The extruded aluminum heatsink is a widely used material whether, for designing LED lights, computers, or other electronic parts, it comes in handy in a lot of ways. The main job of the heat sink is to absorb and dissipate the heat from the devices and helps them to stay cool.

There are many materials used to manufacture heat sinks, but extruded aluminum heatsink is the most widely option. The aluminum heat sink offers benefits like low weight, low density, high strength, and various other benefits.

So, let’s find out why the extruded aluminum heatsink is the most preferred material for the heat sinks.

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Why extruded aluminum heatsink is most preferred?

The extruded aluminum heatsink is the widely used material for the heat sink because of its thermal conductive properties, natural electrical conductivity, and less weight of aluminum. Also, aluminum is the second most widely used metal in the world after iron.

The heat sink made by the extruded aluminum comes with greater strength, and also when compared to the other metal, it shows higher thermal conductivity. Here are the properties lists that make aluminum the best metal for the heat sink:

  1. Good thermal and electrical conductivity
  2. Comes with a low density
  3. One of the most important properties is aluminum is lightweight material
  4. Offers high strength between 70 and 700MPa
  5. Easy machining
  6. Easy malleability
  7. Offers high corrosion resistance
  8. It is non-magnetic so it will avoid the interference of other magnetic fields
  9. Eco-friendly as aluminum can be easily recycled

Thermal conductivity is the most important performance in the choice of heat sink material, and different materials have different thermal conductivity.

Object Thermal conductivity = k = W /(m k)
Diamond 1300-2400
Silver 429
Copper 401
Gold 317
Aluminum 240
Iron 84-90

Obviously, the diamond has excellent thermal conductivity. Diamond not only has ultra-high thermal conductivity but also it’s excellent mechanical, optical, acoustic, electrical, and chemical properties, which makes it significantly superior to other materials in terms of heat dissipation of high-power optoelectronic devices. Of course, the cost of the diamond is extremely expensive, which makes it not the preferred material for ordinary heatsink products.

The metal with the best heat dissipation is silver, but it is very soft, which is not conducive to manufacturing high-density devices such as heat sinks. As a precious metal, gold is not a suitable heatsink material because of its expensive cost. The lowest cost material is iron, but its thermal conductivity is only one-third of that of aluminum, which is not a good heatsink material. But it is mostly used for radiators for homes because of good corrosion resistance.

These factors have led to the current use of copper or aluminum as popular heatsink materials.

Copper has better thermal conductivity than aluminum. However, when considering thermal conductivity, the cost is another factor that cannot be ignored. The thermal conductivity of copper is twice that of aluminum, but its density is three times that of aluminum. This means that the weight of a heat sink that provides similar heat flow in copper will increase by about 50%. Actually, many copper heat sinks are overweight beyond design limits on weight. When calculating the cost per ton (copper is currently about 3.5 times the cost of aluminum), and you will find that the cost of copper will be much higher than that of aluminum solutions for the same heat sink design.

Aluminum, especially 6xxx-series aluminum alloy, can be simply extruded into various shapes, including complex heat sinks. Although copper can also be extruded, such as rods, it is very difficult to extrude into the shape of a heat sink, and the cost is also very expensive.

These factors make extruded aluminum heatsink most preferred.

Depending on the design and shape of the heat sink, the aluminum can be designed. Other than the mechanical properties, the metal is easy to manufacture and customize.

Is aluminum the right material for the heat sink?

The extruded aluminum heatsink is the most important material for the electronic components to prevent overheating. As, it offers high conductivity so it will carry the heat away and if you don’t use an effective heat sink then your electronic components will get burnt.

The extruded aluminum heat sink is widely known for its excellent heat dissipation, so it is mostly used for heat sinks. You can find extruded aluminum heatsink in the automobile industry, winder power generation, construction machinery, railway locomotive industry, computers, household appliances, and others.

Without any doubt, the extruded aluminum heatsink can be used, as it is the trustable material of every industry. Even the extruded aluminum heat sink is available in different sizes, so depending on the needs the size can be customized.

So, here are a few reasons if you think why the extruded aluminum heatsink is used more when compared to the other materials:

  • Offers good thermal conductivity of 160-180W/m.K
  • Available at a relatively low cost, and also the aluminum will make the production of the heat sink simple and easier
  • Even the complex shape can be made from an aluminum extrusion for an ideal heat dissipation effect. Any shape is possible with extruded aluminum heatsinks like fishbone shapes, tree shapes, comb shapes, and others
  • The surface area of the extruded aluminum heat sink will be more, so the heat dissipation will be better
  • The surface of the extruded aluminum heatsink is anodized to improve aluminum’s corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and aesthetics

How extruded aluminum heatsinks are processed?

In most cases, the heat sinks are manufactured by the extrusion process where the aluminum will be heated just before the melting point. Then it will be extruded using long aluminum sections that need to be cut to get the proper lengths.

Then the extruded aluminum heatsink can be machined to mount holes and other features. The final heat sink is ready, but during this process, there will be a lot of waste materials and it can’t be used further.

The extruded aluminum heatsink is in a leading position in most industrial applications due to its low price and lightweight. Because the thermal conductivity is only half of the copper, some engineers embed a copper plate on the base of the aluminum alloy heatsink to increase the thermal conductivity, which is a good idea.

Benefits:

  • Efficient thermal conductivity

The efficiency of the thermal conductivity in the extruded aluminum heatsink is a consistent factor, so it will maintain excellent heat dissipation. It acts as an ideal medium for the conversion of thermal energy. The aluminum offers high efficiency and also it will take less time for the heat dissipation effect.

  • Less weight

As the name suggests, the extruded aluminum heat sink has low density, so it is a lightweight material but offers strong mechanical properties. The main specification of the extruded aluminum heat sink is that the weight of the aluminum heat sink is 1/3 the weight of the steel heat sink. When compared to the other materials, aluminum is the lightest material, so it is easy to transport and install.

  • High-strength mechanical properties

The aluminum offers high mechanical performance, and in many cases, the aluminum will be extruded to get the various shapes of the heat sink. The appearance of the heat sink will be beautiful and fashionable and result in an excellent decorative effect.

The surface of the extruded aluminum heat sink is either mill-finished or anodized, as it undergoes the surface machining process and after that, it will be anodized again. This is done to enhance the oxidation and corrosion resistance of aluminum.

  • Cost-effective

In comparison with the other heat sink materials, the extruded aluminum heatsink price is average and reasonable too. Also, it is energy-saving, eco-friendly, and comes with superior performance, so aluminum is the best choice material for heat sinks.

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