Aluminium prize winner

The Grand Prize in the 2010 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition has been awarded to a Drexel University student.

Eric Eisele, a materials-engineering graduate student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, won the award for his design of an extruded hanging LED light fixture, earning him a $3,500 (£2,300) scholarship.

Eisele designed the fixture around a 500K 3,200 lumen LED light based on the Philips Luxeon Rebel and a holographically imprinted rigid polycarbonate beam-shaping lens. For the fixture itself, he specified 6063-T5 aluminium, which offers a balance between ease of extrusion, machinability and thermal conductivity.

To ensure high efficiency and long life, heat from the LED light is dissipated throughout Eisele’s entire light fixture, which included heatsink fins, slots, optical cavities, mounting rails and screw bosses.

’While they are very energy efficient, LEDs are also very sensitive to heat and will suffer significant reduction in useful life if heat can’t be effectively dissipated. The concept of using an extruded fixture with integral heat sink, light-placement options and the potential to use different types of light diffusers and reflectors would appear to help with the commercialisation of LED lighting,’ said David Asher, competition judge.

Craig Werner, competition judge, added: ’There may be some technical challenges yet to overcome, but using the lightweight, strength, ability to extrude complex integral profiles and heat conductivity of aluminium extrusions for this product was a great idea.’