Investigating the Performance of Conventional and Hydrophobic Surface Heat Sink in Managing Thermal Challenges of High Heat Generating Components

Hamza Babar, Hongwei Wu, Wenbin Zhang

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In the pursuit of optimizing heat dissipation and improving performance in electronic devices, liquid-cooled heat sinks have garnered significant interest due to their potential to improve heat transfer efficiency. Presented study set out to assess the effectiveness of straight channel heat sinks as a thermal solution for high heat generating electronics components, while also investigating the impact of applying a hydrophobic coating on their performance. A series of tests were conducted at different heating powers (50W-250W) and flow rates (200-950 ml/min), while also considering different orientations and directions of flow. The investigation focused on analysing critical aspects such as heat transfer performance, wall temperature variations, thermal resistance, and pressure drop characteristics of straight channel heat sinks with conventional and hydrophobic-coated surfaces. The results showed that the Nusselt number increased with higher Reynolds numbers and heating powers, indicating improved heat transfer efficiency. However, the hydrophobic coating on the heat sink surface led to a reduction in the Nusselt number due to the formation and retention of bubbles, hindering heat transfer. The maximum average reduction of 20.85% in Nusselt number was noticed at 100W for the vertically positioned hydrophobic-coated
heat sink with downward flow comparative to conventional surface (CS) heat sink.
Additionally, the findings revealed that pressure drop is influenced by Reynolds
number and the presence of bubbles, with gravity playing a role in reducing pressure drop in certain orientations. A hydrophobic coating shows a small decrease in pressure drop, but bubble formation limits its effectiveness to some extent. Comparisons also indicated that the highest average decrease in pressure drop about 11.92% was observed for the same configuration, vertically positioned hydrophobic heat sink with downward flow, at 50W. Moreover, the study's findings have broader implications beyond electronics. Heat sinks are widely employed in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, renewable energy systems, and industrial processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124604
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Early online date18 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


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