We are living in a world where the number and use of electronics are increasing day by day. Our lives are totally dependent upon electronic devices. When any type of electronic device is working then there is heat dissipation that comes out of it. It is very important to manage this heat for the safety of the device as if it is removed the component may get overheated.

The heat sink is the best way to manage heat dissipation. It is a device that is specifically designed to dissipate or absorb unwanted heat from any electric device to get heat sink satisfactory results. It is important to know the basics about this device. The given article describes almost everything that you want to know about a heat sink.

What Is A Heat Sink?

A heat sink is a component that is attached to electrical devices for transferring heat from the electric components into the surrounding. Our surrounding environment is mostly air but it can be other fluids like water or any other coolant in which the heat sink transfers the heat of an electric device.

Most heat sinks are passive in nature which means that they do not have any moving parts. Now advanced heat pipe heat sinks are available that work using capillary action. Heat sinks can be combined with the fan that works by blowing off the hot air into the surrounding or they may be combined with the liquid cooling solution that takes the heat away through pipes like in the case of heat pipe heat sink.

Working Of a Heat Sink

The working of a heat sink is simple. When the source is generating the heat it will work to take the heat away from the source. The heat is transferred from the source into the heat sink, this is possible because the heat sink material has higher thermal conductivity so the heat will transfer by conduction.

Now the heat will distribute throughout the heat sink using the conduction transferring method. Next, the heat is removed from the heat sink into the surrounding environment which can be a liquid or air. Whatever the surrounding environment is, the heat will transfer from the surface of the heat sink into the environment by diffusion or convection this is possible because of the temperature gradient.

What Are The Different Types Of Heat Sinks?

Heat sinks are used in different systems and devices but there is not a particular heat sink that is used in all systems. There are different heat sinks and you can choose what is best for your system according to your need. Following are the three main types of heat sinks:

Active Heat Sinks

In an active heat sink, a special system is installed commonly a fan that produces forced air that moves across the heat sink for the removal of heat.

Passive Heat Sinks

In the passive heat sink, there is no special system for the creation of air current like it is in the active heat sinks. It works simply on the ability of hot air to float because of this reason passive heat sinks are less effective as compared to active heat sinks.

Hybrid Heat Sink

The hybrid heat sink is a combination of passive and active heat sinks. It is not commonly used but the system where we need to initiate the cooling system according to the temperature requirements hybrid heat sinks are installed. Normally it works on the passive system but once the source generates a higher temperature then the active mechanism of heat dissipation turns on.


No doubt heat sink is a very beneficial component of electrical devices. It works to remove the heat from the system to prevent any type of damage that can occur because of overheating. More information about heat sinks is provided in the above article.


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