Heat Dissipation

Reviewed by Faysal Fayez Eliyan, PhDCheckmark
Last updated: May 16, 2021

What Does Heat Dissipation Mean?

Heat dissipation is a type of heat transfer. Heat dissipation occurs when an object that is hotter than other objects is placed in an environment where the heat of the hotter object is transferred to the colder objects and the surrounding environment. Heat dissipation occurs in a variety of ways.

Heat dissipation is unavoidable and sometimes is considered a negative process in a range of industries and applications. In the corrosion mitigation and prevention industry, heat dissipation can lead to corrosion under insulation. Heat transfer can also be detrimental to alloy performance, which is a consideration in high temperature environments.

Temperature difference is the major factor that determines the mode and rate of heat transfer in a given application. There are other factors relevant to the design, operation and environment that need to be taken into consideration to manage heat dissipation, and aid in the selection of suitable thermal insulation means wherever applicable.


Corrosionpedia Explains Heat Dissipation

Heat dissipation represents a form of energy dissipation (energy transfer). Energy dissipation is a measure of energy lost due to temperature difference and inefficiencies.

Heat dissipates in the following three processes:

  • Convection, which is the transfer of heat through moving fluids. An example of this could be a convection oven that uses air (hot, moving fluid) to transfer heat.
  • Conduction, which allows heat to dissipate throughout a material and possibly into a different material that is in contact with the hot material. An example is an electric stovetop that is heated through electrical resistance.
  • Radiation, in which heat is dissipated through electromagnetic waves. An example of this heat dissipation is the microwave oven.

Using the right type of insulation, depending on the application, reduces the heat loss and costs associated with it, while also increasing efficiency and safety.


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