Heat Dissipation

Thermal management with liquid thermal interface materials

To prevent drops in performance or faults in electronic devices, the heat produced in the component must be dissipated reliably. This is done using thermal interface materials, which offer a number of advantages over stamped pads or films.

New electronic devices and components, such as those in the automotive or consumer electronics industries, are becoming increasingly smaller. At the same time, more functions are provided in the smallest of spaces. On the product side this means a higher heat development and less surface area for it to dissipate. If you go by what is known as the Q10 temperature coefficient, you can expect the failure rate to double for each 10°C increase in temperature. This heat generated in the component must be reliably dissipated in order to prevent drops in performance or even faults as a result of overheating.

Thermally conductive materials: advantages and areas of application

A central approach to effectively dissipate this heat is to use fluid thermal interface potting compounds such as gap fillers or thermally conductive adhesives. They contain special fillers that provide for reliable heat dissipation in the component. Thermally conductive fluids can be found in household appliances as well as in standard smartphones, tablets and LED lighting. They are also used in engine production, power electronics and battery systems in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Compared to solid, stamped pads or film for dissipating heat, thermally conductive fluids make it possible to apply custom contours onto the component. Users also benefit from improved performance, since usually they have higher thermal conductivity than solid materials. During the assembly process, the fluid materials such as gap fillers or thermally conductive adhesives flexibly adapt to the particular substrate surface. Particularly sensitive electrical components are thus less exposed to assembly stress, dramatically reducing the risk of defective goods. Reduced storage costs as well as reduced or even entirely eliminated handling and assembly costs are additional advantages.

Applying thermal interface materials up to three times faster

Due to their properties, thermally conductive pastes and adhesives are usually very abrasive materials with high viscosity. Since these properties frequently only allow for comparatively slower dispensing rates, applying thermal interface materials is a challenge particularly in fully automated production processes with short cycle times, such as in their typical use in the automotive and electronics industries. Scheugenpflug has improved on its proven Dos P piston dispenser for these types of applications.

  • With the Dos P016 TCA, high-viscosity and high-filler thermal interface materials can be applied up to three times faster – with consistently high metering accuracy.
    Learn more about the Dos P016 TCA
  • As of late, a new entry-level solution for thermal management applications is available: The DispensingCell, a system which has been fully preconfigured and parameterized to the task at hand. It offers short delivery times at a low investment cost.
    Learn more about the DispensingCell

Feed units optimized specifically for high-viscosity potting media provide a reliable material feed system from drum to dispenser:

  • The Scheugenpflug A220 is the ideal choice for extremely soft thermal interface materials without abrasive fillers.
    Learn more about the A220
TIP: For the application of thermally conductive fluids, the motto is: As thin as possible and as thick as necessary. While a layer that is too thin makes complete contact more difficult, applying a layer of thermal interface material too thickly will have an insulating effect.

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