There are three major types of heat pipe designs that are used as thermal management solutions for electronics. All three of these heat pipe designs have led to thermal management solutions that allow our notebook computers to become more powerful while still remaining light, aesthetically pleasing, and most importantly—cool. The processing power of today’s notebook computers would cause them to burst into flame within minutes without these heat pipe designs. Right now, handling excess heat from these processors via thermal management systems tends to be the limiting factor when it comes to designing the next generation of notebook computers.
Heat pipes are vacuum-sealed copper or aluminum “pipes” that are partially filled with a working fluid (most of the time this is water), which serves as a medium for the heat transfer. These pipes are known as envelopes because they contain both the working fluid and a wick structure lining the inside of the pipe. This wick structure contains the surface areas used for the evaporation/condensation cycle and capillary capability. These heat pipes can be configured in a series of different shapes including cylindrical, rectangular, or almost any other shape you can imagine depending on your heat management needs.
As one side of the heat pipe gets heated up, the working fluid vaporizes and creates a pressure gradient that moves the vapor to the cooler area of the heat pipe where it radiates the heat away, condenses, and is pushed back to the heated area of the pipe to start the cycle all over again.
Most heat pipe heatsinks used in notebook computers use heat pipes to transfer excess heat to a large aluminum plate which typically then is transferred to the EMI shield of the notebook’s keyboard. This radiates through the keyboard and the fluid cools to start the process over again. Some bigger electronics use fans to speed up the cooling process.
Within most cabinets used for electronics, there is excess heat that is not cooled using heat sinks directly. In these situations, heat pipes can be used as part of an-air heat exchanger. These are good for situations where the electronics need to be protected from contamination or harsh environmental conditions.
This type of thermal management solution uses a flat mini heat pipe design which is used to dissipate the heat through a large surface to radiate the heat away via air cooling. These spreaders can include heat dissipation fins to help make the process more efficient.
At Getec Industrial, our extruded aluminum heat sink designs are best-in-class. We use premium aluminum billet to produce the high-quality aluminum heat sink designs at a level of quality that our competitors just can’t keep up with. Give us a call at 888-999-8499, contact us online, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our high-efficiency heat sink design specialists today.