When certain fractal geometries are used in the design of fins or heat sinks, the surface area available for heat transfer can be increased while system mass can be simultaneously decreased. In order to assess the thermal performance of fractal fins for application in the thermal management of electronic devices, an experimental investigation was performed. The experimental investigation assessed the efficiency, effectiveness, and effectiveness per unit mass of straight rectangular fins inspired by the first four iterations of the Sierpinski carpet fractal pattern. The thermal performance of the fractal fins was investigated in a natural convection environment with thermal radiation accounted for. Fin performance was analyzed under power inputs of 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 W. While fin efficiency was found to decrease with fractal iteration, fin effectiveness per unit mass increased with fractal iteration. In addition, a fractal fin inspired by the fourth iteration of the Sierpinski carpet fractal pattern was found to be more effective than a traditional straight rectangular fin of equal width, height, and thickness. When compared to a traditional straight rectangular fin, or the zeroth fractal iteration, a fin inspired by the fourth fractal iteration of the Sierpinski carpet fractal pattern was found to be on average 3.63% more effective, 16.19% less efficient, and 65.99% more effective per unit mass. The amount of the total heat transfer attributed to thermal radiation was also dependent on fractal iteration. Thermal radiation accounted for, on average, 57.00% of the total heat transfer for the baseline case, or zeroth fractal iteration. Thermal radiation accounted for 53.67%, 50.33%, 48.84%, and 45.84% of the total heat transfer for the first, second, third, and fourth fractal iterations, respectively.
Experimental Effectiveness of Sierpinski Carpet Fractal Fins in a Natural Convection Environment
Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received December 31, 2015; final manuscript received April 11, 2017; published online May 16, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Gennady Ziskind.
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Calamas, D. M., Dannelley, D. G., and Keten, G. H. (May 16, 2017). "Experimental Effectiveness of Sierpinski Carpet Fractal Fins in a Natural Convection Environment." ASME. J. Heat Transfer. September 2017; 139(9): 092501. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4036595
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