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Old 06-12-2012, 10:26 PM #1
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Default Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

Hello everyone, now i know my rep is low. dont let that trouble you... i am purely making this topic to know if anyone might be interested on getting their copper or aluminum heatsinks gold plated?

why?

because gold has an extremely high thermal conductivity, its shiny, and its... GOLD. my dad owns a jewelry shop. and he has an electroplating machine, with 9ct, 14ct, 18ct and 24ct gold plating solutions. the process of plating copper is in two stages. first plate is by using a nickel ammonium sulphate mixed in with water or vinegar. not a 1:1 ratio obviously.

the nickel plating will prevent the copper from attacking the gold solution, it is merely used as a barrier between the gold and copper. after that, i shall be using my dads gold solutions to fully plate the heatsink, i will be using a 24ct gold solution as the purer the gold, the higher the conductivity.

know i know it may be thin plate of gold.. but it will add to the heat absorption, conductivity and dissipation. and when it comes to precious diodes, every little efficiency should be used.

I will need to try this out on my copper heatsink first of all, and iif it is a success, i will post up pics, and start taking orders is anyone should be interested, unfortunately i do not have a fancy metal lathe to produce heatsinks, so you would need to post me your heatsink and i shall do the plating and resend them to you free of charge.


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Old 06-12-2012, 10:37 PM #2
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

Is nickel plating always required prior to gold plating on copper? One would think the purpose of gold-plating is negated, as that layer of Nickel impedes thermal conductivity.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:57 PM #3
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

the nickel is needed as it acts as a barrier between the gold and copper.. the oxidation from copper will come through the gold and show up as orange/brown dots. you dont want that. the nickel plating will not make a huge difference to its thermal conductivity as gold is then added on top to eliminate that negative effect of nickel.

plus if you think about it, nickel would add more mass, which in turn would increase the latent heat capacitance

Last edited by xivlia; 06-12-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:27 PM #4
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

Also many copper computer heatsinks are nickel plated to prevent oxidation,
And computer heatsinks have to handle way more heat than a laser.
So I doubt that nickel plating has much of an effect, if any
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:34 PM #5
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

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Originally Posted by justinjja View Post
Also many copper computer heatsinks are nickel plated to prevent oxidation,
And computer heatsinks have to handle way more heat than a laser.
So I doubt that nickel plating has much of an effect, if any
and thats true, i in fact have water blocks on my cpu and gpu, and are all nickel plated copper.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:38 AM #6
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

What would be the benefit of gold plating a heatsink?

Performance is mostly limited by either size or airflow for plain oxidized aluminium, so where would the benefit be?
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:41 AM #7
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

more heat absorption, quicker heat dissipation. more mass even though its minute the latent heat capacity of the material is increased significantly as two types of materials are introduced, no airflow needed to get rid of heat. gold will throw away the heat more efficiently. my aim here is to make the heat transfer more efficient...
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:57 AM #8
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

Have you actually plated anything yet? Can you please post pictures?
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:05 AM #9
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

nope. not plated anything yet, i am waiting on my nickel ammonium sulphate to arrive so i can begin the nickel plating process, only then can i do the gold plating process... i will post pictures up once i have done it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:07 AM #10
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

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Originally Posted by xivlia View Post
gold has an extremely high thermal conductivity
And a 1k resistor has higher conductivity than a 10k resistor. That doesn't mean you can lower the resistance of a 10K resistor by putting a 1k in series with it.

The only reason you'd want to do this is because it's shiny.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:18 PM #11
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

what you talking about? im talking about thermal conductivity, not current or resistance.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:37 PM #12
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

Even if those few micrometers of plating mattered (and they don't), gold has lower thermal conductivity than copper, so other than "bling" factor, what are you even accomplishing here with the copper? For the aluminum, it has to be zincated, copper plated, and then gold plated. It's a pointless operation for thermal conductivity; you might as well just paint it black if you want it to radiate more.

So is this just for bling?
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:43 PM #13
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

painting it black would create thermal insulation between the heatsink and the paint... unless you used a thermal paint if there is even such a thing. i could use silver plating since it has higher specs than copper. but i am doing gold for looks, to prevent oxidation, and to increase latent heat cap.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:17 PM #14
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

Looks, oxidization, yes. But you're not going to increase "latent heat capacity" in any measurable amount with a few microns of plating of any substance. Let's not delude ourselves here.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:23 PM #15
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

many computer components are gold plated as well as nickel plated. theyre not only for look.. if its got no benefit. then why would they do it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:47 PM #16
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Default Re: Gold plating copper/aluminium heatinks, possibility.

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many computer components are gold plated as well as nickel plated. theyre not only for look.. if its got no benefit. then why would they do it.
The main purpose of gold in electronics is electrical conductivity./
Meant to say maintain conductivity due to non oxidizing. Nothing to do with heat transfer.

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