I was wondering what would be a really good metal (Or
disapating heat. Such as a heat sink. Everybody uses Aluminum but
I was wondering what would be better (Preferably a lot better).
Also, I looked in a chemistry book concerning this question and
I am afraid I was not able to figure anything out. Could you tell
me what to look for on the subject? (Ahhh. This is where I have
the chance to LEARN something!)
Aluminum is used because it is inexpensive other alternatives are the
noble metals: copper, silver and gold. Now you understand why Aluminum
One rule of thumb on heat sinks is that a material that is a good conductor
of electricity is also a good conductor of heat. So copper, gold, silver,
etc. are going to be good conductors of heat, but they will be limited by
their melting points. Each material has a property called thermal
conductivity. You can look in most heat transfer or thermodynamic books to
find a listing of these numbers. Look into a heat transfer book on
conduction and Fourier's law.
Cannot tell you what the "best" metal is due to lack of information and not
being an expert on the subject. However, you can get an idea of the heat
transfer capabilities of various metals by reading textbooks or other
material on the subject of conductive heat transfer or possibly radiant heat
transfer. I do not believe convection heat transfer (like in a convection
oven) will work for you based on what general information you provided.
Copper is better because it's a better conductor of heat. The best by
far is diamond. It's thermal conductivity, especially at very low
temperatures, is unbelievable. Look for thermal conductivity in a
physics reference book.
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Update: June 2012