Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

David Calamas

Committee Member 1

Marcel Ilie

Committee Member 2

Prakashbhai Bhoi


As technology advances, higher performance cooling systems are desired to meet numerous thermal management challenges. Extended surfaces, also known as heat sinks or fins, are commonly used to passively dissipate unwanted heat from mechanical and electrical systems. Fractal fins in accordance with the first four iterations (including a base iteration) of the Sierpinski carpet, manufactured from AL-5052, were studied along seven different inclinations from 0° (orientated perpendicular to the direction of gravity) to 90° (orientated parallel to the direction of gravity), in iterations of 15°. The purpose of study was to investigate the thermal performance of the first four fractal iterations experienced under various inclinations in a natural convection environment. Efficiency, effectiveness, and effectiveness per unit mass will be used to quantify the thermal performance for each fin. It was found that the angle of inclination did not have a significant impact on performance. The fourth iteration was found to be on average 2.96% more effective and 64.94% more effective per unit mass than a traditional straight rectangular fin with uniform cross-section regardless of inclined position. The fourth iteration was found to be the most effective fin when positioned at 90°. The zeroth iteration had the lowest fin efficiency, effectiveness, and effectiveness per unit mass when positioned at 75°.

Research Data and Supplementary Material