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How to Select Thermal Interface Materials

Thermal interface materials, such as thermal silicone and thermal grease, are used to improve thermal conduction between two parts, especially in electronics where temperatures often become elevated. These materials work to dissipate the developed heat, allowing for the highest levels of performance and reliability in operations.

If you are interested in using thermal interface materials, such as thermal silicone, it is important that you consider the needs of your specific operation. To ensure that you achieve the results that you seek, make sure to take the following into consideration when choosing your thermal materials:

  • Thermal Joint Components. To determine the appropriate type of thermal interface material, it is important that you note the type of material, surface finish and flatness of the mating surfaces in the thermal joint. For example, well-polished and machined surfaces can make use of both gap fillers and high performance thermal materials while casting or extrusion based surfaces work better with gap fillers.
  • Thermal Joint Side Components. The components on the sides of the thermal joint may also dictate the type of thermal interface material that you are allowed to use, so it is important to identify them. For example, if you have a central processing unit, a high-performance product should be selected. As another example, if you are trying to prevent arcing, an insulating product should be selected.
  • Amount of Heat. When choosing thermal interface materials, such as thermal silicone, putty or filler, consider the temperature range at the joint, and then determine the amount of heat that must be dissipated. If you have a high level of heat to dissipate, you will need a high-performance thermal material as opposed to a low-performance material.
  • Clamping Device. The type of thermal interface material used will also have to be determined by the clamping device, such as bolts, screws or spring clips, at the thermal joint. For example, if bolt or screws are used, you should select gap fillers or insulators while more high-performance thermal materials are a better choice for spring clips.
  • Interface Plane. Some interfaces have horizontal mounting planes while others have vertical. The type of interface plane may play a factor in the type of thermal material you should use, so it is important that you also take this into consideration. For example, gap fillers are typically one of the best choices for vertical mounting planes.

By taking the above into consideration, you will be able to choose the best thermal siliconesand other thermal interface materials for your specific operation.

If you are interested in thermal interface materials, such as thermal silicones and gels, or other semiconductor industry supplies, such as resins and adhesion promoters, trust in the expert semiconductor producers and suppliers at Shin-Etsu MicroSi. By working with our company, you can rest assured knowing that you will receive the latest and most technologically advanced products on the market while also receiving excellent customer service. We strive to stay on top of the latest developments in resin technology, lithography, substrates and more to ensure that our customers are able to build the strongest, most effective operations possible. To place an order for resins, adhesion promoters, thermal silicones, gels or another semiconductor product, call Shin-Etsu MicroSi at (480) 893-8898 or contact us online.