September 8, 2020

What is a High-Efficiency Heat Sink Design?

A high-efficiency heat sink design is just a type of heat sink design that has been engineered to provide maximum heat dissipation for the shrinking allotted spaces within electronics for thermal management. There are several factors that help make a heat sink design a high-efficiency heat sink design.

Active Heat Sink Designs

Active heat sinks–those that use a fan or other air circulation device–help move heated air away from the main part of the heat sink design. These types of heat sink designs are highly efficient at removing heat. However, some electronics manufacturers do not like the extra weight or noise created by an active heat sink design, so they may use other methods to help improve the efficiency of a passive heat sink design instead.

High efficiency heat sink design for a computer

Heat Sink Production Material

The composition of the heat sink also has an impact on whether the heat sink design can be considered high-efficiency or not. The most common metal alloys used in commercial heat sink designs on the market today are aluminum and copper. Copper has nearly twice as much thermal conductivity as aluminum but is three times denser than an equal amount of aluminum. Copper also has the drawback of being more expensive than aluminum and is less ductile than aluminum which limits some of the design options that would make it even higher-efficiency.

Heat Sink Production Method

There are several different ways heat sinks can be produced. The first thing that is important to understand is that the smoother and more solid the metal that composes the heat sink design is, the more efficient it will be. Therefore, a method that manufactures a heat sink out of a solid block of metal will be more efficient than one that uses multiple pieces or materials that are attached together. So, an extruded metal heat sink design will be far more efficient than one that is milled or skived from a solid block of metal. Because aluminum is very ductile, extrusion is by far the most popular method of manufacturing high-efficiency heat sinks.

Fin Location, Shape, and Size

There are many designs for heatsinks, but they typically comprise a base and a number of protrusions attached to this base. The base is attached to the device to be cooled, and the heat from the device is conducted through the base into the protrusions, typically called fins. The location, shape, and size of the fins are important in determining how efficient the heat sink design will be. For example, the number of fins present, and how far apart from each other helps determine how fast that air passing through the fins can wick heat away from them. Longer (or taller) fins provide more area for the heat to radiate away, but most electronic devices do not have a lot of space for tall fins. According to recent studies, trapezoidal-shaped fins are the best for thermal management in electronic devices.

Heat Sink Interfaces & Attachments

A couple of other factors that are often overlooked as important elements in a heat sink design include how the heat sink interfaces with the electronic component it is supposed to cool, and how it is attached to that component.

A heat sink interface that isn’t smoothly connected to the electronic component lessens the thermal efficiency. So if the interface between them is rough, has defects, or tiny gaps within them, it will reduce the efficiency of thermal displacement. In addition, if you select a good method to attach the heat sink to the electronic component itself such as using high-quality thermal conductive tape or epoxy, it will keep your heat sink highly efficient at dissipating heat.

Getec Industrial Provides Superior High-Efficiency Heat Sink Designs for Heat Dissipation in Electronic Devices

At Getec Industrial, our extruded aluminum heat sink designs are best-in-class. We use premium aluminum billet to produce the high-quality high-efficiency heat sink designs 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 to speak to one of our high-efficiency heat sink design specialists today.