Which Aluminum Alloys are Best for Extruded Heat Sinks?
- The material used
- Protrusion design
- Air velocity, and
- Surface treatment.
Why Use Aluminum Instead of Copper?We’ve talked before about the benefits of both aluminum and copper in heat sinks.
Which Aluminum Alloy Should You Use for Your Heat Sinks?
If your first thought is to find the alloy with the highest thermal conductivity, think again.
For example, 1050 aluminum offers a thermal conductivity value of 229 W/m•K. However, this alloy is mechanically too soft for heat sinks.
You should generally look at the 6000 series alloys for heat sinks. These alloys are widely available, are fairly strong, and tend to extrude well. The following chart shows a comparison.
|Alloy||Thermal Conductivity Values (W/m•K)|
Alloys like 6061 and 6063 are some of the most common in the 6000 series. They are common for extrusion in general. And either one will actually work quite well for heat sinks.