March 8, 2021

What is Involved in Thermal Solutions Manufacturing?

You need to account for thermal management as part of the design phase for any electronic product or product that uses printed circuit boards. Failing to take thermal management into account for your products can result in costly redesigns and sometimes even complete rework of the electronic product.

Determine How Much Heat Needs to be Dissipated

Thermal management engineers should determine how much heat will be generated by the computational processes on the PCB to decide whether it needs to have a dedicated heat sink designed for it or an extruded aluminum casing to help dissipate excess heat from the device.

Thermal solutions manufacturing for an electronic device

Choose the Heat Dissipation Method

Once you know how much heat needs to be managed, select a method (or methods) of heat dissipation. This might use a simple heat radiation process, a passive convection process, or active forced convection (usually by incorporating a fan into the design to help the convection process).

Select the Thermal Management Solution Material

Another critical decision is to determine what material the thermal management solution should be made of. Most thermal product solutions (including heat sink designs) use aluminum or copper for thermal management. The decision may come down one or more of these three things:

  • Thermal management efficiency—where copper is twice as efficient at heat management as aluminum.
  • Cost—Copper costs a lot more than aluminum.
  • Weight–Copper weighs three times as much as aluminum. For electronic devices that need to be light, aluminum is the go-to material for heat management.

Choose the Shape of the Heat Sink

The shape of the heat sink also depends on several factors:

  • Available space–The space within the casing (or sometimes the design of the casing itself if it is designed for thermal management) may determine the shape of the heat sink for the device
  • Amount of heat to dissipate–If there is a lot of excess heat to be managed, the heat sink shape might need many fins, more space for convection, or a fan incorporated into the design.
  • Design–Some heat sink designs work better than others in some situations. Folded fin heat sinks might be the right solution for some products, where a heat sink design incorporating heat pipes might work best for others.

Select the Manufacturing Method for the Heat Sink

The manufacturing method you select also depends on many of the factors already mentioned above how much heat needs to be dissipated, cost, weight, available space, etc. Extruded heat sinks are inexpensive, have consistent high-quality, and are delivered in many shapes and sizes. Machined heat sinks cost a lot more overall but might be the right solution for small numbers of products that need to meet specific design needs. Whatever thermal management solution you need, there is a heat sink manufacturing method best for you.

Getec Industrial Delivers High-Quality Heat Sinks for Thermal Management Solutions

Getec has provided heat sink designs for industries such as consumer electronics, aviation, communications, LED lighting, medical equipment, and much more for over 30 years now. To learn more, call us at 888-999-8499, contact us online, or send us an email to to get in touch with a Getec heat sink design specialist.