Optimization and Robust Design of Heat Sinks for Automotive Electronics Applications 2004-01-0685
The increasing power requirement for automotive electronics (radios, etc.), combined with ever-shrinking size and weight allowances, is creating a greater need for optimization and robust design of heat sinks. Not only does a heat sink directly affect the overall performance and reliability of a specific electronics application, but a well-designed, optimized heat sink can have other benefits - such as eliminating the requirement for special fans, reducing weight of the application, eliminating additional heat sink support structures, etc.
Optimizing heat sink efficiency and thermal performance offers a challenge, due to the many competing design requirements. These requirements include effecting greater temperature reductions, accommodating vehicle packaging requirements and size limitations, generating a uniform heat distribution, etc., and all the while reducing the heat sink cost. Furthermore, a good design would also consider the possible effects on performance of dimensional variations, which result from the manufacturing processes in use - such as die casting, extrusion and stamping.
This paper examines these design issues, and outlines an optimization and robust design framework for heat sink design, using the capabilities of iSight, and additional in-house heat sink design software. The case of an optimization, and robust design studies, on a radio heat sink will be examined in this paper.