An Aluminum heatsink is the most widely used product for thermal solutions. Aluminum (Aluminium) is the second most widely used metal in the world after Iron. After oxygen and silicon, aluminum is the most common element in the Earth’s crust. The properties that make a aluminium heatsink popular include:
Good thermal and electrical conductivity
Low density with a density ~ 2,700 kg/m3
High strength of between 70 and 700 MPa
Excellent corrosion resistance
non-magnetic which avoids interference of magnetic fields
Easy to recycle
Compared with other metals, aluminum has a relatively large coefficient of linear expansion. Aluminum’s malleability is essential for the extrusion process, and in bending and other forming products.
An Aluminum heatsink is an excellent conductor of heat.
A6061 has a thermal conductivity of ~ 167W/m-K and is typically used for machined heatsinks
A6063 has a thermal conductivity of ~ 167W/m-K and is typically used for extruded heatsinks
Although the thermal properties are less than copper, An aluminum heatsink weighs approximately half as much as a copper conductor having the same conductivity, and is also less expensive.
Aluminum reacts with oxygen in air to form an extremely thin layer of Aluminum Oxide. Anodizing increases the thickness of the oxide layer and improves the strength of the natural corrosion protection.