Photo etching is a very effective means of producing parts with complex topographies such as heat transfer, exchange and radiating devices. Surface area is a key aspect of the rate of thermal conductivity for a particular mass. The ability to create etched features such as raised pin fins, channels and other surface effects during the etching process has a relatively minor effect on mass, but can have a dramatic impact on surface area.
In the example pictured below, about 2,000 etched pin fins increase the effective surface area by nearly 25%. This particular plate, photo-etched in aluminum and used on the space shuttles, has radiating surfaces on both sides.
THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY OF MATERIALS
Alloying and temper will affect thermal conductivity.
All other things being equal, a copper device will be three times heavier than an aluminum one.
CONARD’S ETCHING RANGE
Locational tolerances, regardless of material thickness will be +/-.001” to drawing nominal. Dimensional tolerances at .063” will run +/-.012” and up to +/-.016″ at .080″.
APPLICATIONS FOR ETCHED THERMAL DEVICES