Selecting Material for Water-Cooled Heat Sinks

In summary, when selecting a material for a water-cooled heatsink attached to an integrated circuit removing 75 degrees Celcius heat, it is important to consider thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance. Aluminum is a popular choice due to its high thermal conductivity and resistance to corrosion. However, using a water/alcohol mixture is recommended to prevent bacterial growth. It is also helpful to consult overclocking websites or kits designed specifically for water-cooled heatsinks to ensure proper design and performance. Additionally, when considering temperature specifications, it is important to think in terms of Theta[J,A], or "Degrees C per Watt", and extract enough heat from the device to keep its maximum temperature within specifications.
  • #1
purple cat
1
0
Hi I need help selecting a material to make a water-cooled heatsink.
The heat sink is to be attached to an integrated circuit (IC), removing 75deg Celcius heat.
Ok so most heatsinks are made of Aluminum because of it's high thermal conductivity.
Is it the same for water-cooled ones?
What do you have to consider when selecting material?
 
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  • #2
Aluminum is great, because it won't corrode. It's also easy to mill. I'd suggest a water/alchohol mixture though, to inhibit bacterial growth.

- Warren
 
  • #3
You might look at some of the over-clocking sites. Those guys run some pretty awesome home-brew heatsinks, including water-cooled.
 
  • #4
There are also kits you can buy for this specific purpose.
 
  • #5
purple cat said:
Hi I need help selecting a material to make a water-cooled heatsink.
The heat sink is to be attached to an integrated circuit (IC), removing 75deg Celcius heat.

BTW, the temperature of 75C is not the most important specification for your heatsink. You need to think in terms of a Theta[J,A] in units of "Degrees C per Watt" in your heatsink design and specification. You will have some allowed temperature rise for your component (from the inner semiconductor junctions "J" if applicable to the external ambient temperature "A"), and that component will be dissipating some power in Watts. Your heat sink will need to extract enough heat from the device (through your water cooling system or whatever) to keep the max temperature of the device (semiconductor junctions) within specifications.
 

Related to Selecting Material for Water-Cooled Heat Sinks

1. What factors should be considered when selecting materials for water-cooled heat sinks?

When selecting materials for water-cooled heat sinks, the following factors should be considered:

  • Thermal conductivity: The material should have a high thermal conductivity to effectively transfer heat away from the source.
  • Corrosion resistance: Water-cooled heat sinks are in constant contact with water, so the material should be resistant to corrosion to ensure longevity.
  • Coefficient of thermal expansion: The material should have a similar coefficient of thermal expansion as the heat source to avoid any damage from thermal stress.
  • Cost: The material should be cost-effective and within budget for the specific project.
  • Availability: The material should be readily available for purchase and production.

2. What are the most commonly used materials for water-cooled heat sinks?

The most commonly used materials for water-cooled heat sinks are copper, aluminum, and their alloys. Copper has the highest thermal conductivity, while aluminum is more cost-effective. Their alloys, such as copper-tungsten and aluminum-silicon, offer a balance between thermal performance and cost.

3. How does the design of a water-cooled heat sink impact material selection?

The design of a water-cooled heat sink can impact material selection in several ways. A larger heat sink with more surface area may require a material with high thermal conductivity to effectively dissipate heat. Additionally, the design of the water channels and fins may also influence the choice of material, as some materials may be better suited for certain shapes and sizes.

4. Can different materials be used in the same water-cooled heat sink?

Yes, different materials can be used in the same water-cooled heat sink. This is known as a hybrid heat sink and is often used to take advantage of the different properties of various materials. For example, a heat sink may have a copper base for high thermal conductivity and aluminum fins for cost-effectiveness.

5. How do I determine the appropriate material for my specific water-cooled heat sink application?

The appropriate material for a water-cooled heat sink application can be determined by considering the specific requirements and constraints of the project. Factors such as thermal performance, cost, availability, and compatibility with the heat source should be taken into account. Consulting with experts or conducting tests and simulations can also help in making an informed decision.

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