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  1. #1
    Member newbienerd's Avatar
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    What are heat sinks made of???

    What kind of metal are heatsinks usually made of? Can they be made from magnetizable material? Will it cause interference?

    The thing is, I have some sheet metal (steel) that I want to turn into small homemade heatsinks. they will be glued onto my pci chips and any chips that get too warm for my taste... I already know what to do, but the question in my head is the material?

    What's a good, yet not so expensive metal to use to construct heatsinks from? Best conductivity? last long? workable yet strong?

    thanks...

  2. #2
    Registered FLG's Avatar
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    Usually aluminum or copper, or a mixture of both. (copper base aluminum fins)

    Copper is a great material for conducting heat, so it can pull the heat off of things faster than aluminum.

    But aluminum is a better material for dissipating heat.

    The best is silver, but the price outways the results.

  3. #3
    Member enduro's Avatar
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    Well, since copper and aluminum are two of the most common materials in heatsinks you could start there. You can buy copper at any hardware store and bend it into shape, or you could save yourself the time, effort, and possibly warped contact point which would require lapping and buy a heatsink which isn't that expensive because they can buy the aluminum/copper in bulk while you have to pay the full price. Just depends on if your low on money or low on time. As to the magnitizable metals, I have no idea, but making an iron heatsink might be a little heavy depending on where you're putting it.

  4. #4
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    Magnetized would create a lot of EMI, not a good idea.

  5. #5
    Member -=Ambush=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by man_utd
    Magnetized would create a lot of EMI, not a good idea.

    Yes, magnets+electronics=bad.

  6. #6
    Member G-PHoRCe's Avatar
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    you will end up burning all the chips in your computer, and bang your head against the wall

  7. #7
    Member Korndog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLG
    But aluminum is a better material for dissipating heat.
    not true, aluminum is more widly used because of its weight and costs as well as ease to machine.
    Dissipation is restricted by the air, although copper is a better conductor, both aluminum/copper will have the same dissipation rate.
    Last edited by Korndog; 06-05-04 at 01:18 AM.

  8. #8
    Member Dubbin1's Avatar
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    Just buy an el cheapo stock hs and cut it into smaller pieces that you can use.
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  9. #9
    Member newbienerd's Avatar
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    where can I buy this el cheapo stock HS???

  10. #10
    Member a c i d.f l y's Avatar
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    Never, ever, ever, ever, never neva nevah nevah evah, use STEEL for anything related to the transfer of heat away from anything. It is iron+tin, neither of which have heat conductivity that is worth a flip. Plus it is assininely difficult to manufacture and manipulate. Buy sheets of alluminum if you want to fugg around.

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  11. #11
    Easypckits Guy insulglass's Avatar
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    Make friends with the guys at your local computer repair shop. Tell them you want old heat sinks, especially those with dead fans. Do this right after you buy something small that you really need, and they will probably be glad to give you all you want out of their scrap or trash bin. You can often salvage small heat sinks and sizeable chunks of aluminum out of old power supplies... dead AT power supplies are worthless but contain lots of good usable parts.

    If you really want to experiment with building your own, you can also set up an account with an industrial supplier like McMaster-Carr if you are in the USA. They sell copper and aluminum in a variety of small shapes and sizes. But, I suspect that salvaging will be the cheapest way to go.

    You can use a good thermal epoxy such as Arctic Silver Adhesive to attach them and still maintain good thermal conductivity through the adhesive joint. It will be a permanent attachment, though.

    Dave
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  12. #12
    Member Yamiyanazz's Avatar
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    I think there was somplace that I visited that showed that Diamond was a hella great heatsink material, but costed too much...maybe chips should get really small so we can use diamond heatsink...Ahhh the power!



    Edit: Here is a link I just found of materials and their heat conduction. http://hypertextbook.com/physics/thermal/conduction/

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  13. #13
    Member Dubbin1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamiyanazz
    I think there was somplace that I visited that showed that Diamond was a hella great heatsink material, but costed too much...maybe chips should get really small so we can use diamond heatsink...Ahhh the power!



    Edit: Here is a link I just found of materials and their heat conduction. http://hypertextbook.com/physics/thermal/conduction/
    There have been a couple long threads right here on the subject of diamond heatsinks. Really its a waste to even discuss because it will never happen.
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  14. #14
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    That and if it overheated too much you would have a coal powered heatsink..

  15. #15
    Easypckits Guy insulglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by man_utd
    That and if it overheated too much you would have a coal powered heatsink..
    Without Googling... I seem to remember that diamond lattice structures break down at about 800C. For which of course, your CPU would be long dead anyway.

    But looking at the chart referred to above, carbon nanotubes may show promise if they can get the delivery right.

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  16. #16
    Member Korndog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by insulglass
    Without Googling... I seem to remember that diamond lattice structures break down at about 800C. For which of course, your CPU would be long dead anyway.

    But looking at the chart referred to above, carbon nanotubes may show promise if they can get the delivery right.

    Dave
    insulglass@easypckits.com
    those have been under research for years now.. any ideas when they'll start using it?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Ambush=-
    Yes, magnets+electronics=bad.
    magnets+no shelding+electronics = bad


    think about how many magnets are in or near your PC.

  18. #18
    Member Lejend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubbin1
    There have been a couple long threads right here on the subject of diamond heatsinks. Really its a waste to even discuss because it will never happen.
    Not true. Diamonds found in nature are quite common, but DeBeer's drives the prices up, so natural diamonds won't make it to the heatsink market. However, Industrial diamonds are quite easy to make in large quantities, and since they aren't pretty looking, no one wants them for jewelry. I could believe industrial diamonds might make it to the heatsink market, especially if cpu temps continue to rise tempreture wise.
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  19. #19
    Moderator/ Silver Paste Taster© Silversinksam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lejend
    Not true. Diamonds found in nature are quite common, but DeBeer's drives the prices up, so natural diamonds won't make it to the heatsink market. However, Industrial diamonds are quite easy to make in large quantities, and since they aren't pretty looking, no one wants them for jewelry. I could believe industrial diamonds might make it to the heatsink market, especially if cpu temps continue to rise tempreture wise.
    Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen


    Anyway here's a good chart for newbienerd:

    Thermal Properties of Materials
    Thermal Conductivity, W/cm-K
    Metals
    Aluminum 2.165
    Beryllium 1.772
    Beryllium-copper 1.063
    Brass 70% copper, 30% zinc 1.220
    Copper 3.937
    Gold 2.913
    Iron .669
    Lead .343
    Magnesium 1.575
    Molybdenum 1.299
    Monel .197
    Nickel .906
    Platinum .734
    Silver 4.173
    Stainless Steel-321 .146
    Stainless Steel-410 .240
    Steel, low carbon .669
    Tin .630
    Titanium .157
    Tungsten 1.969
    Zinc 1.024
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  20. #20
    Member dalek2.0's Avatar
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    I read on another forum, old posts though, that aluminum was !better! than copper. It was a old thread but I hope they saw the light by now.

    From what I have read and in my experience, aluminum may get rid of it faster but copper absorbs it faster. That is just my opinion though. No science to bak that up for sure.

    Diamonds may make it one day, but as was said, don't hold your breath. It would be cool though. SOmebody could take a really cool blue LED or something and make that diamond shine.

    Just something to think about.

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