Graphite for thermal management applications moves forward with Kaneka’s high thermal conductive graphite sheet

We’ve written about Graphite before for thermal management and frankly, we aren’t that excited about it’s commercialization. Kaneka Corp of Japan has made some progress in this area though. As reported in CBS’s BNET, Kaneka has “developed a graphite sheet based on the high-temperature sintering technology and polymer design technology using polyimides as raw materials that have the highest thermal conductivity in the world.” That sounds pretty exciting to us.

Panasonic has a product like this, their PGS Graphite Sheet, as does HP Materials, and others. But Kaneka’s sheet looks like a big step forward in the kind of high performance thermal properties that might make the use of graphite a good choice for very demanding applications or very dense or small ones where the use of a graphite sheet as both container and heat sink make sense. Here are some specifications:

  • Surface directional thermal conductivity of 1 200 [W.m.sup.-1].[K.sup.-1] is second only to that of diamond)
  • A thinness of less than 50 [mu]m
  • A relative weight of about 2 [] which is less than a quarter that of copper

Kaneka’s material, named Graphinity, can be see at here:  Kaneka Graphinity High Thermal Conductive Graphite Sheet

We wrote about the use of graphite in our post on Intel’s use of carbon nanotubes to create heat sinks and in our coverage of an article Tim Haas of Avnet wrote on LED thermal management.

ATS even did a comparison between three geometrically identical heat sinks made of Copper, Aluminum and High-performance Graphite (though not nano-tube) and we did not see any difference. Surprisingly, the only advantage that high-performance Graphite offered was its light-weight, but, thermally and mechanically it was the worst (readers may download a copy of our study at at this link: Comparing the Impact of Different Heat Sink Materials on Cooling Performance.

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