Copper Vs Aluminum Heatsink

copper VS aluminum heatsink

Copper Vs Aluminum Heatsink

Ⅰ ) What Is A Heatsink? What Are Its Commonly Used Materials?

Electronic chips are widely used in electronic equipment. As we all know, high temperature is the enemy of electronic chips. High temperature will not only cause the system to run erratically, shorten the service life, and may even cause some components to burn out. The heat that causes the high temperature does not come from outside the electronic device, but from the inside of the electronic device, or the inside of the electronic chip. The function of the radiator is to absorb the heat, and then dissipate it to the inside or outside of the case to ensure that the temperature of the computer components is normal. Most radiators absorb heat by contacting the surface of the heat-generating components, and then transfer the heat to the environment through various methods, such as the air in the chassis, and then the chassis transmits the hot air to the outside of the chassis to complete the heat dissipation of electronic equipment.

Heat sink material refers to the specific material used for the heat sink. The physical parameters of each material are different, and they are arranged in descending order of thermal conductivity, namely silver, copper, aluminum, and steel. However, it would be too expensive to use metallic silver as a heat sink, so the best solution is to use copper. Although aluminum is much cheaper, it is obviously not as thermally conductive as copper (roughly just over fifty percent of copper). Commonly used heat sink materials are copper and aluminum alloys, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Ⅱ ) The Difference Between Copper VS Aluminum Heat Sink

1) Comparison Of Physical Parameters Of Heat Sink Of Copper VS Aluminum

Below we use the two most commonly used materials in heat sinks: copper C1100 and aluminum AL6063-T5 for comparison

Thermal Conductivity (W/m-K) 388 209
density (kg/m³) 8890 2700
specific heat capacity  (J/Kg-°C) 385 900


2) Comparison And Influence Of Thermal Conductivity Of Copper VS Aluminum Heat Sink

As can be seen from the above table, the thermal conductivity of copper is 85% higher than that of aluminum, and copper can quickly transfer heat to low-temperature parts, so when the heat sink has a fan and the contact area of the electronic chip is small, the thermal power consumption is relatively large Copper heatsinks are better than aluminum heatsinks.

3) Comparison And Influence Of Specific Heat Capacity Of Copper VS Aluminum Heat Sink

It can be seen from the above table that the specific heat capacity of aluminum is higher than that of copper. Under the same volume and heat dissipation area, for every 1 degree increase in the temperature of the radiator, the aluminum radiator can store and absorb 134% more heat than the copper radiator, so In the scenario where the radiator does not have a fan, the aluminum radiator is more advantageous.

4) Density comparison and influence of copper VS aluminum heat sink
As can be seen from the above table, the density of copper is 229% higher than that of aluminum. Since the larger mass will increase the burden on the device structure, the aluminum heat sink is more advantageous.

5) Cost comparison and influence of copper VS aluminum heat sink
In the material market, the price of copper is 170% more expensive than that of aluminum, so aluminum heat sinks have more advantages.

6) Machinability and comparison of copper VS aluminum heat sink
In production, both copper VS aluminum radiators can be processed into forged radiators, die-cast radiators, zip fin radiators, shovel-tooth radiators, turned radiators, and CNC radiators. However, the plasticity of copper is not as good as that of aluminum, and it is impossible to use a more efficient extrusion process to process profile radiators, so aluminum radiators have more advantages.

) Summary

In general, although copper has a higher thermal conductivity, aluminum has a light weight, good heat storage performance, low cost, strong machinability, and acceptable thermal conductivity. Therefore, in copper VS aluminum heat sink , aluminum heat sinks are relatively widely used, and copper heat sinks are mainly used in high power density scenarios. However, Regis has copper-aluminum composite technology. Copper is used in the parts of the radiator that require high thermal conductivity through welding or inlay process, so that the radiator can not only have high thermal conductivity, but also achieve low cost and lighter weight.

Custom Copper VS Aluminum Heatsink Service

Copper VS aluminum heatsink supplied by Regis can be standard and custom designed. For custom copper VS aluminum heat sink service, we can design and simulate according to customer’s heat dissipation needs, and can also manufacture and test according to customer’s design requirements.

Skived Fin Copper VS Aluminum Heatsink

Soldered Copper VS Aluminum Heat Sink

Bonded Copper VS Aluminum Heat Sink

Forged Copper VS Aluminum Heat Sink