4 Eye-opening reasons why aluminum vapor chambers are better than copper vapor chambers
Updated: May 24
Currently, vapor chambers are being used in many wide-ranging applications from mobile phones, power generators, 5G data centers, and aerospace just to name a few. However, there's still a lack of clarity on what kind of vapor chamber best suits the application. Aluminum vapor chambers and copper vapor chambers are now the most common choices in the market. Depending on how you'd like to apply the vapor chamber, it should vary based on the application's thermal and spatial environment.
So, here's a short list as to why aluminum vapor chambers are better than their copper counterparts and how they can fit better depending on your desired application.
1. Better Flexibility in shape & size
Aluminum is well-known for its flexibility and it is the 2nd most malleable metal on earth. Because of its bendable and moldable properties, vapor chambers made of aluminum are often seen in various sizes and shapes. Copper on the other hand is an extremely tough metal. Forming a large variety of shapes with copper is possible however, the process is much more difficult and requires more specified machining. Even then, the shapes produced are still limited.
In terms of thermal conductivity, aluminum is lower than copper. However, aluminum's flexibility in design and structure compensates for this drawback by allowing us to add refrigerant charging and internal groove.
If your thermal application requires an unusual size or shape, aluminum vapor chambers are the best way to go.
Pic: Various shapes and forms of vapor chambers can be molded into if it's made of aluminum.
2. Lower cost
Aluminum is readily available and due to its metal composition, it is much easier to mold and prepare as compared to copper. Copper has a much harder and bulkier metal composition, requiring larger and more sophisticated tools to cut and mold. These tools often cost more than aluminum molding tools.
Aluminum is the preferred choice if your application has a lower budget and a higher quantity of mass production.
Based on weight properties, copper is twice as heavy as aluminum due to its ductile strength. While that may be favorable for some heavy-weight applications, it has huge flaws when concerning the current trend towards lighter and smaller devices.
Since aluminum is much lighter than copper, aluminum vapor chambers are more favored when applying to mobile devices and transportation vehicles.
In terms of raw materials, aluminum is more readily recyclable as compared to copper. The reason being is copper has more than twice the melting point of aluminum. Thus, it would take twice the amount of energy to fully meltdown and fully recycle the copper.
Deciding on the right vapor chamber, whether aluminum or copper or even a mixture of both is an important step in deciding the best thermal management system.
Here at LEA, we pride ourselves on being able to serve you through our vapor chamber technology. If you'd like more details on the aluminum/copper vapor chambers and how they can meet your thermal needs, feel free to contact us at email@example.com