Thermal Management Materials

Our range of thermal management materials are selected to suit the demands of various industries and applications, from GAP PAD® and Gap Fillers to adhesive tapes and specialist films. Our process takes a holistic approach and begins with a detailed evaluation of the thermal issues you face, thermal conductive material requirements and any necessary electrical isolation attributes. Whether you need a suite of materials or individual components, we take the time to understand your requirements to ensure that the components we supply are compatible, cost-efficient and suitable for the application. The range of thermal interface materials (TIM) includes products manufactured by Kerafol, Henkel Bergquist, Laird, Chomerics and Fujipoly Sarcon amongst others.

Thermal Gap Pad® Materials

GAP PAD® products are soft, conformable thermal pads that provide effective thermal interfaces between heat sinks and electronic devices, accommodating uneven surfaces, air gaps, and rough surface textures. These heat conductive pads, made from thermally conductive silicone have a soft construction that offers high conformability to reduce interface resistance.

In addition to effective heat dissipation, thermal conductive materials also help reduce vibration stress for shock dampening in a range of applications. The Keratherm range is particularly soft.

We have a wide selection of thermal Gap Pads available, ranging from 1W/mK to 6W/mK. Various factors should be considered when planning to use a Gap Pad - contact us to discuss your requirements and we can advise on the most suitable product to make your thermal pad

Thin Films / SIL PAD® Materials

Where opportunity allows, the use of a thin film thermal interface material is preferable to a thermal Gap Pad®. This is because the gap between the two elements (device and heatsink) is minimal and thermal resistance is significantly reduced. The thermal sheet can be die cut shape to include holes for location points.

Phase Change Materials

The key characteristic of phase change materials is their ability to shift from a solid (wax) to a liquid. The phase change temperature is around 55°C (manufacturer dependant). It's at this temperature that the wax will turn to a liquid and flow out, filling cavities with the thermally conductive medium. When the temperature drops below the phase change limit, the liquid will return to a solid state, having filled the crevices.

Properties & Characteristics:

  • Most are thixotropic, so only flow under pressure
  • The phase change materials shift from a solid (wax) to a liquid and back to solid depending on temperature variation
  • Excellent choice as a grease replacement
Pyrolytic Graphite

Where high performance is absolutely critical, the properties of graphite can be employed to improve the thermal conductivity between components. Pyrolytic Graphite is a lightweight, thin graphite film with a high thermal conductivity suitable for CPU's, graphics processors and power amps.

The properties of the graphite thermal pad film are quite remarkable, having better thermal performance than copper in some applications.

Properties & Characteristics:

  • The material is very flexible and is suitable for high density applications
  • Upper application temperature can exceed 400°C
  • The material can be supplied with adhesive coating and laminated to provide high heat resistance
Thermally Conductive Adhesive Tape

Thermally Conductive Adhesive Tape can be a useful alternative to a combination of thermal pad and clips/screws. The thermally conductive adhesive pad is easy to apply, and can form a bond between surfaces that is difficult to break.

Whilst some thermally adhesive tapes have great bonding characteristics, most can be impaired by high thermal resistance compared to a thin film, devoid of adhesive. The use of TCATs will always be a compromise between thermal performance and bonding strength.

Thermal Gap Fillers & Dispensed Materials

Gap fillers are thermally conductive gap filling liquid materials designed to enhance thermal performance and enable easier dispensing application for your high-volume manufacturing operations. These materials provide unrivalled thermal and mechanical performance while inducing virtually zero stress on electronic components during assembly, helping you improve performance and maintain robust reliability across your device assemblies.

Gap Fillers supplied in a cartridge format, often as a two part system, have the ability to fill voids in a more efficient way than a comparable pad. In a single part system, the Gap Filler can be cured by exposure to IR or UV, or heat activation. In a two part system, the cartridges consist of a filler and an accelerator. The two parts are stable until mixed together using a dispenser tube, supplied with the kit.

When mixed thoroughly and evenly, the Gap Filler will cure forming a rigid structure that will bond the assembly together and provide an efficient medium or thermal paste for heat transfer. The bond line can vary dependent upon the topography of the assembly (a circuit board for example).

Small scale, hand application using a mechanical "gun" is generally acceptable for short runs or R&D. In large scale applications, the exact amount can be calculated and dispensed in precise amounts, minimising waste and ensuring consistent coverage.

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