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Question: heat loss from a computer case

  1. Apr 29, 2003 #1
    Hello all.

    I have not studied any thermodynamics, and very little physics. One unit of mechanics and one unit of wave mechanics so far. I was wondering about laptop computer cases. Some now are titanium, some still plastic. Is titanium better for absorbing and radiating out the heat? Ie. which is better for keeping the system cool?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2003 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, but ventilation is still the key issue. Most newer cases require active cooling (fans).
  4. Apr 30, 2003 #3
    In fact, its not uncommon (amongst computer boffins) to use a water or other refrigerant cooling system inside a PC. The case material is not really much of an issue, even with air cooling.
  5. Apr 30, 2003 #4
    rember the basics:

    You don't want to use a good conductor when some devices going to release heat. Do you notice that when they make a harddrive, they don't use plastic? That's because metals absorb heat better, when heated the metal also makes the air surrounding on it also hot. Plastic or other insulators should always be used when making cases. Plastic is better by titanium is better at gaurding the device when damaged, for example when you drop it. The device it self tends to stay cool because titanium absorbs heat better than plastic. Titanium is only good if your device has not ventilation. Always use insulators. Because when some thing heats up, the metal going to absorb heat and the heat will flow back into the device untill they both reach the temperature. So plastic doesn't conduct heat very well (hence it's good compnent when making cases). Never use a metals where things are going to heat up. Fans are being used to circulate air to take hot air out and bring in cool air to cool out plastic. Rember the Zeroth's law of thermodynamics and the first law of thermodynamics still apply.
    Last edited: May 1, 2003
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