Industry dynamic

How to distinguish between thermal gel and thermal grease


Thermal Interface Materials (TIM), one of the common heat dissipation methods, are commonly used in IC packaging and electronic heat dissipation. Heat dissipation is an enduring topic. The normal operation of mobile phones, tablets and computers we are familiar with is inseparable from the heat conduction effect of various heat-conducting materials. The requirements are constantly improving, and heat conduction products are also being upgraded rapidly.

Anyone who has disassembled and assembled a computer knows that thermal conductive silicone grease is an indispensable auxiliary material for CPU heat dissipation. It is soft and sticky, and its texture is very similar to toothpaste. It is a bridge between the CPU and the heat sink, as a filler Fill the gap between the radiator and the CPU, conduct heat to the radiator, and then take away the heat from the radiator to achieve cooling.

However, in recent years, a new thermal interface material has emerged in the field of smart devices and electronics—thermal gel, which is also in the form of a paste, and has gradually replaced thermal silicone grease in some new products, but due to its very similar appearance, Both have no fixed shape, but the silicone grease is relatively "thin" and the thermal gel is more "sticky". Many people still regard thermal gel as thermal grease.

From the perspective of composition, both of them are composite products prepared by filling thermally conductive fillers into silicone resins. The thermal conductivity, filling amount, and compatibility with the matrix of thermally conductive fillers affect the thermal conductivity of the final product.

The biggest difference between the two is: thermally conductive silicone grease is directly mixed with thermally conductive fillers and short-chain small molecule silicone resin (commonly known as silicone oil); thermally conductive gel is to first cross-link those small molecules of silicone oil into ultra-long chain macromolecules, and then Mixed with thermally conductive filler

Thermal gel is easier to handle than thermal grease. Silicone grease is generally used by screen printing or steel plate printing, or direct brushing, which is very unfriendly to users and the environment, and because of its fluidity, generally cannot be used in occasions with a thickness of more than 0.2mm. The thermal conductive gel has a certain degree of adhesion and can be compressed into various shapes, the lowest can be compressed to a few hundred microns, and there will be no problems of oiling and drying, and it has certain advantages in reliability.

In addition, thermal conductive gel has certain advantages in continuous operation, and can be directly weighed and used. The commonly used continuous use method is a glue dispenser, which can realize fixed-point quantitative control, save labor and improve production efficiency.

Thermally conductive gel can be widely used in electronics, communications, smart home, automotive electronics, drones, photovoltaic cells, LED lighting, security monitoring and other fields. Smartphones are one of the main application markets for thermally conductive gels. At present, thermally conductive gels have become the mainstream product type. With the popularization of 5G chips, the market space of thermally conductive gels in the field of smartphones will also be further expanded.

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