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Compressible Graphite A New Class of Thermal Interface Materials for High Heat Flux Applications
Keywords: Thermal Interface Materials, High Temperature, Graphite
A new class of Compressible Graphite Thermal Interface Materials (CG-TIMs) has been developed for high heat flux applications. For nearly two decades, flexible graphite TIMS have been the solution of choice for many challenging applications where high reliability is required. The high thermal conductivity and high- temperature stability (up to 450 C) of flexible graphite TIMs provides consistently low thermal impedance over the lifespan of the device. The first generation of flexible graphite TIMs had limited compressibility (~5%) and bond-line thicknesses greater than 125 m. The new generation of graphite TIMs can be compressed by over 75% from an initial starting thickness of 200 m. Due to their unique compression behavior, CG-TIMs act as a gap-filler under slight compression and can form a bond lines less than 50 m when fully compressed, resulting in ultra-low thermal impedance. Thus, CG-TIMs are ideally suited for applications where high heat flux can raise operating temperatures beyond the capabilities of conventional TIM materials such as thermal grease, Phase Change Materials (PCM), polymers and conventional (non- compressible) graphite. The unique structure and properties of CG-TIMs are discussed in detail alongside the performance advantages they enable in demanding applications requiring high performance and reliability such as power electronics, automotive ECUs and zero-downtime servers. Special considerations for physical testing and numerical simulation of this novel material are also presented. Compressible Graphite is a technology platform that can be optimized for the many applications that will face increasing thermal challenges as trends towards increased processing power, device miniaturization and multifunctionality continue in the future.
Ryan Wayne, Innovation and Technology Manager
NeoGraf Solutions, LLC
United States

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