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International Heat Transfer Conference 15

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

Numerical Topology Optimization of Heat Sinks

Tijs Van Oevelen
Purdue University, West Lafayette, KU Leuven

Martine Baelmans
Department of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 300 box 2421, 3001 Leuven, Belgium; Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium; EnergyVille, Genk, 3600, Belgium

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC15.opt.009168
pages 5985-5999

KEY WORDS: Heat transfer enhancement, Optimal control, Topology optimization, Heat sink, Electronics cooling


The availability of flexible production techniques challenges their full exploitation during thermo-hydraulic design of micro heat sinks. In this context, a systematic approach capable to take advantage of the practically unlimited design freedom is highly desirable. Therefore, we propose to use topology optimization, a numerical design optimization method well-established in structural mechanics problems. In this paper, the fundamentals of topology optimization, and its application in thermo-hydraulic problems specifically, are pointed out. The method is applied to a practical heat sink model and the necessary adjoint gradient calculation framework is developed. Our results show that topology optimization can come up with innovative design concepts for maximizing the heat transfer of a constant temperature heat source.

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