According to experts, with the development of electronics, the problem of efficient heat dissipation becomes more and more acute – as technology performance increases, so does heat dissipation. Reducing the temperature has a direct impact on extending the lifecycle of devices. This is particularly important for household appliances, electric cars, and LED panels.
Scientists at NUST MISIS, in cooperation with LG Electronics, have created new high-thermal conductivity magnesium alloys that are more reliable and less expensive than their analogues, enabling them to significantly reduce the weight of devices.
"Aluminium has commonly been used to dissipate heat, but it is proving to be too massive for modern technology. Reducing the weight of devices can significantly reduce energy costs in operation, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions during transportation, which is becoming increasingly important today. Application of our alloys will make it possible to reduce the weight of heat-dissipating elements by a third without loss of efficiency", Viacheslav Bazhenov, Associate Professor at the Foundry Department [ВБ1] at NUST MISIS, said.
One of the challenges in operating magnesium alloys, as the scientists noted, is their ability to ignite in the air. By adding calcium and yttrium, scientists have been able to significantly increase ignition temperature, making the new materials suitable for use in a variety of applications without restriction.
"We wanted to create low-cost alloys, so we avoided using expensive elements that are usually used to alloy magnesium – neodymium, lanthanum, thorium, and others. We have obtained alloys of two compositions: the least expensive one, alloyed with silicon, zinc, and calcium (Mg-Si-Zn-Ca) and possessing high thermal conductivity and medium strength, and a slightly more expensive one, alloyed with zinc, yttrium, and zirconium (Mg-Zn-Y-Zr) and possessing high strength and slightly lower thermal conductivity", Viacheslav Bazhenov said.
The results of this work allowed LG Electronics to register patents for the high thermal conductivity magnesium alloy (Mg-Si-Zn-Ca) developed at NUST MISIS and a heat sink based on this alloy in the US, the EU, South Korea, and China.
The research team is currently working on new magnesium-based alloy compositions that offer low cost and high thermal conductivity as well as high strength and corrosion resistance.