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Classifying and Understanding Thermal Interface Materials for Automotive Applications
Keywords: tims, thermal interface materials, rheology
Automotive applications for thermal interface materials continue to develop for an increasingly wide range of uses worldwide. Thermal interface materials are a small but important component for a successful application of semiconductor components and modules. Application types range from traditional applications for discrete power transistors and for engine control modules to newer requirements for power LED lighting assemblies, including headlamps and driving lamps, communications and navigation systems display panels, and within power inverter modules and battery packs for HEV/EV powertrains. Increases in heat flux from increased use of electronics systems and movement of control modules to on-engine and ontransmission locations require the thermal and packaging engineer to evaluate and select the appropriate materials. Addressing how TIM materials are classified, distinctions between material types, and general performance requirements is therefore important for proper selection and use of these materials. These classifications and distinctions are also valid for many other types of electronic component applications. This presentation will endeavor to present market classification, requirements, and development areas for: - Seven traditional and four non-traditional categories of TIM materials; - Developments with solder and metallic TIMs and nanomaterials to create newer and higher performance TIMs; - Importance of rheology, clamping force, thickness, thermal conductivity, and dielectric properties; - Common application issues and compromises between cost and performance; - Brief overview of thermal performance testing methodologies. - Importance of life testing and thermal and power cycling data, rather than simply time-zero thermal performance data; - Short listing of testing reference materials
David Saums, Principal
DS&A LLC
Amesbury, MA
USA


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