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  • Heatpipe clamp - material suggestion?

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by GarethW, Feb 10, 2014.

    1. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      I'm designing a simple sheet-metal clamp that holds a heatpipe firmly against a PCB component (an ASIC that get's damn hot if you're interested).

      Does anyone have any suggestions for an appropriate material for the clamp? I was thinking of using 1/2 hardened stainless steel, 0.5mm thick. This has a springy quality because it's 1/2 hardened, but I have no idea how well it will retain it's clamping force over time (I.E: would the material creep over the years and lose its clamping pressure?)

      Any thoughts or suggestions for a better material? I'm aware of similar products that use this material, but that doesn't mean it's the best choice in my opionion.
       
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    3. Erich

      Erich Well-Known Member

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      Gareth,

      1/2 hard stainless would be my first choice as well. Check it but I think you will find that the temps where creep is a problem for SS is well above the temps you will encounter.

      What quantities do you need to make?

      In high volumes it might be worthwhile to look at a plated high carbon spring steel. The lower material costs will be worth the hassle of plating.
       
    4. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      High carbon spring steel? Hmm ...that might be interesting.

      Thanks for your response Erich. Qty is around 10,000 per year max. Probably more like 100s to start with.

      What sort of grade high carbon spring steel do you think would be appropriate? Is it the sort material my local metalbasher would be able to work with to make a few prototypes, or does it need special tooling or heat treatment?
       
    5. NovaNath

      NovaNath Member

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      You could talk to spring manufacturers. They should be able to advise on spec and manufacturing options. The ones we used could do small qtys too!
       
    6. vpellicier

      vpellicier New Member

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      What is the max temperature rating on your ASIC? Highest I've ever seen (RF component) is 200C. I've used aluminum brackets/blocks/clamps in the past for that temperature range. And keep in mind that you want to reduce the contact resistance between the ASIC and the heat pipe / clamp by using a gap pad or thermal grease. If the heat pipe sits between the ASIC and the clamp, and is doing it's job, then the clamp shouldn't get that hot.
       

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