Miniature aluminum extrusion manufacturer Minalex is known for creating super-custom aluminum extrusions and outside-the-box solutions to address even the toughest engineering challenges.
One of the applications of extrusions is their use in Heat sinks, which are found in millions of small devices in residential, commercial and aerospace applications all over the world. Minalex produces hundreds of thousands of pounds of miniature aluminum extruded heat sinks every year for their customers.
Heat sinks are hardware components mainly found in a wide variety of small-format devices that are not able to regulate temperature or prevent overheating on their own, as is the case with electronics, microchips, computer central processing units (CPUs), LED lighting and any other device that requires the dissipation of heat to keep temperatures at an appropriate level. Just as your car radiator or attic fan is designed to cool things down before they can overheat, Heat sinks improve thermal performance by transferring unwanted heat from a device to a fluid medium, which may be air or a liquid coolant.
“Fins” play a crucial role in the fabrication of Heat sinks, and are an important part of the solution when it comes to heat transfer challenges. Heat sink extrusions have fins that extend from a base to dissipate heat and increase the rate of heat transfer, helping to ensure efficient cooling and keep temperatures at an optimal level, preventing heat damage or shutdown of electronic and other devices. Minalex creates fins in different sizes and configurations, but this arrangement of straight fins (pictured above) is a particularly effective one. In general, the more surface area a Heat sink has, the better it performs.
Heat sinks are usually fabricated through the processes of extrusion, casting or milling. Minalex specializes in extruding miniature heat sinks using some of the softer aluminum alloys, such as:
- 6061 – for strength, durability and heat transfer
- 3003 – for corrosion resistance and workability
Frequently customers will turn to Minalex engineers for help with the design of the extrusions. Some of the considerations when creating the design include the fitment and space the extrusion will fit within, and any machining needs following the extrusion process. It is not uncommon for a customer to think their project will involve extensive machining, but to avoid that, Minalex has come up with a way to extrude many of the features that would usually include machining, such as angles or “fin” heights.
This is just one more excellent example of how Minalex crafts unique solutions and applies innovative techniques to deliver high-quality products, always with an eye toward cost-efficiencies that add value for the customer.