The use of fans for active cooling of electronic products is a standard practice throughout the electronics industry. A fan is a device that is designed to move a specific volume of air (flow) against moderate pressure (resistance). A fan induces airflow by virtue of its blades; a blade moves air by generating a lift force when in motion through the air. A standard fan found in the electronics industry is a 60 mm axial fan with plastic blades and housing.
An axial flow fan is a fan in which the flow of air is substantially parallel to the axis of rotation. The operation of the fan at extreme temperatures will limited by the materials used in the construction of the fan. An example of an axial fan construction is shown in Figure 1. While temperature ratings for fans are not always provided in a datasheet, standard axial plastic fans are typically specified to operate between -10 and 70oC. This is most likely due to the limitations of the plastic, lubrication and the brushless motor control circuitry.
Functional parameters specified in an axial fan datasheet tend to be limited to pressure as a function of air flow. This behavior is not expected to vary with temperature except to the point of breakdown or failure. Instead, the user needs to be aware of the various components of the fan and how their elements could lead to failure when the axial fan is used outside it’s specified temperature range.