Experimental Evaluation of an Additively Manufactured Straight Mini-Channel Heat Sink for Electronics Cooling

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Virginia Tech

The continuous miniaturization of electronic devices and the corresponding increase in computing powers have led to a significant growth in the density of heat dissipation within these devices. This increase in heat generation has challenged conventional air fan cooling and alternative solutions for heat removal are required to avoid overheating and part damage. Micro/Mini channel heat sinks (M/MCHS) that use liquids for heat removal appear as an attractive solution to this problem as they provide large heat transfer area per volume. Mini/microchannels traditionally have suffered from geometrical and material restrictions due to fabrication constraints. An emerging new additive manufacturing technique called binder jetting has the potential to overcome some of those restrictions. In this study, a straight minichannel heat sink is manufactured from stainless steel using binder jetting, and it is experimentally evaluated. The hydraulic performance of the heat sink is tested over a range of Reynolds numbers (150-1200). The comparison between the hydraulic results and standard correlations confirms that the targeted geometry was produced, although the high surface roughness created an early transition from laminar-to-turbulent flow. The heat transfer performance was also experimentally characterized at different heat flux conditions (3000W/m2, 5000W/m2, 6500W/m2), and a range of Reynolds numbers (150-800). These results indicated that convection heat transfer coefficients on the order of 1000W/m2−K can be obtained with a simple heat sink design. Finally, the effects of the contact resistance on the results are studied, and contact resistance is shown to have critical importance on the thermal measurements.

Heat--Transmission, Additive manufacturing, Binder Jetting, Minichannels/Microchannels, Heat Sinks, Electronics Cooling