Today our topic is “are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks?
It is well known that electronic devices and machine would generate a lot of heat. If the heat can not sink rapidly, the machine will not work and cause a lot of trouble. So heatsinks play an important role in helping to cool them. The two most common metals used in the creation of heatsinks as electronic cooling solutions for electronic devices and machine are aluminum and copper.
You may be aware that aluminum is the most popular metal for heatsinks, and may think”are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks?”
Let’s look at a few different factors that come into play here and do believe you will find the solution here (Are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks?).
Aluminum vs. Copper heatsinks: Let’s compare
Take a look at the following tables. In them, you can see the main factors that might influence the decision to use aluminum over copper for heatsinks, and would know the answer of “are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks”.
Aluminum heatsinks vs. Copper heat sinks: Cost
As a responsible buyer of a company, the first issue you need to consider is cost. So we have a review on this matter firstly. Especially the material cost.
Take a look at this first table and you’ll see that aluminum material is much cheaper than copper material. In fact, it comes in at about one-third the cost. That is a significant cost savings. One point for aluminum heat sinks.
|Material||Price in USD per Metric Ton (20 Oct, 2020)|
Aluminum heatsinks vs. Copper heat sinks: Heat conductivity
The next issue we need to check the most important property of heat conductivity. As you can see in this table, copper heatsinks are more conductive than aluminum heatsinks. In fact, aluminum heat sink only has 60% of the thermal conductivity that copper does. That’s one point for copper heatsinks.
|Metal||Thermal Conductivity [BTU/(hr·ft⋅°F)]|
Aluminum heatsinks vs. Copper heat sinks: Weight
If you look at the density of the two metals, you’ll notice that aluminum heatsink material has only about 30% of the density of copper. That means significant weight savings. One point for aluminum heatsinks!
|Metal||Density – ρ – (kg/m3)|
Aluminum heatsinks vs. Copper heat sinks: Surface color
The aluminum profiles are widely used in many occasions not only its material cost but also for its various surface color. We can do custom anodizing color for aluminum heatsinks after extrusion. While the copper heatsinks is always its nature color. One point for aluminum heatsinks.
Conclusion on: are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks?
We can draw the conclusion of “are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks” from the previous tables that: aluminum heatsink is popular for most occasions, but copper heatsink has its place.
As you can see, cost and weight savings are key factors in the popularity of aluminum for heatsinks.
Copper heatsinks are available on the market. They can be used in instances where higher heat conductivity outweighs the available weight savings.
Also, significant cost savings can be had by producing heatsinks through aluminum extrusion. Most heatsinks are produced this way.
Die casting and CNC machining can achieve more complex geometries. But, extruded aluminum heatsinks can meet the needs of most projects. If you’d like to learn more about our aluminum extrusion capabilities and purchase aluminum heatsinks, feel free to contact us.
How to choose the right aluminum heatsinks material
Now we have a clear idea of “are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks”. The next step is choose the right aluminum material for heatsinks.
Aluminum is the most common material for heat sinks. In particular, extruded aluminum heat sinks fit the needs of most projects.
The material is lightweight and has relatively good thermal conductivity.
Aluminum alloy 1050A has one of the higher thermal conductivity values af 229 W/m*k but is mechanically soft.
Aluminum alloys 6063 and 6060 are commonly used with thermal conductivity values of 166 and 201 W/m*k, respectively. The values depend on the temper of the alloy. T6 is better than T5.
Besides the question of “Are aluminum heatsinks better then copper heat sinks” we will share other aluminum industry news later. Thanks for your eyes on our articles.
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