Trident™ Thermal Conductivity Application Highlight: Characterizing Thermal Performance of Self-Adhesive Tapes for EV Battery Applications

The following Application Highlight addresses the measurement of self-adhesive tapes using the Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) method in collaboration with tesa tapes.

Pressure sensitive adhesive tapes provide not only structural support to a system, but can also act as a key component to addressing thermal management issues, functioning as a thermal interface material (TIM). In these scenarios, the thermal properties of the tape, such as thermal conductivity, are critical aspects to the desired performance of the system. tesa has a long-standing history of developing adhesive tapes and has implemented them across a range of industries. In recent years, a focus on e-mobility applications has moved to the forefront of material development. tesa® 5832x and tesa® 5839x are examples of high-performance thermal interface material in the form of self-adhesive tapes developed for e-mobility applications including cell-to-cell mounting, cell array to cold-plate mounting, cell-to-side-plate mounting, temperature sensor mounting, graphite/graphene mounting, heating film mounting, and more. These materials are described as acrylic adhesives with thermally conductive fillers, offering a range of thermal conductivity performances from 0.7 W/m·K to 2.0 W/m·K.

Figure 1. EV battery pack highlighting locations for adhesive tape applications.

Self-adhesive tapes such as these are very thin in their construction (ranging from 125 µm to 2000 µm). This can pose a limitation on viable test methods, as many require samples of 1 mm to several centimeters in thickness for some traditional steady-state options. C-Therm’s Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) method available on the Trident™ Thermal Conductivity Instrument is ideal for testing compressible materials, however, a thickness of at least 1 mm is required to test most samples with the MTPS method. Due to the adhesive nature of these tapes, stacking multiple samples is the easiest way to obtain a sample with valid testing thickness. Note that stacking is not recommended for very high conductivity materials like ceramics and metals, due to high contact resistance between the layers. Soft, pliable, and adhesive materials such as these tapes do not have such limitations.  

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