As silicon production becomes cheaper, electronics use will become more widespread and diversified, such as through the use of 5G technologies, the internet of things, and the growth of enterprise computing through the cloud. As the demand for electronics grows, so too will the need for diverse thermal management technologies. Current thermal management methods range from passive elements such as heatsinks, to active two phase systems. Within the domain of heatsinks there exists many different manufacturing methods and geometries to meet a range of thermal challenges. Several manufacturing methods for heatsinks include: extruding, skiving, and bonding fins to base-plates. Each manufacturing method involves its own pros and cons; skived heatsinks have high thermal conductivity and can achieve high aspect ratio fins, however are not geometrically complex. Bonded or folded fin heatsinks can achieve various geometries and form factors due to the freedom from bonding of the fins, however the bond introduces additional thermal resistance to the heatsink. This research strives to study the impact of adding an offset to typical skived fin geometries on the friction factor and heat transfer from the heatsink. An analytical model of parallel fin heatsinks is developed and used to validate a 3D turbulent heat transfer simulation of parallel and offset fin heatsinks. A figure of merit (FOM) is used to simultaneously compare the friction factor and Nusselt number of the different heatsinks. A suite of simulations on various geometries of parallel fin and offset fin heatsinks is conducted, and they demonstrates that adding the offset results in an increase in the FOM of 30.3\%. This demonstrates that an offset skived heatsink has better thermal performance without significantly increasing the pumping power required to cool the heatsink. This results in a heatsink that can cool higher thermal loads without increasing the energy consumed by the fans used to cool it.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission


Available for download on Friday, August 18, 2023