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how heat sinks work

by:Mingfa Tech     2019-11-03
Heat conduction can be transmitted in three different ways: convection, radiation and conduction.
Conduction is the way heat is transmitted in a solid, and therefore the way heat is transmitted in a radiator.
When two objects of different temperatures are in contact with each other, conduction is generated.
At the point where two objects meet, molecules with faster movement of warmer objects collide with molecules with slower movement of colder objects.
When this happens, the faster the molecule moves from a warmer object, the more energy the slower the molecule moves, which in turn heats the cooler object.
This process is called thermal conductivity, which is the way the radiator transmits heat from a computer processor.
The radiator is usually made of metal, which acts as a thermal conductor and takes the heat away from the CPU.
However, there are pros and cons of using each metal.
First, the thermal conductivity of each metal is different.
The higher the thermal conductivity of the metal, the higher the efficiency of heat transfer.
One of the most common metals in radiators is aluminum.
The thermal conductivity of aluminum is 235 watts per meter of Kelvin (W/mK). (
In this case, the thermal conductivity figure 235 refers to the thermal conductivity of the metal.
Simply put, the higher the heat conductivity of the metal, the more heat the metal can conduct. )
Aluminum is also cheap to produce and light to weight.
When the radiator is connected, its weight imposes a certain degree of stress on the motherboard, which is designed to adapt to this stress.
However, the lightweight structure of aluminum is beneficial because it adds very little weight and pressure to the motherboard.
One of the best and most common materials used to make radiators is copper.
The thermal conductivity of copper is as high as 400 W/mK.
However, it is heavier and more expensive than aluminum.
However, copper is often used for operating systems that require a large amount of heat dissipation.
So, once the heat is transmitted from the processor through the radiator, where?
The fan inside the computer drains the air from the computer through the radiator.
Most computers also install an extra fan right above the radiator to help the processor cool normally.
The radiator with these extra fans is called the active radiator, while the radiator with a single fan is called the passive radiator.
The most common fan is the chassis fan, which draws cold air from outside the computer and blows it out through the computer to drain the hot air from the back.
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