Heat sinks are dyed material components made by using different manufacturing methods. One of the most common processes is the extrusion method. Extruded heat sinks are the most common because they provide effective heat management.
An extruded aluminum heat sink has a spacey structure. Therefore, a smaller one works with equal potential to a large heat sink. Heat sink manufacturing and processes are all industrial concerns. We have gathered all the information you need to know about extruded aluminum heat sinks here. So, let’s get started.
What Is a Heat Sink, And How Many Types Does It Have?
A heat sink is a metallic component to exit the system’s unwanted heat. Heat sinks are available in different shapes and sizes. They are present in all places where components operate and generate heat.
Counting the kinds of heat sinks is a complicated task as heat sinks have different categories according to parameters like airflow, materials, coolant flow, and manufacturing process. So you can choose the one that fits your system.
What Is an Extruded Heat Sink?
Heat sinks generally have two forms, pushed or extruded (popped-up). These heat sinks have thin, delicate-shaped fins extended from the base to improve heat dissipation.
Manufacturers dye cast these heat sinks and then cut, machine, or mold them into the desired shape and size.
Benefits Of Extruded Aluminum Heat Sinks?
Since extruded heat sinks are the most common, therefore, it is essential to explain why it is so.
- Durable: Aluminum has respect due to its corrosion-free nature. Unlike other heat sinks, aluminum heat sinks are resistant to rust and, therefore, more durable. They last for years compared to stainless steel heat sinks.
- Affordable: The manufacturing and maintenance costs of aluminum extruded heat sinks are less than copper or other heat sinks. Therefore, most users prefer them for high-end applications.
- Lightweight: Aluminum is reasonably lightweight as compared to other metals. Therefore, aluminum extruded heat sinks are easier to install in systems where more weight can cause issues.
Difference Between a Bonded Fin and Extruded Aluminum Heat Sink?
An extruded heat sink has thin, profiled fins extending from the base, made from the same material. In contrast, the bonded fin heat sinks can use different materials for the base and the fins.
Since extruded aluminum heat sinks use only a single piece without any joints or glues, they are more expensive than bonded fin heat sinks.
How To Select an Extruded Heat Sink?
Selecting an extrusion heat sink for your system can be a daunting task. The below-given list will give you an idea of characteristics to check in your purchase.
- Budget compatibility.
- The surface area of the heat sink is essential as heat sinks with larger bases have a better heat-dissipating rate.
- The maximum temperature the heat sink can withstand.
- Installation requirements.
Is Copper Better or Aluminum?
Copper and aluminum are the two common materials used for making heat sinks. Aluminum has a lower thermal conductivity of 247 watts per meter-kelvin, while copper has a thermal conductivity of 398 watts per meter-kelvin.
It means that copper is significantly better than aluminum extruded heat sinks. However, copper is heavier, and aluminum is light. Since both have their benefits and flaws, the final decision depends on your preference and use.
The Bottom Line
Extruded aluminum heat sinks are popular due to their lightness and impeccable heat dissipation rate. However, aluminum extrusion heat sinks are standard. But copper ones also make a commendable option. Now there are specific reasons why it is so.
First, aluminum extruded heat sinks are affordable for both users and manufacturers. Next, they are anti-corrosive, lightweight, and work perfectly for sensitive systems. In contrast, copper has more heat capacity and offers more dissipation but can prove expensive for some users.