The use of Thermal Interface Materials (TIM) in high volume applications requiring low forces on components has evolved from hand applying greases and thermal pads to the high speed dispensing of 2-part cure in place systems. Most recently is the introduction of pre-cured one component gels. Automotive and electronics markets especially require greater throughput with reduced set up, change over, and increased application flexibility. Consumer expectations and warranties necessitate the use of high performance materials able to withstand extreme temperature cycling and shock and vibration environments.
In years past when low force and high assembly throughput were needed, the market offerings included thermal greases and 2-part cure in place systems. Thermal grease, often the lowest cost solution, has limited long-term applicability as it will begin to move out of the gap and dry out with power cycling, quickly reducing performance levels. Use of 2-part systems requires precise mix ratios of the components, followed by secondary heat operations — such as oven or heat tunnel — or long room temperature cure times decreasing unit production speed. Dispense systems used with 2-part systems must be simple, with few bends or elbows, to ensure material is not captured in these areas and left to cure and impede further flow. Failure to ensure proper precise mix ratios will degrade product performance. Shelf-life of each component has also been a concern.
Thermally conductive gels are supplied fully cured, eliminating the need for mixing and post-application heating and curing operations. Gels are provided in convenient ready-to-dispense containers, require no mixing, are pre-cured — resulting in no settling as may be seen with 2-part systems — thus producing longer shelf lives and more uniform material application. The material is a soft gel producing minimal to no stress on components and is specially formulated for use in vertical applications, withstanding high shock and vibration environments. With simple application and advanced performance, this innovative technology is revolutionizing the TIM market by allowing fast production speeds and providing reliable products.
Parker Chomerics Therm-A-Gap Gels are offered in varying performance levels that are easily dispensable and reliable. Additional data can be found in the Therm-A-Gap Gel brochure or by contacting Parker Hannifin’s Chomerics Division.
This article contributed by Dana Drew, Product Manager | Thermal and Laminated Solutions, Parker Chomerics Division.