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Thermal Performance and Pressure Drop of Galinstan-Based Microchannel Heat-Sink for High Heat-Flux Thermal Management

[+] Author Affiliations
Yoshikazu Hayashi, Navid Saneie, Yoon Jo Kim, Jong-Hoon Kim

Washington State University Vancouver, Vancouver, WA

Paper No. ICNMM2015-48404, pp. V001T07A012; 7 pages
  • ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels collocated with the ASME 2015 International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems
  • ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 6–9, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division, Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5687-1
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


We numerically investigated a novel galinstan-based microfluidic heat-sink. Galinstan is an eutectic alloys of gallium, indium, and tin. The thermal conductivity of galinstan is ∼27 times that of water, while the dynamic viscosity is only twice of water. Thus, heat transfer coefficient can be remarkably enhanced with a small penalty of pumping power. However, the specific heat of galinstan is significantly lower than that of water, which will inevitably undermine the cooling capability by increasing fluid outlet temperature (i.e., increase of caloric thermal management) and/or flow rate. As an alternative, therefore, galinstan/water heterogeneous mixture was proposed as a working fluid and the cooling performance was numerically explored with varying volume composition of galinstan. Effective medium theory for heterogeneous medium was used to evaluate the thermal conductivity of the mixture. The viscosity change with respect to the volume composition was also predicted considering both the viscosity of dispersed phase and interaction between the droplets. Classical models were used for the mixture density and specific heat calculations. Heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of laminar flow through a silicon microchannel heat-sink was simulated using Fluent. The length and width of the channel array are 10 mm and 9.5 mm, respectively. The cross-sectional area of each channel is 300 μm × 300 μm and the spacing between channels is 100 μm. The heat dissipation was 50 W and the pumping power was fixed at 5 mW for the comparison between the varying galinstan/water compositions. The results showed that more than 30% of the thermal resistance enhancement was attainable using the novel working fluid. Due to the compromise between the convective thermal resistance (effect of thermal conductivity) and the caloric thermal resistance (effect of viscosity and specific heat), the lowest junction temperature was marked at the galinstan composition of ∼35% by volume.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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