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Extruded heat sinks are the most common heat sink used for thermal management today. They are manufactured by pushing hot aluminum billets through a steel die to produce the final shape. The most common aluminum alloy is 6063-T5, but other 6XXX alloys can also be examined as needed. When the material is extruded, the initial sticks are 30-40 feet and length and are very soft. The material is stretched by grabbing both ends to produce a straight stick. After stretching, the material can be either air or over aged depending upon the required final hardness of the material. After the aging process, the material is cut to the final length and any final fabrication (holes, pockets, or other secondary machining) can be done. Extruded heat sinks are usually supplied with a “finish” such as anodizing which can enhance its thermal performance. The heat sinks can also be supplied with a chromate finish which provides some corrosion protection or can be used as a primer before a final paint or powder coating is applied. While each extruded shape is unique to the requirements that it was designed for, extruded heat sinks are the most cost-effective cooling solution. Each shape is engineered to achieve the optimal thermal and structural performance.

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