An aluminium alloy is a composition that is primarily made up of aluminium and to which other elements have been added to create an alloy. When the elements are mixed together while the aluminium is molten (liquid), the resulting solution is a homogeneous solid that can be cast. This is how the alloy is produced. The mass of the alloy may contain as much as 15 percent of components that are made up of other elements. Iron, copper, magnesium, silicon, and zinc are among the elements that have been added. When compared to the element in its pure form, aluminium alloys have improved properties such as strength, workability, corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and density thanks to the incorporation of additional elements. Aluminum alloys have a reputation for being lightweight and resistant to corrosion.

Aluminum alloys as heatsinks

Central processing units and graphics processing units use heat sinks to dissipate excess heat. You can find them in everything from headlights to stereos.

When it comes to the design of a heat sink, there are certain trade-offs that are unavoidable.


You need to strike a healthy equilibrium between the various factors that influence performance. Take into account that performance can be impacted by a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Surface treatment
  • air velocity
  • A protrusion design

When it comes to the selection of a material, aluminum is the option that is most frequently used. Aluminum extrusion is by far the most common method used in the production of heat sinks, so that’s something else to keep in mind.


Let’s talk about the advantages of aluminum over copper and why you might choose aluminum (another common choice). After that, we’ll discuss the various appropriate alloys from which you can make your selection.

Why go with aluminum instead of copper?

Both aluminum and copper have been lauded for their use as heat sinks in the past.


Copper, in particular, has superior thermal conductivity. In fact, copper’s thermal conductivity is about 60% higher than that of aluminum.

But aluminum is adaptable, lightweight, and inexpensive. And it retains a high degree of thermal conductivity. Because of this, it can be used in a wide variety of contexts.


Aluminum heatsink can be found in various forms. The most common method of production, however, is extrusion.

In large quantities, heat sinks can be extruded at a low unit cost. You may be unsure of which alloy to use when designing extruded heat sinks.

Use Right Aluminum Alloy for Your Heat Sinks?

If your first inclination is to find the alloy with the highest thermal conductivity, you should reconsider that strategy.


For instance, the thermal conductivity of 1050 aluminium is measured in units of 229 W/m•K. The mechanical properties of this alloy, however, make it unsuitable for use in heat sinks. Click here


In general, when looking for heat sinks, you should consider the alloys in the 6000 series. These alloys are readily available, have a reasonable amount of strength, and typically extrude very nicely. 

In the 6000 series of alloy numbers, some of the most frequently used include 6061 and 6063. They are typically used in the extrusion process. And it doesn’t matter which one you choose because both are going to be effective heat sinks.

Making Decisions That Are Beneficial to Your Project

It is important to keep in mind that there are other factors besides the choice of alloy that affect how heat is distributed.


The difference in thermal conductivity that exists between alloys in the 6000 series is not particularly significant. Improving performance, therefore, requires increasing the heat sink’s surface area as much as possible and working to improve the airflow that passes over it.


When you are designing the heat sink, you should make sure that it fits the hot component as closely as possible and that there is as little space between them as possible. Because of this, the completion of your project will be significantly facilitated.


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