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July 2019 – Effective Cooling Solutions using Heatsinks

Published on: 30/07/2019

Discover the effective cooling solutions using heatsinks and learn more about how heatsinks improve the effectiveness of electronic components.

Effective cooling solutions using heatsinks.

The continuously growing integration and performance densities of electronic components is resulting in higher losses which cause an increase in component temperature. Thermal management is becoming more and more important and is also often underestimated by design engineers.

It is a well known fact that the assumed service life of an electronic component increases by approximately 50% for each 10°C temperature increase. For electronic components to fulfil their long-life function they require thermal management.

Effective cooling solutions using heatsinks

There are generally two concepts of ‘soft’ and ‘loud’ heat conduction offers different cooling possibilities for electronic components. The ‘quiet’ version is achieved through free convection and radiation such as passive heatsinks. Passive heatsinks are able to cool small and large dissipation and is most used element in electronic cooling, compromising of a mechanical part which is connected to the components with a heat conducting effect.

The heat flow is always in the direction of the lower temperature and therefore absorbs the thermal energy of the component to be cooled and conducts it to the ambient air using the principle of exclusive surface enlargement. The systems are chosen based on the special heat conductivity of the materials which is usually aluminium. When cooling only small-scale, high performance electronic components, an analysis of the surface size of the heatsink is not enough on it’s own to definitively conclude whether the parts to be cooled can be brought to the ideal temperature.

Sometimes it is necessary to improve heating properties, in which case the ‘loud’ method for cooling, the use of fan motors and other types are used to support the cooling effect of the heatsink. From free convection, through to activated air, also known as forced cooling occurs which can naturally conduct a greater amount of heat due to the increased air throughput. By using activated air its possible to increase the effectiveness of cooling. A heatsink with a fan, depending on the application helps improve heat conductivity by approximately 40%.


Heatsink production

The most common material used for heatsinks is usually aluminium, this is because it offers the best price, performance, weight and volume ratio and can also be mechanically processed. One of the major deciding factors of the specific heat conductivity of a material is the size which in turn affects the heat conduction process. A wide range of profile types can be implemented with the extrusion press process but extensive geometries can be created affordably and there is good availability because standard types are cut, processed and surface treated in terms of length.


Thermal resistance

In order to determine the correct heat extraction method, it is crucial to first understand the thermal resistance of the component. This is proportional to the heat conductivity; the better a component abducts the heat, the smaller its thermal resistance is. Making it easier to identify the type of cooling to consider, whether it should be positive heat extraction using a heatsink, active heat extraction using fan motors or heat extraction using other types such as water or oil cooled heatsinks.


The challenge to reduce the heat in electronic components remains and the demand for appropriate heat reduction will continuously grow. Physical improvements to semiconductors to reduce heat loss, such as increasing the level of efficiency of the electronic structural elements is not essential from a heat dissipation perspective.


GD Rectifiers is one of the UK’s leading heatsink manufacturers, they can provide standard heatsinks from over 160 profiles in stock or customised heatsinks bespoke to their customers.


All extrusions can be supplied as cut lengths or drilled and machined to customer specifications. We operate the latest CNC drilling and machining centres which provide accurately machined, cost-efficient parts on short lead times. Our extensive range of heatsinks can be supplied in a natural or black-anodised finish. Our ISO 9001 certification carried out by Intertek provides customers with he quality assurance they need to order from our heatsink range.


Discover our complete heatsink range today


Aluminium Heatsinks

Aluminium Heatsink by GD Rectifiers


We offer a wide range of aluminium heatsinks, heatsink accessories and heatsink assemblies. We are your one-stop shop for thermal management solutions.

View Aluminium Heatsinks


Custom Heatsinks

Custom Heatsinks by GD Rectifiers


We offer the most comprehensive range of customised heatsinks, providing cost effective solutions for todays’ global market.

View Custom Heatsinks


Forced Air Cooled Heatsinks

Forced Air Cooled Heatsink by GD Rectifiers


We’re one of the leading manufacturers of forced-air cooled heatsinks, an essential requirement in modern day electronics, used to reduce the temperature through thermal mass and impedance.

View Forced Air-Cooled Heatsinks


Hollow Fin Heatsinks 

Hollow Fin Heatsinks by GD Rectifiers

We manufacture a range of hollow fin heatsinks used in a large range of applications, including: communications, industrial controls, military, motor drives, power controls, solar energy and transportation.

View Hollow Fin Heatsinks


Solid Fin Heatsinks

Solid Fin Heatsinks by GD Rectifiers


We design and manufacture a wide range of solid fin heatsinks which are typically used in devices across numerous industries including industrial controls, military, motor drives and power controls.

View Solid Fin Heatsinks


Water & Oil Cooled Heatsinks

Water and Oil Cooled Heatsinks by GD Rectifiers


We manufacture a large range of high quality, low cost water coolers for isolated base thyristor, diode and IGBT modules.

View Water & Oil Cooled Heatsinks


For further information on our heatsink range or to discuss your requirements, please call: 01444 243 452 or email:




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