WHITE PAPER: Liquid-Forged LED heat sinks offer thermal advantages

Aluminum heat sinks manufactured by a liquid-forging process offer a number of heat-transfer advantages in comparison to products manufactured by competing techniques, according to Exploit Technologies.

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Heat sink examples created by Liquid Forging
Heat and light are often synonymous. While the need for high-powered LED lighting gains traction, one of the key challenges faced by lighting manufacturers today is thermal management.

A thermally-stressed LED light quickly loses efficiency and has diminished lumens-per-watt output, affecting its brightness. If LED thermal management is unable to meet the temperature specifications of the LED, a breakdown, or other undesirable effects – such as internal solder-joint detachment, damage to die-bond epoxy or lens yellowing – may occur.

For this reason, many LED applications require high-performance heat sinks capable of removing heat from the LEDs. Aluminum heat sinks manufactured by a liquid-forging process offer a number of heat-transfer advantages in comparison to products manufactured by competing techniques.

Why Liquid Forging?

Liquid Forging is an innovative metal-forming process, developed by the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), which allows complex geometries with pore-free parts to be produced with minimal material wastes. This process harnesses wrought aluminum alloy to create a liquid melt, which can be easily fashioned into a comprehensive range of products that allows for flexibility in design.

Some advantages of liquid-forged heat sinks relative to other conventional processes include:

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Improved thermal performance

Liquid-forged heat sinks offer improved thermal performance i a variety of ways:

  • Aluminum-wrought alloys conduct heat faster than cast alloys used in die casting. Also by incorporating a copper base, the heat sink achieves 4 times better thermal conductivity.
  • Intricate fins and pins deliver a higher aspect ratio, increasing the surface area for ambient heat transfer. With no centre core, heat removal by convection is also improved compared to heat sinks made by conventional processes.
  • Porous-free microstructure eliminates air pockets for rapid, continuous heat transfer through the heat sink to the surroundings.
  • Anodized heat sinks can further improve thermal performance by an additional 10-15%.
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More information on this process can be obtained by downloading the Liquid Forging whitepaper.

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