Our expert advise you about issues with thermal interfaces
Introduction: the growth of electronic power components manufacturing
The use of electronic power components is growing at an exponential rate in several sectors. Railways, automotive, LEDs, solid-state lasers, RF, automation, etc…
More power implies more heat to be dissipated efficiently if you want to guarantee a long life for the component or system.
Therefore, the choice of using a metal type of thermal interface materials (TIM) characterized by a high thermal conductivity value is becoming mandatory.
Thermal conductivity affect electronics: metal TIMs or non-silicone-based TIMs?
As the power and therefore the heat to be dissipated increase, the superiority of the metals over the so far widely used thermal greases becomes evident. We are talking about a thermal conductivity that can even reach up to 425 W/mK for a metallic TIM compared to 3-12 W/mK of the best thermal grease on the market.
Furthermore, during use, the thermal grease tends to migrate from the center to the periphery. And over time the grease tends to pulverize. These problems are completely absent with the use of metal TIMs or non-silicone-based TIMs.
Typically these TIMs are made with very soft metals or alloys such as indium and its alloys, or Tin properly doped. There are metal TIMs designed to improve the contact between two surfaces using a particular pattern for each specific application. These Tims properly used can reach up to 86W/mK. There are also some metal matrix diamond composite materials that exhibit a low coefficient of thermal expansion (6-7ppm/°C) and their thermal conductivity is very high: 475W/mK.
In case your designs do not require such high performances but the grease creates problems, we can also suggest some different, not pure metallic materials. On one hand, the non-silicone-based polymers whose thermal conductivity is 4,5 W/mK. On other hand, the completely electrically insulating thermal interfaces. They are compressible, non-silicone, non-reactive, a non-curing system with no resin-filler separation, with thermal conductivity of 20 W/mK.
Obviously, there are other parameters to take into account to fit the design. Like the minimum and maximum thickness available, the working temperature, the electrical isolation, etc…Almost all the above TIMs can be customized to your required shape. Also, they can be taped and reeled (depending on dimensions) for automatic placement.
According to your application, our experts can suggest the best solution to solve your dissipation problem. We can help you to choose the best available thermal interface suitable to your design.
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