Trident™ Thermal Conductivity Application Highlight: Potting and Impregnation Materials

The following Application Highlight addresses the measurement of materials used for potting and impregnation applications using the Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) method.

Potting and impregnation are two commonly employed techniques for thermal management of systems requiring high heat dissipation such as electronics, stators and batteries. Potting (sometimes called encapsulating) refers to that act of encasing the component on interest, whereas impregnation refers to a penetration of the materials into the component. Commonly used materials in this space are epoxy, silicone or urethane based. While there are use cases for each, one commonality they all share is a relatively low thermal conductivity. To improve this, thermally conductive fillers are added to boost performance, but this optimization process can be tedious, especially if verifying thermal conductivity via traditional methods. Researchers at Dolph’s Von Roll have found great utility in the MTPS method as a means of rapid optimization on their line of High Thermally Conductive (HTC) products.

Figure 1. Left) Von Roll target applications and Right) Thermal imaging of part performance with different resin systems

The MTPS provides not only fast results, but the flexibility to test various shapes/thickness’s, material states (i.e., cured vs uncured), as well as in both sub-ambient and elevated temperature conditions. Another significant advantage noted by Von Roll was the ability to verify filler settling in the cured product which provided valuable insight during material development stages and for processing optimization.

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