Mechanical Engineering faculty members Ling Li and Scott Huxtable have joined Cornell colleague Zhiting Tian, Ph.D. candidate Ting Yang, and former mechanical engineering graduate student Eurydice Kanimba in publishing potential developments for bio-inspired heat sinks. The article was featured on the cover of the December 2020 issue of Advanced Engineering Materials.

This work investigates the thermal and mechanical performance of a bio‐inspired lightweight structure, inspired by the porous  internal skeleton of cuttlefish, also known as cuttlebone. The potential of using this structure as an air‐cooled heat sink for electronic devices and an integrated thermal protection system is tested and systematically compared with three conventional structures based on wavy, pyramid, and cylindrical pin fin geometries.

Cuttlebone outperforms other structures in terms of compressive strength, and simulations indicate that the cuttlebone structure undergoes a graceful failure process due to the sequential buckling of the vertical walls compared with other structures.