Thermal Interface Materials: Transfer Heat Between Solid Surfaces
Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) play a critical role in effective thermal management systems by facilitating heat transfer between solid surfaces.
Increase Thermal Performance
Transfer heat quickly from sources to cooling solution with high conductivity materials.
Reduce Thermal Resistance
Eliminate air between surfaces with higher conductivity materials.
Increase Power Density
Enhance heat transfer to pack more electronics in the same footprint.
Optimize TIM selection for application, surface, and environmental characteristics.
What is a Thermal Interface Material?
Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) are engineered materials that enhance thermal conductivity between two mating surfaces by facilitating more efficient heat transfer. Adding TIM to your thermal management solutions prevents temperature increase and potential device performance degradation. Nearly every application can benefit from thermal interface materials, so TIMs come in a variety of formats and properties to meet specific requirements.
How Does a Thermal Interface Material Work?
A thermal interface material reduces thermal resistance between solid surfaces by filling microscopic air gaps, irregularities, and imperfections with a high conductivity material. Heat source, like a CPU, and heat sink surfaces are not perfectly smooth. This surface irregularity creates air pockets, which are good thermal insulators and impede thermal conductivity. A thermal interface material improves thermal contact between the heat-generating component and cooling solution by filling gaps to eliminate air pockets.
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Boyd’s TIM Precision Converting and Assembly Expertise
Boyd’s precision converting and assembly expertise enables us to custom fabricate and pre-apply TIMs on thermal management solutions like liquid cold plates or heat sinks.
Reduce assembly time and cost with our complete, ready-to-install thermal management solutions.
Meet Application Requirements with the Right TIM
Boyd’s broad thermal interface material technology portfolio exemplifies our deep TIMs understanding and utilization. Leverage our material science heritage, supplier relationships, and TIM expertise developed from decades of experience to pick the best thermal interface material for your application.
Thermally Conductive Adhesive Tapes
Thermally Conductive Adhesive Tapes combine mechanical attachment with thermal conductivity in a thin bond line of acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA). Boyd’s Transtherm® adhesive tapes use silicone-free acrylic for sensitive applications. Easy peel-and-stick application adhesive tapes reduce installation time by replacing mechanical attachment hardware like springs and screws. Reinforcement material options increase mechanical stability and typically feature double-sided adhesive for integrated, multifunctional assembly.
Requires pressure only application, heat cycling for maximum bonding not required.
Mild Mechanical Attachment
Replace hardware with adhesives for less expensive and faster assembly.
Thermally Conductive Gap Fillers
Thermally Conductive Gap Fillers are soft, malleable interface materials with high thermal conductivity for applications with large gaps between heat sources and cooling surfaces, varying component heights, high tolerance stack-up variability, and uneven or rough surfaces. Gap fillers dampen vibration and reduce component stress or warping in challenging environments. Boyd’s Transtherm® Gap Fillers are gel-like materials that fall into three groups: Silicone Gap Fillers, Silicone-Free Gap Fillers, and Putty-type Gap Fillers.
Cushion sensitive devices against environmental vibration.
Accommodate Larger Tolerance Stackups
Maintain contact with varying gap sizes with compliant gap fillers.
Ideal to Mount Multiple Devices
Thermally connect multiple heat sources to a single cooling surface
Thermally Conductive Rubber Pads
Thermal Rubber Pads are a relatively high durometer, silicone-based material with thermally conductive fillers like aluminum oxide or boron nitride. Replace thermal interface hardware with robust and compliant polyimide sheet- or fiberglass-reinforced rubber pads. Transtherm® rubber materials combine high thermal conductivity and electrical isolation into a single component and maintain high dielectric strength even at high temperatures.
Combine high thermal conductivity and electrical isolation
Improved tear strength of reinforced gap fillers make resilient interface solutions
Prevent electrical shock and spark
Graphite Pads and Films
With low mass and high heat transfer capabilities, Graphite Pads & Films are high heat spreading TIMs available in ultra-thin and lightweight configurations. The sheet-like graphene molecules in graphite offer superior in-plane thermal conductivity. Graphite films come in two main forms: Pyrolytic Graphite (PG) or Pyrolytic Graphite Sheets (PGS) and Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite (APG), also known as Thermally Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite (TPG). Boyd’s proprietary manufacturing technologies and product design reduces graphite particulates from the naturally flaky material and introduces electrical isolation.
High Temperature Resistance
For applications at temperatures beyond 200°C
Ultra low-profile heat-spreading.
Ideal for lightweight applications.
Phase Change Materials
Phase Change Materials (PCMs) are silicone-free, paraffin-based wax materials that change phase at a formulated temperature. PCM provides excellent temperature control, close contact between surfaces, and minimal thermal resistance with its thin bond line and high wettability at low mounting forces.
Precise Temperature Control
High wettability and specific melt point enables tight temperature control.
Easy to handle, install, and remove in the solid state
Ideal for harsh environments.
Lightweight Electrical Insulation
Replace thicker insulators like mica or ceramics with thinner and lighter films
Thermal grease or thermal paste is a spreadable compound specially designed for high thermal conductivity with thin bond lines. Thermal greases contain filler particles that increase the overall mixture conductivity. When using thermal grease, optimize performance with spring mounted hardware. Boyd evenly and consistently applies a thermal grease pattern designed for specific mounting conditions and ships assemblies with a shield to protect grease from application to installation.
Higher Volume Applications
Thermal grease can be screened on using a template that controls distribution and thickness.
Thin Bond Lines
Minimize thermal resistance with thin bond lines between surfaces
Improved thermal conductivity between joined surfaces.
Thermally Conductive Epoxy
Thermal epoxy offers high voltage isolation between surfaces creating a strong mechanical bond. Thermal epoxy acts as both a thermal interface material and a mounting method to reduce mounting hardware. Epoxies’ relatively low shrinkage and low coefficients of thermal expansion enable them to easily bond to metals, ceramics, most plastics, and a wide variety of other materials.
Easily bond to metals, ceramics, silica, steatite, alumina, sapphire, glass, and plastics.
Mix and match heat sink bases and fins for customized epoxy bonded heat sinks.
Robust Mechanical and Thermal Joint
Improved thermal conductivity between joined surfaces
Thermally Conductive Hardware and Ceramics
Thermally conductive hardware electrically isolates devices while maintaining high thermal conductivity. Specialized polymers, natural materials, and ceramics conduct heat and protect against electrical shock with high dimensional stability. Mounting pads prevent heat damage during solder assembly, prevent solder bridges, and assure uniform device height after soldering. Bushings and shoulder washers evenly distribute mounting loads or insulate pass-through cables.
High Thermal Stability
Leverage in high temperature applications.
Improve Installation and Repair Safety
Protect users against electrical shock during field repair.
Protect Sensitive Components
Prevent installation damage and reduce load stress from springs or cables.
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