2023 journal article
Porous-fin microchannel heat sinks for future micro-electronics cooling
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER, 202.
Porous-fin microchannel heat sinks offering high solid-fluid interfacial areas have the potential to be an integral part of future microelectronic cooling systems. Replacing solid with porous fins reduces the pressure drop penalty of the straight plate-fin microchannel heat sinks. However, prior research has shown that in some cases porous fins adversely affect the thermal performance of the microchannel heat sinks. The reduced effective thermal conductivity of the porous fins compared to the solid ones has been considered the main reason for the reduced thermal performance of porous-fin microchannels. In this work, a detailed study is conducted to assess the feasibility of using porous fins to simultaneously improve the thermal and hydraulic performances of the straight plate-fin microchannel heat sinks. Results revealed that the porous-fin microchannels outperform the solid-fin microchannels at small channel heights. However, at high channel heights, the low effective thermal conductivity of porous fins results in a weak vertical thermal diffusion. Consequently, replacing solid with porous fins degrades the thermal performance of the microchannel at high channel heights. Additionally, the porous-fin microchannels exhibit better thermal performance than the solid-fin microchannels at fin to fluid width ratios above 0.25. The increased coolant mass flow penetrated the porous fin section is the main reason for the enhanced heat transfer rate of the porous-fin microchannels at higher width ratios. Moreover, the porous-fin microchannels offer a lower pressure drop penalty than the solid-fin microchannels under all examined operating conditions. This research confirms the potential of substituting solid with porous fins to simultaneously improve the thermal and hydraulic performances of the straight plate-fin microchannel heat sinks.