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Thermal Interface - Wet Dispensed


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Types of Wet Dispensed Thermal Interface Materials

Non-curing Compounds

Complex electronic devices can generate large amounts of heat. To reduce operating temperatures, heat sinks are often used with the device. Thermal compounds or greases can be used between the device and the heat sink for better coupling and efficiency in carrying away the heat. These non-curing materials are particularly useful for applications where the heat sink may need to be removed and reattached later, or when no-cure processes must be used in the electronics assembly. Mechanical fasteners are generally needed to hold the assembly in place during use. Newly developed thermally conductive grease offers excellent thermal resistance with the capability of very thin bond lines (<25 microns). It provides a wide processing window, independent of applied pressure.

Adhesives

Another method of coupling heat-generating devices with heat sinks is by the use of adhesives. As supplied, they range from flowable liquids to non-flowing pastes. When cured, they convert to a strong, but stress-relieving elastomer that holds the heat sink in place without the use of mechanical fasteners. Adhesives are also used to adhere and couple entire circuit boards to metal base plates or outer cases.

Dow Corning offers a variety of noncorrosive, thermally conductive silicone adhesives that are ideally suited for use in bonding hybrid circuit substrates, power semiconductor components and devices to heat sinks as well as for use in other bonding applications where flexibility and thermal conductivity are major concerns. The flowable versions are also ideal for use as thermally conductive encapsulating materials for transformers, power supplies, coils and other electronic devices that require improved thermal dissipation.

Encapsulants and Gels

Additionally, entire circuit assemblies can be embedded in encapsulants or gels with enhanced thermal conductivity for better heat removal. Encapsulants cure to a firm elastomer. Gels are much softer and provide additional relief from environmental and mechanical stresses. These flowable materials can also be used as liquid gap fillers or as an alternative to pre-cured pads to couple circuits and heat sinks, facilitating high volume processes in automated production.

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  1. Thermal Interface Materials Tutorial


  2. Why is Heat Bad for Electronic Devices?


  3. Types of Wet Dispensed Thermal Interface Materials


  4. Types of Fabricated Films and Pad Thermal Interface Materials


  5. Key Characteristics – Wet Dispensed Thermal Interface Materials


  6. Key Characteristics – Fabricated Pad and Film Thermal Interface Materials


  7. Potential Applications for Thermal Interface Materials


  8. Testing considerations


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