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August 2016 – The Heatsink Guide

Published on: 22/08/2016

An overview of heatsinks: definition of a heatsink, how heatsinks work, and the types of heatsinks and heatsink accessories available

Heatsink Guide

 

What is a Heatsink?

A heatsink is a thermal device that dissipates heat from another object. It transfers heat generated by a mechanical or electronic device to a fluid medium which is normally air or liquid coolant where it is dispersed away from the device.

Heatsinks are used with high-power semiconductor devices where the heat dissipation ability of the component itself is insufficient to moderate its temperature.

Famously known for cooling down computer processors and large machinery, heatsinks are also found in mobile phones, DVD players and refrigerators. Heatsinks are made out of metal, such as copper or aluminium alloy and are attached to a computers processor. Most heatsinks have fins which help to spread the heat over a large area.

 

How does a Heatsink work?

The heatsink is a thermal conductor that carries heat away from the power source into the fins that provide a large surface area for the heat to disperse throughout the rest of the system, resulting in cooling of the power source.

 

Heatsink Guide

 

Types of Heatsinks

There are two types of Heatsinks: active and passive.

Active Heatsinks usually employ fans or a peltier cooling device that utilises power. HSF active Heatsinks are more durable than normal active Heatsinks because they have a ball-bearing motor.

 

Active heatsink

 

Passive Heatsinks are more reliable because they do not have mechanical components. They work to their full capacity and are made of an aluminum-finned radiator.

Passive heatsink 

 

 

Heatsink Accessories

Machining

CNC Machinery can be used purely for machining heatsink to bespoke outlines specified by customers. No matter how complicated the design is, with CNC Machines, GD Rectifiers’ engineers are now able to skim, drill, and tap any heatsink from a range to the customer’s specification producing identical copies every time. The programmed files can then be stored and used at a later date.

 

Heatsink machinery

 

Clamps for capsules

Clamping forces used by the clamps can be increased or decreased depending on the requirements. GD Rectifiers can supply single-sided or double-sided bar clamps and flat based conversion kits.

 

Clamps for capsules

 

 

Insulators

An insulator is a device which does not readily conduct electricity. GD Rectifiers stock a wide range of Busbar Insulators that are used in assemblies. The also use these products to mount power fuses and heatsinks that require high mechanical strength, low tracking index, and voltage insulation. Hexagonal sections allow easy mechanical assembly and can be joined together to create longer lengths.

Insulators

 

AC and DC Fans

AC and DC fans are used in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications. GD Rectifiers keep stock of the AC and DC fans that they use in their assemblies.

 

AC and DC fans

 

 

 

Thermal Compound

Thermal Compound is essential in cooling down the processor. GD Rectifiers stock a wide range of Busbar Insulators that are used in assemblies. They also use these products to mount power fuses and heatsinks that require high mechanical strength, low tracking index, and voltage insulation. Hexagonal sections allow easy mechanical assembly and can be joined together to create longer lengths.

 

GD Rectifiers are the UK’s leading manufacturer of standard and custom made heatsinks, heatsink accessories and heatsink assemblies. Our aluminium is extruded from Italy, we stock and machine the largest range of heatsinks suitable for stud, modules and capsule semiconductors plus high power LED applications. Offering a full service from design to production, technical support and fast delivery, GD Rectifiers is the No.1 heatsink provider in the UK.

GD Rectifiers are experts in Thermal Management, Standard & Custom Made Heatsinks, Cold Plates, Liquid Cooling Solutions and Thermal Assemblies. Offering an extensive range of Air Cooled and Aluminum Heatsinks, they have a wide selection of high quality heatsinks readily available in stock at unbeatable prices and offer a next day delivery service.

Browse the complete heatsink range by device type, part number or comparison guide here.

GD Rectifiers offer technical support on all heatsinks including specific heat dissipation requirements.

For further information on all Heatsink products click here or alternatively call our friendly sales team for a quote today on: 01444 243 452.

Find out more about the latest GD Rectifiers product range here.

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