Trident™ Thermal Conductivity Application Highlight: Monitoring Resin Stability and Sedimentation with MTPS

The following Application Highlight summarizes the use of C-Therm’s MTPS method in monitoring the stability of a filled resin system. 

Thermally conductive adhesives are a key component for thermal management of many advanced electronic systems. These materials help dissipate heat in ensuring an optimal operating temperature is maintainedAs an example, this is critical to battery pack performance in electric vehicles where thermal runaway mitigation and performance require optimal thermal management. Unaltered, these resin adhesive materials typically have low thermal conductivity (< 0.3W/mK). To obtain higher thermal conductivity materials (>1 W/mK), conductive fillers such as alumina, boron nitride etc., can be introduced into the base resin to increase thermal dissipation output by providing improved paths of heat transfer (see Fig. 1). This has been the focus on many groups working on formulation development of these composite materials (Some example publications can be found at the end of this document). This, however, possesses its own unique set of issues, especially when scaling to large quantity applications.  

Figure 1. Left) Disorganized polymer chains resulting in phonon scattering (poor thermal conduction). Right) Filled system with improved heat transfer paths (increased thermal conduction)

Small, portable electronics may only require milligram to gram quantities of these materials to achieve the desired performance. For large scale applications such as EV battery packs, the volume of material required increases significantly. As such, the feedstock containers used in these larger applications may hold upwards of 200 liters of resin (see Fig. 2). While there are many advanced pieces of equipment to aid in the proper mixing, dispensing, and curing of these materials, if there are inherent issues with the feedstock material itself, the end product can suffer. One consideration revolves around filler sedimentation of the material.

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