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Micro-porous copper touts 10x heat energy transfer

Posted: 19 Nov 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:metallic  porous  copper 

Versarien's micro-porous metallic material achieves a heat transfer coefficient of approximately 150 to 200kW/m2K that is said to be up to 10 times more effective at transferring heat energy than conventional micro-channel heat sinks of equivalent size.

The VersarienCu product is based on proprietary process technology developed through metallurgy research conducted at the University of Liverpool.

In the patented Lost Carbonate Sintering (LCS) process that is employed to produce VersarienCu, copper particles are mixed together with non-metal particles and compacted into a near-net shape which is then baked to around 1000�C under vacuum to decompose the non-metal content. The process allows a homogeneous distribution of micro-fine pores throughout the copper base material, with an open cell porous metal structure, dramatically increasing the surface area of the material (and its heat-transfer capabilities) while reducing heat sink weight and physical dimensions compared to competing products for a given level of heat transfer. Depending on the mix and thermal treatment, pore diameters from 20µm to 1mm can be specified, with porosity levels of up to 85 per cent.

Currently, the material is offered in generic shapes, but the blanks can also be machined to further increase thermal performance or to match particular casing geometries. Although the VersarienCu material uses copper as the metal, the process has been proven with other metals such as aluminium or titanium, explains Neill Ricketts, CEO and founder of Versarien Ltd. The company is also experimenting with various profiles and surface textures to further extend the porous material's use cases. In the future, this could yield new package designs for power ICs or LED lighting, to name a few applications.

- Julien Happich
  EE Times

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