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10-05-2016 | Issue 6/2016

Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance 6/2016

Effect of Material Inhomogeneity on Thermal Performance of a Rheocast Aluminum Heatsink for Electronics Cooling

Journal:
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance > Issue 6/2016
Authors:
M. Payandeh, I. Belov, A. E. W. Jarfors, M. Wessén

Abstract

The relation between microstructural inhomogeneity and thermal conductivity of a rheocast component manufactured from two different aluminum alloys was investigated. The formation of two different primary α-Al particles was observed and related to multistage solidification process during slurry preparation and die cavity filling process. The microstructural inhomogeneity of the component was quantified as the fraction of α 1-Al particles in the primary Al phase. A high fraction of coarse solute-lean α 1-Al particles in the primary Al phase caused a higher thermal conductivity of the component in the near-to-gate region. A variation in thermal conductivity through the rheocast component of 10% was discovered. The effect of an inhomogeneous temperature-dependent thermal conductivity on the thermal performance of a large rheocast heatsink for electronics cooling in an operation environment was studied by means of simulation. Design guidelines were developed to account for the thermal performance of heatsinks with inhomogeneous thermal conductivity, as caused by the rheocasting process. Under the modeling assumptions, the simulation results showed over 2.5% improvement in heatsink thermal resistance when the higher conductivity near-to-gate region was located at the top of the heatsink. Assuming homogeneous thermo-physical properties in a rheocast heatsink may lead to greater than 3.5% error in the estimation of maximum thermal resistance of the heatsink. The variation in thermal conductivity within a large rheocast heatsink was found to be important for obtaining of a robust component design.

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