High-frequency translational agitation with micro pin-fin surfaces for enhancing heat transfer of forced convection

Taiho Yeom, Terrence W. Simon, Mark North, Tianhong Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


An advanced air cooling scheme that combines both active and passive cooling components is proposed and its thermal performance is demonstrated with single channel heat transfer experiments. The active cooling component, a piezoelectric translational agitator, generates strong air turbulence using a blade oscillating at a high frequency near either plain or micro pin-fin surfaces in the channel. The translational agitation of the blade is realized using an oval loop shell amplifier with a piezoelectric stack actuator. The micro pin-fin surfaces were fabricated by the LIGA photolithography technique. Single channel heat transfer experiments show promising results in the combined system with the micro pin-fin surface and the agitator. For instance, the combined system heat transfer coefficients were 250% of those on smooth surfaces without agitation. The channel flow rate was 40 LPM and the Reynolds number was 3300. Measurements are presented that assess, pin fin and agitation effects on thermal performance of the proposed active heat sink system for several channel flow rates. Based on these single channel test results, a multi-channel, full-size, active heat sink system utilizing micro pin fins and translational agitators is proposed, and its thermal performance is estimated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-365
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Active heat sink
  • Electronics cooling
  • Flow agitator
  • Micro pin fin
  • Piezoelectricity
  • Translational agitation


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