The Low Tolerance Spec

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Thermal Pads and Their Usage

Posted by Virgil Alonso on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

Thermal Conductive Pads and Their Usage describe the imageThermal Pads

Thermal pads are solid materials commonly used with heatsinks to help remove heat from components that need cooling to operate. When air or rough surfaces cause imperfect surface contact between contacting components heat transfer is reduced. The heat will increase until possible component failure. Thermal pads remedy this by bridging the gap between components and providing better heat transfer. Thermal pads become soft at high temperatures allowing it to fill imperfections in the surface for better conduction qualities.

Laptop and home computers require a fair amount of cooling that large heatsinks and fans cannot handle without proper contact with components. The surfaces of the heatsink and cpu components are not completely smooth. There are two primary types of thermal materials commonly used to remedy this problem; Thermal pads and thermal greases. Advantages of thermal pads include;

  • Easy handling compared to thermal grease.

  • Softs and adheres better with increasing temperatures.

  • Uniformly distributed over interface surface.

Both the thermal pad and thermal grease serve the same purpose by removing transferring heat from vital components that require a set temperature to properly operate. The property of interest is the products ability to transfer heat, also known as thermal conductivity. The higher thermally conductive products will transfer heat better and more efficiently.

Depending on how you plan to use your equipment will ultimately determine the materials that you will require. Common questions for you application.

  • What operational hours do you expect for you equipment (ex. 24 hours, 7 days a week)?

  • High output systems (ex. Servers)?

  • Additional cooling elements?

  • Longevity of your equipment?

United Seal & Rubber has trained experts on staff that are ready to help you with all of your application needs.  We can offer suggestions regarding if a thermal pad or thermal grease is best for your application.  Please complete our quote request form or call and ask for inside sales so that we may assist you.



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