This study investigates the heat transfer characteristics of aluminum-foam heat sinks with restricted flow outlets under impinging-jet flow conditions. An annular flow-restricting mask is used to control the height of the flow outlet of the aluminum foam sink, forcing the cooling air to reach the heat-generation surface. The enhanced heat transfer characteristics of aluminum-foam heat sinks using these flow-restricting masks are measured experimentally in this work. The effects of porosity, pore density and length of sample, air velocity, and flow outlet height on the heat transfer characteristics of aluminum-foam heat sinks are investigated. Results show that the effect of the flow outlet height is stronger than that of the pore density, porosity, or height of the aluminum heat sinks studied in this work. A general correlation between the Nusselt number and the Reynolds number based on the equivalent spherical diameter of the aluminum foam is obtained for 32 samples of aluminum-foam heat sinks with different sample heights (2040mm), pore densities (540ppi(poreinch)), porosities (0.87–0.96), and flow outlet heights (540mm). It should be noted that, based on the measured velocity profile, the increase of the Nusselt number of the aluminum-foam heat sink with the decrease in the flow outlet height is caused by the reduced convective resistance at the solid-gas interface through the increased velocity near the heat-generation surface. The reduction in flow outlet height increases the local thermal nonequilibrium condition near the heat-generation surface.

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