# Thermal conductivity with plating

1. Oct 13, 2010

### kmaryan

This relates to design of a heat spreader. My intuition is failing me and I'm not familiar with this area of thermodynamics/heat flow.

Assume I have a heat source, attached to a large flat surface used as a heat spreader/sink. The size of the source is negligible w.r.t. the surface area (A) of the heat spreader. Consider that the heat spreader is made from a material with thermal conductivity X. Now consider an alternative where the heat spreader has a thin coating (metal plating) with heat conductivity Y on top of the material with conductivity X. How does the effective thermal conductivity from the heat source to the ambient air change in the X and Y vs. the X only case?

I'm probably missing information, but I'm not sure what's relevant here. Let me know if anything else is relevant in coming up with at least a first order approximation of how the heat flow changes.

Thanks,

Chris