August 5, 2013

Which Finned Heat Sinks Offer the Best Cooling Performance

Heat sinks are essential in a variety of electronic systems to remove the heat from a device by dispersing the heat into the air. The general perception is that a finned heat sink with a large amount of space works better.

However, it is not always necessary to have a large amount of space. The concept behind a pin fin sink is to load an ample amount of surface area into the volume. The pin fin sink performs at the most optimal level when the fluid is able to flow axially along the pins rather than laterally.

The pins that extend from the base of the machine identify pin fin heat sinks. The pins come in a variety of shapes including cylindrical, elliptical and square. The pin sink is the most typical heat sink found on the market today. Another type of heat sink is the straight fin.

These types of sinks run the whole length of a heat sink and run at regular intervals. The straight fin sink is also available as a crosscut heat sink.

The flared fin is the third type of heat sink offered by fin heatsink manufacturers. The fins on these heat sinks are not considered to be parallel to one another. The shape of the fins decreases flow and resistance. Which allow for a larger amount of air to flow through the heat sink channel. The configuration of the flared heat sink permits more air to bypass the fins.

Flared fin heat sinks can also be slanted. Inclining the fins allow for the dimensions to remain the same, while extending the length of the fins. The data on the pin heat fin, straight heat fin, and Forghan has published flared fin heat sinks. Lasance and Eggink also performed the test on theses sinks to determine which configuration performed the best. Their test determined that the flared heat sink achieved the best performance when compared to the other heat sinks based on the bypass configuration test.