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Multi-material heatsink design using level-set topology optimization

Multi-material heatsink design using level-set topology optimization

Santhanakrishnan, Mani sekaran, Tilford, Tim ORCID: 0000-0001-8307-6403 and Bailey, Chris ORCID: 0000-0002-9438-3879 (2019) Multi-material heatsink design using level-set topology optimization. IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, 9 (8). pp. 1504-1513. ISSN 2156-3950 (Print), 2156-3985 (Online) (doi:

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In this article we apply a Level-set topological optimization algorithm to the design of multi-material heat sinks suitable for electronics thermal management. This approach is intended to exploit the potential of metal powder additive manufacturing technologies which enable fabrication of complex designs. The article details the state-of-the-art in topological optimization before defining a numerical framework for optimization of two-material and three-material based heatsink designs. The modelling framework is then applied to design a pure copper and a copper-aluminum heatsink for a simplified electronics cooling scenario and the performance of these designs are compared. The benefits and drawbacks of the implemented approach are discussed along with enhancements that could be integrated within the framework. A benchmarking study is also detailed which compares the performance of topologically optimized heat sink against a conventional pin-fin heat sink. This is the first time that topological optimization methods have been assessed for multi-material heat sink design where both conduction and convection are included in the analysis. Hence, the reported work is novel in its application of a state-of-the-art Level-set topology optimization algorithm to design multi-material structures subject to forced convective cooling. This paper is intended to demonstrate the applicability of topological optimization to the design of multi-material heatsinks fabricated using additive manufacturing processes and succeeds in this objective. The paper also discusses challenges, which need to be addressed in order to progress this modelling as a design approach for practical engineering situations. The presented methodology is able to design thermal management structures from a combination of aluminum and copper that perform similarly to pure copper but utilizing less expensive materials resulting in a cost benefit for electronics manufacturers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: topological optimization, microelectronics, thermal management, engineering design, level-set method
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA)
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 13:06

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