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// Blog August 26, 2019

The Thermal Conductivity of Unfilled Plastics

The C-Therm Trident Thermal Conductivity Instrument provides a fast and easy way to meansure thermal conductivity of polymers.

FLEX Transient Plane Source Sensor testing thermal conductivity of polymer composite.
FLEX Transient Plane Source Sensor testing thermal conductivity of polymer composite.

Thermal Conductivity of Unfilled Plastics (W/mK)1

Plastic Type
Commercial Name
Thermal Conductivity (W/mK
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene
ABS
0.14 – 0.21
Acetal
Delrin
0.23 – 0.36
Cellulose acetate
CA
0.16 – 0.36
Diallyl phthalate
Dapon
0.31
Epoxy
 
0.19
Ethylcellulose
 
0.23
Ethylvinylacetate
 
0.08
Phenolic
 
0.17
Polyamide
Nylon 6-11-12-66
0.24 – 0.3
Polyaramide
Kevlar, Nomex fibers
0.04 – 0.13
Polycarbonate
PC
0.19 – 0.22
Polytetrafluorethylene
PTFE, Teflon
0.25
Polyethylene terephthalate
 
0.15 – 0.4
Polyethylene L
Low density
0.33
Polyethylene HD
High density
0.45 – 0.52
Polyimide
Kapton
0.10 – 0.35
Polymethylmethacrylate
PMMA, Acrylic, Perspex, Plexiglass
0.17 – 0.19
Polyphenylene oxide
PPO, Noryl
0.22
Polypropylene
PP
0.1 – 0.22
Polystyrene
PS
0.1 – 0.13
Polysulfone
 
0.26
Polyurethane
PUR
0.29
Polyvinylchloride
PVC
0.12 – 0.25
Polyvinylidene fluoride
Kynan
0.1 – 0.25
 
All values in the table are defined at room temperature. As a rule-of-thumb, the thermal conductivity increases with a few percent in the range 0-100°C. Only below very low temperatures (typically 40K), plastics show a clear decrease.  Fillers such as silver, copper, CNTs etc. typically cause a sharp increase in the thermal conductivity of a polymer composite
 
 
1Source: Electronics Cooling – Design, Materials, Compounds, Adhesives, Substrates, Number 2, Technial Data, Volume 7

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