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What's the Thermal Conductivity of the Solder in Your Heatsink? - What's the Thermal Conductivity of the Solder in Your Heatsink?
Sun Dec 12, 2010 | 5:13P| PermaLink

Since it is not feasible to form a copper base plate with integral heatpipes, we can only hope that companies are properly soldering joints and using high thermal conductivity solder for that purpose. Without general access to the formula of solder used on a heatsink we can't say either way... but just like thermal interface materials, different alloys solder offer improved thermal conductivities.

There's a good article on that goes into detail on the subject of thermal conductivities of different solder alloys that we recommend for further reading. The chart above breaks it down clearly. In pre-RoHS days the most common solder used in heatsink manufacture was Tin-Lead (SnPb), it has a thermal conductivity of 50 W/mk. For comparison's sake Aluminum and Copper have thermal conductivities of 247 W/mK and 398 W/mK respectively. Good quality thermal compound generally has a thermal conductivity of between 1-4 W/mK, which is why it's so important to apply it sparingly!

In post-RoHS manufacturing Lead is most definitely out, so it's quite possible heatsinks are being made with low melting temperature Bismuth-Tin (BiSn) solder that has a relatively poor thermal conductivity of 19 W/mK... so ask yourself - what's the thermal conductivity of the solder used in your heatsink?

Feedback welcome.


Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3 - Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3
Fri Mar 12, 2010 | 12:00P| PermaLink
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have all your DVD's, photos, video's and music all stored in one place, and available to view in another? It seems the gods at Asus have been listening, lets see how their latest O!Play Air fares...

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