JBC Technologies Blog

Gap Fillers for Heat Management in Electronic Assemblies

Posted by Mark Swanson on Jul 12, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Gap fillers are thermal interface materials (TIMs) that move heat away from sensitive components in electronic assemblies. They’re usually made of silicone rubber and contain a ceramic filler. Like other types of TIMs, gap fillers are designed to fill the tiny air gaps between a heat source and a heat sink. Most gap fillers are inherently tacky and have a doughy consistency, but engineers can also choose materials with a non-tack surface for manual assembly.

Gap fillers provide greater stability than phase change materials (PCMs) that melt or solidify at certain temperatures. They’re also easier to install than thermal greases or pastes. For fast, precise, cost-effective fabrication, gap pads are die cut from sheet materials into specially-shaped parts called pads. These die cut products are available with release liners and pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs). For heat management in electronic assemblies, gap fillers with specific features may be required.

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Topics: Thermal Management

Thermal Tapes for Adhesive Bonding and Heat Conduction

Posted by Mark Swanson on Jul 5, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Thermal tapes are thermal interface materials (TIMs) that have an adhesive on one or both sides. For ease-of-installation, a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) is typically used. The thermally-conductive material consists of a polymer with ceramic fillers. Some thermal tapes come with a carrier, but others consist of an adhesive that’s removed from a liner prior to application. 

Like other types of TIMs, thermally conductive tapes are designed to move heat from a heat source to a heat sink. These specialized tapes support die cutting and conform well to surfaces that aren’t perfectly flat. Die cut thermal tapes can be converted from large rolls and come in a range of thicknesses. Their characteristics include high mechanical strength and excellent shock performance. 

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Topics: Thermal Management

Thermal Pads and Thermal Films for Heat Dissipation

Posted by Mark Swanson on Jun 28, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Thermal pads and films dissipate heat away from hot spots in LED lighting, consumer electronics, motors, and other applications. Thermal pads are made of silicone-based materials or specialty waxes with thermally-conductive fillers. Some of these thermal interface materials (TIMs) are reinforced with fiberglass or cloth for increased tear resistance. Thermal films are made of silicones, polyimides, and other thermally-conductive materials with a thin footprint.

Thermal pads and thermal films are replacing thermally-conductive greases in applications such as disk drives, chipsets, communication equipment, and printed circuit board (PCB) protection. These TIMs are also compatible with electronic components and an aluminum housing or chassis. Thermal pads and films aren’t messy like thermal greases or pastes and are easier to handle. Pads and films also support die cutting, a fast, precise, and cost-effective way to get the thermal management solutions that you need.    

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Topics: Thermal Management

Graphite Gaskets for Thermal Management

Posted by Mark Swanson on Jun 20, 2018 8:05:08 AM

Graphite gaskets are die cut from thermal interface materials (TIMs) with strong thermal conductivity. Graphite also resists thermal shock, damage that occurs with rapid changes in temperature. Across planar surfaces like printed circuit boards (PCBs), graphite dissipates heat evenly and rapidly. Graphite’s mechanical properties increase with temperature, but die cut graphite gaskets resist cold, too. 

Graphite is flexible and can be produced without fillers or binders that impart rigidity. Flexible graphite gaskets are die cut from expanded sheets or foil-core materials in a range of thicknesses. Thin, lightweight TIMs made of graphite sheets are ideal for heat spreading applications where space is limited. Graphite gaskets also support the use of pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) for ease-of-installation. 

By understanding how graphite sheets are supplied, die cut, and used, engineers can determine whether this TIM is the right choice for thermal management. Let’s take a closer look. 

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Topics: Gaskets, Thermal Management, Die Cutting

Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs): Four Types of Die Cut Products

Posted by Mark Swanson on Jun 13, 2018 4:45:16 PM

Thermal interface materials (TIMs) create a thermal path from a heat-generating component to a heat sink, a device that dissipates heat. In products such as LED lights, cell phones, and automotive batteries, heat that’s not discharged properly can reduce service life. In some cases, excess heat can even cause product failure.

Engineers who design lighting, power electronics, and other systems that generate excess heat can select various TIMs. Thermal greases and thermal epoxies have their advantages but don’t support die cutting – a fast, precise, and cost-effective manufacturing method. With die cutting, engineers can choose graphite gaskets, thermal pads and film, thermal tape, and gap fillers. How do these choices compare?

The following sections provide an overview of each die cut product. Subsequent articles in this series will examine each type of TIM in greater detail.

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Topics: Thermal Management