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Heat Pipe Enhanced Conduction for Conduction Cooled Cold Plates
Keywords: Thermal Managment, Heat Pipes, Heat Spreader
Ruggedized military electronics require special design and packaging requirements. VMEbus architectures and VITA have developed standard packaging and guidelines for convection cooled, conduction cooled and liquid cooled boards, with thermal performance and thus packaging densities increasing accordingly. As component and board level powers increase cooling technology must keep pace. Although many electronic packages are liquid cooled externally it is a large reliability/ serviceability issue to take the next step to flow through cooling. This presentation will present a viable alternative to extending both the heat flux and overall power capabilities of conduction cooling by enhancing the conduction through the use of heat pipes. Most conduction cooled boards rely on thin (1/8 to 3/16) aluminum plates which are machined specifically for the board or board / enclosure combination. Some higher end applications have even started using graphite and graphite composites to enhance the effective conductivity of the spreader plate. 6061 Aluminum has a conductivity of 180 W/m*C, high end graphite composites can approach the conductivity of copper 380 W/m*C, but have structural issues. Heat pipes provide effective conductivities in the range of 10,000 to 20,000 W/m*C. Small diameter heat pipes flattened into aluminum mounting plates make an ideal spreader for high performance conduction cooled ruggedized military electronic applications. This presentation will review the benefits of heat pipe embedded spreader plates and discuss predictions and test data for some real world applications.
Scott Garner, Vice President
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
Lancaster, PA

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