The impact of the thermal interface material (TIM) layer on the performance of a stepwise varying width microchannel cooling device is analysed. A numerical model shows that the TIM layer, besides its well known negative impact on the temperature, also generates a smoothing effect on the temperature distribution. In this study, an analytical model is used to define a nondimensional parameter, called Smoothing Resistance ratio, as the quotient between the origin of the temperature non uniformities and the TIM thermal resistance that flatten the temperature distribution. The relationship between the temperature uniformity of the cooled device, expressed through the temperature standard deviation, and the Smoothing Resistance ratio is shown to be linear. These results lead to the definition of a new design procedure for this kind of cooling device, which aims to reduce the Smoothing Resistance ratio. Two solutions are identified and their drawbacks are analysed.
Thermal Resistance Heat Sink Temperature Uniformity Cooling Device Heat Spreading
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