cooling, copper or aluminum

Sometimes the question comes up, whether to use copper or aluminum for cooling purposes. Two figures are generally important, the heat conductivity and the heat capacity.


Copper has


Aluminum has

Calculated conclusions

From the above values follows for the weight for the volume

Compensate the conductivity

Now let us increase the crossection for aluminum to
compensate the lesser conductivity. Thus we take 70% more aluminum and get the for a unit length of equally good conduction
So when heat has to be dumped, the more the better, the quicker
the better, the results are :
If weight or cost is a concern, aluminum is favoured,
if volume is a concern, copper is better.

The system should be fast

The application may require a good head conduction with lowest heat
capacity, for example when a dynamic systems should behave as fast
as possible. Thus let us now get the conduction to capacity ratio.
Related to weight we get for Related to volume we get for Here, in both cases copper is better suited for a fast system.

To be continued...

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last updated: 5.april.2005

Copyright (99,2005) Ing.Büro R.Tschaggelar