Category Archives: Thermal Interface Material

Thermally Conductive Adhesive Tape

Top 3 questions customers ask when dealing with Thermally conductive adhesive tape for heat sinks.

The three most frequently asked questions about thermally conductive adhesive tape specifically made for heat sinks. This video covers how to apply the adhesive step-by-step for easy installation and removal.

Next, are the dimensions we carry for precise matching with your heat sinks. Finally, we go over the types and brands we carry. We only the best on the market from the companies who manufacture thermally conductive adhesive tape for heat sinks.

For more information on thermally conductive adhesive tape for heat sink please visit

Please don’t forget to watch our installation and removal video here: How to Remove Thermal Interface Material

Announcing our ATS Electronics Cooling Webinars for Third Quarter of 2012

ATS, Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. will present technical webinars on electronic cooling topics in July, August and September 2012. Each of these free events will provide engineering-level training in a key area of modern thermal management.

Here are the different webinar topics and presentation times:

Using Thermal Interface Materials to Improve Heat Sink Thermal Performance

July 26, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. ET

To cool hotter components, engineers are using larger fans and heat sinks, and increasing surface areas. These hardware enhancements can add significantly to design costs. In many cases, cooling performance can be improved by using a higher performance interface material between the case and the heat sink. Participants will learn the importance of lowering thermal resistance using thermal interface materials, or TIMs, and the different kinds of TIMs available from the market.

Air Jet Impingement Cooling

August 23, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Ongoing increases in power in devices such as processors and IGBTs mean that higher capacity cooling methods are needed to remove excess heat. One such method is the jet impingement of a liquid or gas onto a surface on a continuous basis. Lab experiments at ATS have shown up to a 40% improvement in cooling achieved using this method. This webinar will explore jet impingement cooling theory, implementation and best practices.

LED Thermal Management in Commercial and Consumer Lighting Applications

September 27, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Excess heat directly affects both short-term and long-term LED performance. The short-term effects are color shift and reduced light output, while the long-term effect is accelerated lumen depreciation and thus shortened useful life. Participants will learn how to diagnose and solve thermal issues in consumer and commercial LED applications.

Each of these one-hour online tutorials will include detailed visuals, real world examples, instructions, definitions and references. Audience questions will be answered by the presenters during and after the presentation. One or more ATS PhD-level thermal engineers will be presenting live.

There is no cost to attend these ATS webinars, but virtual seating is limited. Registration is available online at, or by calling 1-781-949-2522.


Testing Thermal Interface Materials

Illustration: Parker Chomerics

Thermal interface materials, TIMs, provide the thermal pathway for transferring heat from components to heat sinks. At one time, most TIMs were simple, homogenous pads filled with thermally conductive fillers. But increasing power levels of processors and other components present a continuous need for improved thermal material performance. Today, a much wider range of TIMs is available, including phase change materials, compounds, and gap fillers.

When choosing a TIM, its essential to understand the testing methods to accurately determine the materials bulk thermal properties and in its performance.

The most common test is ASTM D5470: Linear Rod Method. This is the standard for measuring the thermal impedance of a TIM. Heat flow is carefully controlled through a test sample of a TIM. Typically, a heater is attached to an aluminum cylinder that has thermocouples arranged in series.

The thermocouples not only report temperature, but also the heat transfer through the known aluminum cylinder. Next, the interface material is compressed between the raised cylinder and an identical lower unit. Finally, a cold plate is attached to the bottom of the assembly to ensure the direction of heat transfer. The assembly can accommodate various material thicknesses and apply a range of pressure to the sample.

Another TIM test is laser flash diffusivity. Here, a small sample of interface material is subjected to a short pulse of laser energy. The temperature rise of the material is then recorded at a very high sample rate. Diffusivity is calculated using the equation shown below.

k = D/ρCp


k= thermal conductivity;

D = thermal diffusivity,

ρ = density of sample,

and Cp = specific heat.

The halftime of the sample is defined as the time between the start of the laser pulse to when the temperature of the back side of the sample has risen to half of its maximum value. The other variable in equation 1 is L, the thickness of the sample, which may be directly measured. Once diffusivity is known, it can be used in equation 2 to calculate thermal conductivity.

This laser flash method is very accurate as long as the density and specific heat are well known. However, it only measures thermal conductivity, as opposed to the ASTM standard which also measures thermal impedance. Thus, a key drawback to laser flash testing is that it doesn’t provide the contact resistance.

In comparisons of interface materials must be carried out by the user to provide meaningful results. Interface material testing procedures are different than heat sink testing methods. When testing several heat sinks it is possible to affix a thermocouple to the component’s case surface or to the heat sink itself and draw direct comparisons of performance. However, this approach will not work if the interface material is changed. To accurately compare interface materials, die-level temperature measurements must be taken, while the same heat sink is used in identical PCB and flow conditions.

New maxiFLOW Heat Sinks for Cooling DC-DC Converters

ATS now provides maxiFLOW heat sinks specially designed to cool eighth, quarter, half and full brick size DC-DC converters. The patented maxiFLOW heat sink design reduces air pressure drop and provides more surface area for more effective convection (air) cooling. The same ATS maxiFLOW technology is used in heat sinks cooling millions of BGAs and other PCB components,

The brick DC-DC converter heat sinks offer a range of fin patterns, directions and profiles to match different height and weight restrictions and airflow patterns. All of these heat sinks are protected with a gold anodized finish.

Each heat sink is provided pre-assembled with a layer of Chomerics T766 Thermflow phase change thermal interface material to enhance heat transfer from brick to heat sink. All of these heat sinks also come with three sets of screws in lengths of 5, 6 and 8 mm for varied attachment situations. The heat sinks pre-drilled hole patterns fit all major DC-DC converter designs.

DC-DC converters are circuits which convert direct current (DC) from one voltage level to another. They are extensively used in electronic devices serving communications, computing, data storage, health care, industrial equipment, instrumentation and test and measurement. Heat sinks are typically required to keep the converters running within safe operating temperatures.

How To Video shows Best Ways to Remove Thermal Tape from Heat Sinks

In this Advanced Thermal Solutions “how to” video, we teach you how to remove three kinds of thermal interface material from a heat sink. Thermal Tape, Phase Change Material and Thermal Grease.