Experimental comparison of fluid and thermal characteristics of microchannel and metal foam heat sinks

Ateş, Ahmet Muaz
Doubling transistor count for every two years in a computer chip, transmitter and receiver (T/R) module of a phased-array antenna that demands higher power with smaller dimensions are all results of miniaturization in electronics packaging. These technologies nowadays depend on improvement of reliable high performance heat sink to perform in narrower volumes. Employing microchannels or open cell metal foam heat sinks are two recently developing promising methods of cooling high heat fluxes. Although recent studies especially on microchannels can give a rough estimate on performances of these two methods, since using metal foams as heat sinks is still needed further studies, a direct experimental comparison of heat exchanger performances of these two techniques is still needed especially for thermal design engineers to decide the method of cooling. For this study, microchannels with channel widths of 300 µm, 420 µm, 500 µm and 900 µm were produced. Also, 92% porous 10, 20 and 40 ppi 6101-T6 open cell aluminum metal foams with compression factors 1,2, and 3 that have the same finned volume of microchannels with exactly same dimensions were used to manufacture heat sinks with method of vacuum brazing. They all have tested under same conditions with volumetric flow rate ranging from 0,167 l/min to 1,33 l/min and 60 W of heat power. Channel height was 4 mm for all heat sinks and distilled water used as cooling fluid. After experiments, pressure drops and thermal resistances were compared with tabulated and graphical forms. Also, the use of metal foam and microchannel heat sinks were highlighted with their advantages and disadvantages for future projects.


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Citation Formats
A. M. Ateş, “Experimental comparison of fluid and thermal characteristics of microchannel and metal foam heat sinks,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.