Thermal Gap Pad
Gap pads have a softer, more flexible feel than thermal greases or pastes. They are better able than thermal pastes or greases to conform to uneven surfaces. In addition, they can absorb vibration stresses to dampen shocks. They extend component life and provide safety benefits. What is Thermal Gap Pad, they are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. They are designed to be used for a range of applications such as automotive, aerospace/defense, and electronics. They are offered as sheets or in die-cut parts and come in a wide variety of hardnesses and thicknesses. They can be supplied with or without a carrier silicone for applications which require silicone-sensitive components in optics or where the environment is not conducive to outgassing.
These gap fillers can also deform during assembly to adjust to different tolerances. This means that they can eliminate the need for a fine-tuned pad for each application. If the gap is large, the pad can crack if it is under high stress.
Many factors must be considered when selecting the correct gap filler. The pad should be able handle the heat that is generated by the power component. In addition, the material must have sufficient softness to fill voids and surface irregularities.
A pad with too much stiffness will not conform well on the surface. This leads to an interfacial barrier that reduces efficiency of the cooling system. The pad must also be flexible to absorb shock and vibration. The pad should also be durable and have a good thermal conductivity for long-term reliability tests.
The thermal conductivity of a gap filler is related to its compression behavior, which can be determined from its hardness rating. A higher hardness has a less compressive set, which allows it to compress more easily and conform to the mating surfaces. A lower hardness also has better impact resistance properties, which can prevent damage to the surface.
There are various tools that you can use to find the ideal compression set, such as pressure mapping systems. This tool places a film between the gap filler and the heat sink, and creates a map of the area that is under the most stress. The map can be used to determine what compression setting is best for the pad.
Bergquist offers a family of GAP PAD products to meet a need for an interface product that is softer than traditional thermal greases and pastes. The GAP PAD line offers a variety of hardness and thickness options. It also has a blend of filler materials that provides tackiness for handling, as well as minimizing thermal resistance. The materials come in sheet or cut-to-size form and are suitable for a wide range of electronic, automobile, and medical applications.