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Metals That Transfer Heat
A Glossary & guide of principal heat conducting Metals and metallurgical terminology and plating & soldering techniques for best heat transfer.
Heat Transferring Metals:

Silver:
Silver (pronounced /ˈsɪlvɚ/) is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag (Latin: argentum, from the Ancient Greek:
ἀργήντος - argēntos, gen. of ἀργήεις - argēeis, "white, shining" ) and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it
has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. The metal naturally
occurs in its pure, free form (native silver) and as an alloy with gold (electrum), as well as in various minerals, such as argentite
and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a by-product of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining.



Copper:
Copper (pronounced /ˈkɒpɚ/) is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a ductile
metal with excellent electrical conductivity. Copper is rather supple in its pure state and has a pinkish luster which is (beside
gold) unusual for metals, which are normally silvery white. It is used as a heat conductor, an electrical conductor, as a building
material and as a constituent of various metal alloys.  Copper is the best heat conducter next to silver.

Copper is an essential trace nutrient to all high plants and animals. In animals, including humans, it is found primarily in the
bloodstream, as a co-factor in various enzymes and in copper-based pigments. However, in sufficient amounts, copper can be
poisonous and even fatal to organisms.

Copper has played a significant part in the history of mankind, which has used the easily accessible uncompounded metal for
thousands of years. Evidence has been preserved from several early civilizations of the use of copper. In the Roman era,
copper was principally mined on Cyprus, hence the origin of the name of the metal as Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus", later
shortened to Cuprum.

A number of countries, such as Chile and the United States, still have sizable reserves of the metal which are extracted through
large open pit mines. However, like tin, there may be insufficient reserves to sustain current rates of consumption.[1] High
demand relative to supply caused a price spike in the 2000s.[2]

Copper has a significant presence in decorative art. It can also be used as an anti-germ surface that can add to the anti-
bacterial and antimicrobial features of buildings such as hospitals.[3]



Aluminum:
Aluminium (ˌæljʊˈmɪniəm (help·info), /ˌæljəˈmɪniəm/) or aluminum (/əˈluːmɪnəm/ (help·info), see spelling below) is a silvery white
and ductile member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al; its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in
water under normal circumstances. Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, and the third most abundant
element therein, after oxygen and silicon. It makes up about 8% by weight of the Earth’s solid surface. Aluminium is too reactive
chemically to occur in nature as the free metal. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.[1] The chief source
of aluminium is bauxite ore.

Aluminium is remarkable for its ability to resist corrosion (due to the phenomenon of passivation) and its low density. Aluminum is
one of the beast heat conducting metals next to copper.  It's structural components made from aluminium and its alloys are vital
to the aerospace industry and very important in other areas of transportation and building. Its reactive nature makes it useful as
a catalyst or additive in chemical mixtures, including being used in ammonium nitrate explosives to enhance blast power.



Gold:
Gold (pronounced /ˈɡoʊld/) is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from its Latin name aurum) and atomic number 79. It is a
highly sought-after precious metal, having been used as money, as a store of value, in jewelry, in sculpture, and for
ornamentation since the beginning of recorded history. The metal occurs as nuggets or grains in rocks, underground "veins"
and in alluvial deposits. It is one of the coinage metals. Gold is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile substance
known. Pure gold has a bright yellow color traditionally considered attractive.

Gold formed the basis for the gold standard used before the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971. The ISO currency
code of gold bullion is XAU.

Modern industrial uses include dentistry and electronics, where gold has traditionally found use because of its good resistance
to oxidative corrosion.

Chemically, gold is a transition metal and can form trivalent and univalent cations upon solvation. At STP it is attacked by aqua
regia, forming chloroauric acid and by alkaline solutions of cyanide but not by hydrochloric, nitric or sulphuric acids. Gold
dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys, but does not react with it. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which will dissolve silver
and base metals, and is the basis of the gold refining technique known as "inquartation and parting". Nitric acid has long been
used to confirm the presence of gold in items, and this is the origin of the colloquial term "acid test," referring to a gold standard
test for genuine value as well as an excellent heat conductor with anti corrosive properties.





Anti Corrosive metals and techniques:

Gold plating:
Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver, by
chemical or electrochemical means.

Mechanical or chemical affixing of thin gold foils onto the surface of objects is instead known as gilding.



Chrome plating:
Chrome plating, often referred to simply as chrome, is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object.
The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, or increase surface Hardness why Nickel Plate?



Nickel Plating:
Nickel is electrodeposited (plated) for many reasons. First and foremost nickel provides a decorative appearance because of its
ability to cover imperfections in the base metal (leveling). This deposit can be made brilliant and when covered by a thin layer of
decorative chrome will maintain its brilliance even under severe conditions. When nickel is applied in "duplex" form, excellent
corrosion protection can also be achieved. This requires plating two different kinds of nickel (semi-bright and bright nickel).
Nickel deposits also offer more wearability than softer metals such as copper or zinc and thus can be used when wear resistance
is needed. Because nickel is magnetic, nickel can sometimes be plated where the ability to be magnetized is needed. Finally,
nickel can be made to plate with little or no stress and is therefore used for electroforming or for aerospace applications where
stress needs to be held to a minimum. In many applications, many of these requirements are required simultaneously so nickel is
often not plated for just one reason.

