Heat Sink Selection Guide
Heatsink technology selector graph

The graph above illustrates the relationship between the Power Dissipated in an application versus the Thermal Efficiency of a given solution. The X Axis indicates the total amount of power to be removed, while the Y Axis can be defined as the relationship of thermal resistance with respect to total power, unit volume, and heat flux density. This tool serves as the starting point for solving thermal problems by narrowing the field of available solutions. Suitable technologies for an application can be identified by plotting the expected Power Dissipation on the X Axis and considering the entire range of intersecting Aavid solutions along the Y Axis. Dependent upon the power used and the dynamics of the system configuration, there may be more than one appropriate cooling mechanism to solve your thermal problem.

Four Primary Cooling Mechanisms

Natural Convection applications do not rely on a specified local air velocity for heat dissipation. Typical natural convection heat sinks are passive in nature and manufactured from copper or aluminum sheet, extruded aluminum, machined or cast alloys.

Forced Convection applications require forced air velocity generated through the incorporation of either a dedicated or system level fan(s) in order to increase thermal efficiency. Fan heat sinks, high fin density assemblies, as well as board level coolers are manufactured and configured for either impingement1 or cross flow2 environments.

Fluid Phase Change applications, also known as re-circulating, typically employ closed loop heat pipes which allow the rapid exchange of heat transfer through evaporation and condensation. Heat pipes are integrated into other heat sink technologies to further increase the thermal efficiency when greater density is required or physical size restrictions exist.

Liquid Cooled applications comprise channeled cold plates along with a heat exchanger and pump system in order to circulate fluids past a heat source. Generally, liquid cooled technologies are reserved for applications containing high heat flux density where forced convection or phase change systems are unable to dissipate the power demands.

thermal solutions

Our Thermal Engineers solve cooling challenges ranging from networking, telecom and consumer electronics, to power and biomedical devices. Utilizing the latest CFD/FEA and experimental techniques we can:

  • Perform conjugate analyses with conduction, convection and radiation
  • Optimize venting and fan placement
  • Increase power density
  • Reduce noise, cost and size
  • Increase MTBF

Dedicated thermal engineers characterize a system and provide the most advanced and effective cooling solutions, saving thousands in engineering resources, thermal modeling software, and test hardware. From concept to production, Aavid can support your design anywhere in the world.