Heatsink Colors


What is so important about heatsink color? In order to understand the role that the color of a heatsink plays in the overall functioning of a component's thermal requirements, it should be mentioned that conductivity and dispersion within and across a heatsink are primarily affected by the type of materials used, the shape of cooling fins and the level of surface area overall in addition to a variety of other factors. In addition to these features, the actual color of the device is often purported to be crucial in determining the effectiveness of a heatsink. Indeed, one of the secondary aspects of designing a thermal dissipation system is not just the shape, size and substance of the device, but the actual heat sink color that is put in to play.

Some say that because the thermal emission of a heatsink works by convection - air particles traveling over its surface - rather than radiation, the color of a heatsink is unimportant. Others contend that color is important. This latter school of thought claims that black is the best choice because it takes in and gives off heat better than any other color. When compared to other colors, results for the black-coated heatsinks show up much better against the rest. That's because black not only demonstrates the best heat absorption, therefore displaying the highest difference between the heatsink temperature and that of the air surrounding it, but it also showed the highest rates of dissipation.

But black isn't the only color of heatsinks chosen by manufacturers in the industry today. Purple is another highly popular choice. Dark in nature, this heatsink color should produce similar effects to black while being aesthetically pleasing in appliances where the heatsink actually is visible. As such, blue is also used in certain designs that require this color to make the whole component a visually satisfactory product Many companies that sell heatsinks offer a selection of colors - more for glamour than practicality, it seems - so that the consumer has a choice of how his or her component will look.