Why Nickel Plating?
Nickel plating looks Great!  And when taken to a molecular level transfers heat efficiently as well as provides excellent anti-
corrosive properties.  Nickel is less expensive than gold yet harder and more resistant.



Techniques:

Soldering:
Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together adhesively, by melting and flowing a filler metal into
the joint, the filler metal having a relatively low melting point. Soft soldering is characterized by the melting point of the filler
metal, which is below 400 °C (800 °F).[1] The filler metal used in the process is called solder.

Soldering is distinguished from brazing by use of a lower melting-temperature filler metal; it is distinguished from welding by the
base metals not being melted during the joining process. In a soldering process, heat is applied to the parts to be joined,
causing the solder to melt and be drawn into the joint by capillary action and to bond to the materials to be joined by wetting
action. After the metal cools, the resulting joints are not as strong as the base metal, but have adequate strength, electrical
conductivity, and water-tightness for many uses. Soldering is an ancient technique mentioned in the Bible[2] and there is
evidence that it was employed up to 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia. [3]


Heatpipes:
A heat pipe is a heat transfer mechanism that can transport large quantities of heat with a very small difference in temperature
between the hotter and colder interfaces.

Inside a heat pipe, at the hot interface a fluid turns to vapour and the gas naturally flows and condenses on the cold interface.
The liquid falls or is moved by capillary action back to the hot interface to evaporate again and repeat the cycle.  heatpipes are
now a common standard cooling process with most CPU and VGA heatsinks as well as some larger Chipset such as north or
south bridge main board or motherboard cooling.



The most commonly used metals in the computer industry:

Heatsinks for CPU, GPU & Chipset:
For example the most commonly metal use for CPU & GPU manufactures by default use aluminum due to its low cost and
lightness.  

However boutique high-end CPU Coolers and VGA Coolers tend to use Cooper base with cooper heatpipes filled with non
vaporesent liquid to assist the heat transfer process more efficiently.  After the heatpipe heats up the liquid flows to the top and
then is efficiently transferred to the heat fins.  The more fins the better and if the soldered joints are silver such as Noctua
heatsinks the better.  Remember Silver is the best heat conductor but is very expensive and by using silver soldered joints
keeps up in performance same as the use of a copper base instead of a silver base.  The heat fins can be copper or aluminum.  
Copper is as we know a better heat dissipater but in the case of heat fins we have to take into consideration the weight.  A
heatsink that is too heavy could cause an issue and since the heat has already been extracted form the CPU central processing
unit know as the CPU or GPU it's not that crucial and by using more fins made out of aluminum it balances out and gets almost
the same performance yet the heatsink remains relatively light.

Some manufactures of high-end heatsinks will also Nickel plate a heatsink such as
Noctua to provide ant-corrosive properties
thus avoiding corrosion, maintenance and reapplication of thermal paste.      

Chipset Heatsinks:
Chipset on main boards and Video reference cards as well as computer ram memory do not heat up no were near as much as a
CPU or GPU processor so the use of aluminum is usually sufficient.  However for more extreme cases the used of a full copper
heatsink is available and commonly used for extra cooling performance.


R&D Research and development:
Through research and development of revolutionary companies such as Noctua a manufacture of high end cooling heatsinks
and fans.  Manufactures have found the best possible technology and combinations of superior metals and techniques to
provide us with products at a relatively in-expensive price with excellent cooling performance. Now add some high quality
Thermal Compund in the mix and yuour jet set.

Here is an example of Noctua's latest achievement for the new Intel socket 1366 quad core i7 Processor.  

>> Click Here to view the Noctua NH-U12P SE CPU Cooler.


As you can see Noctua is using all the best techniques and metals provided in our article to archive best performance and a
balance of value and cost in mind as well as Quiet, resulting in the best CPU Cooler available on the market even out performing
other CPU Coolers with more heatpipes.   Yet the Noctua with only 4 heatpipes achieve more CPU cooling performance when
compared to other bigger, heavier cooler with as much as 10 heatpipes.

How is this done?  With quality built craftsmanship & design.
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Why not spare your hearing with Acoustic PC’s Quiet Computer Cooling and Soundproofing
Solutions. Acoustic PC Stocks Quiet Computer Parts. Quiet PC Fans, Quiet CPU Coolers, Quiet
Power Supply, Quiet Computer Cases, PC Sound Dampening insulation, Ant-vibration Noise
Reduction materials such as Silicone Fan Mounts, Sorbothane Feet for Ultra Low noise PC's. We
also sell Silent PC Hardware components and Gaming products such as Fanless Silent Video
cards, SSD Drives, Professional Gaming peripherals for serious Gamers. Audio products & more.
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