal performance is prone to orientation variation,” the article noted.  Researchers “found the effect of the orientation is design dependent and is the result of both the wick structure and the entire heat sink assembly construct.”

 

The article concluded, “Server heat sinks with embedded heat pipes or vapor chamber have a better thermal performance than their copper counterparts. The heat sinks with embedded heat pipes or vapor chamber are also lighter than the pure copper heat sinks, which make them more suitable for applications which are weight sensitive. If the cost of such heat sinks is justified, they are definitely good candidates for server cooling applications.”

 

Read the full article at https://www.qats.com/cms/2019/05/01/thermal-performance-of-heat-sinks-with-heat-pipes-or-vapor-chambers-for-servers.

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