Computers & Mobile
Cooler lapping tutorial

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Pasteler0 writes – “Have you ever looked down in the base of your computer cooler? They aren’t always clean and shining. This DIY tutorial shows how to make it look like a mirror and this way have more contact with the heat source and low more the computer temperature. Step-By-Step with many pictures.”Link.

6 thoughts on “Cooler lapping tutorial

  1. Only problem one problem with this. You do get more heat flow with more surface area in contact with the heatsource, but by lapping the surface mirror-smooth, you actually decrease the surface area. (take a piece of paper. It covers an area when flat (say 8.5″ x 11″ for US letter size). Now accordion fold it. Same surface area, but it covers a much smaller overall area. By lapping the contact area, you effectively flatten the page over the smaller area.

    This is why we normally leave the surface rough, but clean. (Usually Isopropyl is enough to clean it properly.) To increase the heat flow, we use heat sink grease, a silicon fluid of sorts with a high content of finely-ground solid zinc oxide particles (that’s why it’s white.) This ‘fills in the gaps’ formed by the rough surfaces, effectively mating the two surfaces as if they were grooved to fit together. Thermal tape doesn’t make as good a transfer of heat as heat sink grease. Neither will this. (I have to wonder if the mirror finish isn’t actually reflecting heat back into the object!)

    This is why heat sink grease is still on the market. Nothing works as well, even if it is greasy, hard to get out of clothes, and unpleasantly obvious if you aren’t neat with it!

  2. One interesting property of aluminum is the fact that when it is polished (as above) the surface isn’t as flat as it can be.

    Truth is, when an aluminum surface is as flat as it can possibly be, it not all that shiny. Sorry, to spoil your heatsink polishing parade.

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