I have a cold body of constant temperature A and a hot surface several times it's area. What is the best way I can absorb the heat from that surface using A. Will sheets of metal like alluminium or copper help?

  • $\begingroup$ Metal heat sinks come to mind. I was amazed to find the most thermally conductive material under normal conditions is … Diamond! Closely followed by thin sheets of Graphite/Graphene. All this amusingly brings to mind a vision of nanoscopically thin diamond sheets attached together at one end where they become a thicker block of diamond, like a book. $\endgroup$
    – alan2here
    Jan 3 '19 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ I understand that water cooling (flowing cold water) is good too. Water can absorb a lot of energy before it changes temprerure much, and is good at taking thermal energy from hot objects as well. Also liquid nitrogen cooling in a similar way. $\endgroup$
    – alan2here
    Jan 3 '19 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ I was asking something not wet...Is it possible,because as of now if i put A on the sheet then only the part in comtact gets cold $\endgroup$
    – Nobody
    Jan 4 '19 at 5:27

A shape such as the one below will help. Make the piece from metal (copper). Insulate the edges.

metal adapter piece

As the differences in area get larger, this will eventually have diminishing returns in improvement. When the goal is high heat transfer, thinner is better. Of course, at some point, the thin piece will be the same as just putting the smaller cold piece directly on the larger hot piece. The trade off is between the heat transfer perpendicular versus lateral in the piece. When the goal is uniform temperature on the (larger) hot surface, thicker may be better. In the latter case, an optimal shape (curvature of the sidewalls) may be possible instead to minimize lateral temperature differences versus the perpendicular temperature difference.


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