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John O | May 2019

Exploring developments in extruded heat sinks for electronics cooling applications

By Josh Perry, Editor


A recent article from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS), a leading-edge thermal engineering firm based in Norwood, Mass., explored recent industry developments in extrusion profile heat sinks, from the material choices to the manufacturing techniques to the thermal performance.


Extrusion heat sink on a PCB. (Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.)


As the article notes, aluminum alloys continue to be the most common option chosen for extrusions because of their thermal performance, because they are lightweight, and also because of their malleability. “They can be easily machined and are as little as one-third the density of steel,” the article explained. “This results in extrusions that are both strong and stable, at a reduced cost relative to other materials.”


Extrusions remain the most popular choice for engineers because of the varied shapes that the heat sinks can take, which helps them be optimized for specific cooling applications.


“Extruded heat sinks can be designed with very thin, and thus more, fins than other sink types,” the article noted. “They can be extruded with aspect ratios of around 8:1, which can greatly optimize heat sink performance. A heat sink’s aspect ratio is basically the comparison of its fin height to the distance between its fins.”


Read more about extrusion heat sinks and how they are applied to electronics cooling applications at https://www.qats.com/cms/2019/04/17/industry-developments-extrusion-profile-heat-sinks.

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