Technical Briefs

Heat Spreader Based on Room-Temperature Liquid Metal

[+] Author and Article Information
Yueguang Deng

Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,  Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,  Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China

Jing Liu1

Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,  Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,  Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China;jliu@mail.ipc.ac.cnDepartment of Biomedical Engineering,  Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P.R. Chinajliu@mail.ipc.ac.cn


Corresponding author.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 4(2), 024501 (Apr 20, 2012) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006274 History: Received August 31, 2011; Revised January 20, 2012; Published April 19, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

This study reports a high-performance heat spreader based on room-temperature liquid metal coolant. Conceptual cooling experiments show that liquid metal heat spreader owns particularly excellent heat spreading performance. In order to evaluate the driving features of liquid metal, a miniaturized electromagnetic pump with high reliability and low power consumption was fabricated and tested. Extreme experiments were performed and showed that liquid metal heat spreader could overwhelm all the latest typical advanced spreading technologies and serve as an ultimate heat spreading solution under extremely high heat flux density condition.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

(a) Concept of liquid metal heat spreader. (b) Inner channel structure of a typical liquid metal heat spreader.

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Figure 2

(a) Schematic of the experimental setup for metal spreader and liquid (water or liquid metal) spreader. The spreader main body has the size of 88 mm × 90 mm × 4 mm. A local heat source (10 × 10 mm2 , 10 W) is applied on one side of the spreader, while the other side is configured as a fan cooled fin radiator with larger heat dissipation area (0.12 m2 ). The liquid spreader has the same geometric configurations as metal spreader, but a liquid channel with the cross section of 2 mm × 10 mm is embedded. In addition, a peristaltic pump is required to realize a constant volume flow of 2.6 ml/s. Under this condition, the Reynolds numbers of water and liquid metal could be calculated as 430 and 1450, respectively, and both the Nusselt numbers are approximately 4.36 for laminar flow [12]. The spreader temperature is defined as the temperature in its hottest area directly contacting the heat source. This temperature is obtained from the temperature measuring groove in the figure. (b) Spreader temperature curves of metal spreader, water spreader, and liquid metal spreader when a thermal power of 10 W is applied. The “LM” in the figure denotes liquid metal.

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Figure 3

(a) Schematic view of the pump integrated liquid metal heat spreader and an individual electromagnetic pump. The electromagnetic pump main body has the size of 20 mm × 13 mm × 5 mm. Two permanent magnets (15 mm × 10 mm × 5 mm) generate a magnetic field of 0.7 T, while a pair of copper electrodes is arranged to form a direct current pathway. All the components could be fabricated based on milling or injection molding. The small corrosion behavior between copper electrode and liquid gallium could be eliminated with nickel plating. All the geometric structure of radiator, heat source, and temperature measuring configurations are the same as Fig. 2. (b) The spreader thermal resistance and pump power as a function of applied current. The spreader thermal resistance is defined as (Ts-Ta)/Q, where Q is the thermal power, and Ts,  Ta are spreader temperature and ambient temperature, respectively. The pump power is calculated as the product of input current and voltage.

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Figure 4

(a) Experimental platform for evaluating spreader capability on withstanding extremely high heat flux density. An electrical heating block with adjustable power input is implemented as the heat source (3.2 mm × 3.5 mm), while a large heat dissipation area of 0.36 m2 is realized with a conventional fan cooled radiator. A temperature measuring hole is set on the base plate so as to monitor the base plate temperature. The heat pipe has the diameter of 6 mm. In liquid (water or liquid metal) system, the two ends of heat pipe would be open, and a peristaltic pump is used to drive the liquid circulating in the pipe. (b) The base plate temperature of three spreaders under different input power of heat source. The temperature curves are divided into three sections based on different heat flux (low/middle/high heat flux section).



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