Many of our customers are using thermal pads nowadays. With another year in the books, the electronics used this year are at an all-time high. This requires more cooling! To finish off the year, we thought we would make a blog about a few tips on choosing a thermal pad. As always, this list does not include all the considerations when picking a pad – that is up to the designer/user.
Tips for Choosing a Thermal Pad
1. Focus on Thermal Properties as a whole instead of the famous “thermal conductivity” this includes looking at the:
B. Modulus(usually Young’s Modulus)
C. Thermal Impedance- usually presented vs. strain(as °C-in.2 /W)
D. Thermal Conductivity – usually as W/m-K
These qualities help paint a better illustration of how the pad will perform in the application in consideration with the pressure exhibited in an application.
2. Ask yourself what are definite needs for the application?
These things may include a few things:
Sometimes outgassing, or no silicone is an afterthought, it is wise to think of this beforehand. Many thermal pads manufacturers offer low outgassing, or silicone-free options. In addition, electrical isolation is almost universally available as most pads utilize silicone binders.
3. Ask yourself what you need for reinforcement?
These include questions similar to the above, but different. Well, if the application is under no pressure, or little – maybe no reinforcement at all is required. However, there are special pads made with high levels of reinforcement designed for applications that may see a lot of situations that would require it to be durable.
Reinforcements can include:
-Sil-Pads from Bergquist such as SP900S
As an additional note, most thermal gap filler pads have an attachment method such as naturally occurring tack, or a pressure-sensitive adhesive.
For more information on thermally conductive pads, or you have questions about thermal pads please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.