Poor thermal management of electronics devices and components generally results in weaker product performance, a reduction in the product lifecycle and an overall negative experience for the user. Careful attention must be paid to thermal management in process and product design. To ensure product success, accurate understanding of component thermal conductivity is a critical performance attribute.
Traditional, metal based heat sink materials tend to be relatively dense – which poses a challenge in the consumer electronics, aviation, aerospace, and automotive fields. In all these fields, reducing the weight of the final product is key for improved user experience and energy efficiency.
Compared with metals, polymers and polymer composites are much less dense. This makes them very attractive in the context of electronics design. Generally, these materials suffer from low thermal conductivity, which poses a challenge from a thermal management standpoint. Therefore, considerable research effort is being devoted to design and manufacture of polymer composites with high thermal conductivity – to meet both design constraints of thermal management requirements and light device weight. Thermal conductivity dictates the thermal management performance of these materials and therefore is a key performance metric of these materials. All three methods offered by Trident – MTPS, TPS, and TLS – are useful in the context of polymer composites. Additionally, DMA is useful in terms of characterizing mechanical properties, and calorimetry is useful both in characterizing thermal management considerations and in characterizing thermal stability of polymers.
Alongside thermal conductivity test data from C-Therm’s Trident, featured calorimetry datasets from Setaram Instrumentation and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis measurements by Metravib Design will also be discussed.
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