A complete thermal management solution requires not only the main method of heat transfer like a liquid cold plate or a heat sink, but also additional components for installation and optimal performance. Thermal Accessories include items like hardware to mount the cooling solution and heat sources together, thermally conductive insulation, and thermal interface materials.
Thermal Grease and Phase Change Materials are gel-like and wax-like materials respectively that offer thin bond lines and are ideal for flat and smooth surfaces.
Thermally Conductive Gap Fillers are highly compliant gel-like materials, like thermal greases, but are less fluid-like and have much thicker material options available and are ideal for applications that have greater surface irregularity or space to fill between a heat source and its cooling solution.
Thermal Rubber Pads, Thermally Conductive Films, and Thermally Conductive Hardware & Ceramics are the least conforming of the non-adhesive thermal interface materials. Rubber pads are available with reinforcement that provides extra tear resistance. Thermally Conductive Films are thin, typically electrically isolating flexible films. Thermally Conductive Hardware and Ceramics are molded ceramics or polymers that double as electrical isolation for high voltage components. These TIM options are generally firmer, more rigid and more ruggedized, able to withstand greater wear and tear.
Thermal Epoxies and Thermally Conductive Adhesive Tapes serve as a mechanical joint in addition to their thermal properties. Epoxies offer a permanent bond between surfaces, where adhesives are more temporary or semi-permanent depending upon the specific materials.
Graphite Sheets can also be used as Thermal Interface Materials. Graphite TIMs are lightweight and exhibit high thermal spreading properties which is ideal for mobile applications with high heat density sources.