Copper is an excellent heat conductor. It is sometimes used as a heatsink. If you heat one end of a piece of copper, the other end will immediately heat up to the same level. Because of its high melting point and lack of corrosion, copper is commonly utilized in the heating industry.

Copper heatsinks provide several advantages, including:

  • Density equates to 0.321 pounds per cubic inch.
  • Recyclability is a breeze.
  • Strength of 310 MPa tensile
  • The capacity to shape-change with ease
  • Thermo-electrical and thermal conductivity

Copper heatsink vs. Aluminum Heatsink

Thermal conductivity of 380W/m-K can be achieved with a copper alloy. Despite copper’s superior thermal conductivity, aluminum heatsinks are more commonly employed since they are lighter and less expensive while maintaining the same thermal conductivity.

Even though copper heatsinks can be machined, this is a time-consuming and wasteful process. Typically, the copper heatsink is manufactured from a block using either the forging or skiving method.

The use of copper fins that are soldered or epoxied to the base of a vapor chamber is another manufacturing procedure that is commonly employed. Copper heatsinks can tarnish over time. Thus to prevent this, many of our clients add an anti-oxidation coating or nickel plate to the heatsinks.

The Role of Cold Plate in Heat Sinks

The cold plate manufacturer ensure that they provide high-quality products to help heat sinks perform well. It plays a significant role in heat sinks performance.

Cold plates use a remote heat exchanger to disperse heat from the cooling device returned to the ambient air or a different liquid in a secondary cooling system. The metal tubing receives component heat by conduction from the thermal interface material and the metal plate. It is then transported into the moving coolant via convection from the inner surface of the fluid route material.

Aluminum blocks with coolant-filled metal tubes inserted in them are commonly used as cold plates in electronics cooling. Cold plates can also be formed from metal shells that are brazed or friction-welded together and then filled with a coolant. Coolant is pumped into the metal shells, which contain built-in cooling fins.

Final Thoughts

Aluminum may be popular, but copper has its place. Aluminum’s appeal as a heatsink material is because it is lightweight and inexpensive. There are copper heatsinks available for purchase on the market today. A higher heat conductivity can outweigh weight savings in some situations.

Also, aluminum extrusion can save a lot of money when making heatsinks. This is how most heatsinks are made.

Complex geometries can be achieved using die casting and CNC machining. On the other hand, Extruded aluminum heatsinks are suitable for most projects. Aluminum or copper is not the only thing that helps the heat sinks function at their best. Other components such as cold plates also have vital functions. So when deciding which is the best between aluminum and copper, it is better to consider other things that complete a heat sink.

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