How to Select the Right Type of Heat Sink?

How to Select the Right Type of Heat Sink?

For your electronics system, you must find the best available parts and especially those tools that are providing protection to your device such as a heat sink. A heat sink is involved in the heat dissipation process of the system and removes the unwanted heat from it to avoid any overheating and damage.

The heat sink is available in different forms and types such as you can get an extruded heat sink or finned heat sink for fin density. Whatever choice you made has a great impact on the efficiency and working of your device. If you are confused and want to know how you can select the right type of heat sink then the given article can be helpful for you.

What Is A Heat Sink Compound?

There are a lot of other names that are used for heat sink compounds such as heat paste, heat sink paste, thermal grease, etc. A heat sink compound is a stick paste that is present as an interface between the heat source and the heat sink.

These are added to fill out the air voids that are left in the heat sink construction. The spaces are mostly found between the surface area of the heat sink and the heat source. They can be composed of zinc oxide, aluminum, graphite, copper, silicon oil, etc. They have a specific shelf life and after that, they need to be reapplied.

Selection of the Right Heat Sink

Heat sinks are mostly made of aluminum or copper metal; they have pins or fins for the purpose of increasing their surface area and facilitating heat transfer to the surrounding environment. Heat sinks are used in a variety of electrical devices such as CPUs and other motors.

There are different types of heat sinks and they also vary depending on the material they are made from and the manufacturing method. Such as an aluminum heat sink or skived fin heat sink. So sometimes it becomes a difficult task to select what is the best heat sink type. There are a lot of things that you have to keep in mind while selecting the proper heat sink.

Following are the important things that you should keep in mind while selecting a heat sink:


To select the right heat sink you have to use certain formulas and calculations. You need to find the power dissipation and the thermal resistance using different formulas for the accommodation of power dissipation both for the selection of the heat sink and the heat sink compound.

Increase Surface Area

For proper heat transfer, it is important that you select the heat sink that has increased surface area. For instance, according to the geometrical point of view, you can choose a heat sink that has pins or fans like a skived fin heat sink. These types of heat sinks have more surface area.

Material Type

The type of material which is used in the manufacturing of heat sinks has a great effect on their working. It is recommended to select the material that has high thermal conductivity. Copper can be the best solution but in comparison, aluminum is less costly and also with higher thermal conductivity metal.

Active Heat Dissipation

You can look for a heat sink that has fans or pins or use any other alternative material. Any other system can be added for the forced cooling system via convection. All these additions can improve the heat sink design.

It has been found that powered fans let more air flow rate over the surface of heat sinks so the heat transfer rate will increase on the surface and more heat will be moved away from the heat sink.


It is important to be careful while selecting a heat sink. Heat sinks are available in different types of materials and forms. The given article provides you the information by using which you can know what heat sink is best for you.