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New Advances in Thermal Interface Materials Enhance Electronics Cooling Efficiency

New Advances in Thermal Interface Materials Enhance Electronics Cooling Efficiency-Thermal interface materials play a key role in modern electronic devices, with their role focused on optimising thermal management and improving device performance, reliability and lifetime. As electronic devices continue to evolve and increase in functionality, the amount of heat generated increases rapidly, making effective thermal management particularly important.

Table of Contents

DEVELOPMENT TREND OF NEW GENERATION OF THERMAL INTERFACE MATERIALS

The Development Trend Of The New Generation Of Thermal Interface Materials-Thermal interface materials, also known as interface filler materials, are used to fill the contact surface that may produce gaps or holes to eliminate the air between electronic components and heat sinks in electronic equipment to enhance the device’s thermal performance. As the functions of electronic devices gradually become more affluent, the version of a substantial increase in the working power consumption and heat generation of electronic devices becomes larger; how to improve the thermal efficiency of electronic devices has become an essential factor in its design stage.

With the development of the industry, the thermal interface materials from the initial thermal grease development of thermally conductive gaskets, photo materials, thermal gel, thermal tape and liquid metal, and other categories. Although the market share of liquid metal thermal interface materials is relatively small, the claim is rapidly expanding because of its low yield strength and high fluidity characteristics. Among them, the flow dynamic thermal grease has the largest market share because its flow dynamic facilitates the automation of the generation process and low thermal resistance.

New Advances in Thermal Interface Materials Enhance Electronics Cooling Efficiency-Trumonytechs

HIGH THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY MATERIAL BREAKTHROUGHS

In technology research, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and other countries have conducted extensive and in-depth studies on the preparation and performance of high thermal conductivity interface materials. Since 2008, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched thermal management technology projects, while the famous institutions TriQuint, BAE, and other research institutes have also found a high thermal conductivity interface materials heat dissipation testing, technology assessment, and other research work.

Thermal interface materials with high thermal conductivity, easy to deform, can effectively reduce the interfacial thermal resistance of the material, mainly including the following categories of substances: lipids, gels, phase change materials, and welding materials.

In recent years, with the rapid development of technology, graphene, and carbon nanotube-related carbon-based thermal interface materials are getting more and more attention. Carbon nanotubes have the outstanding advantages of high thermal conductivity along the axial direction, anisotropy of thermal conductivity, low coefficient of thermal expansion in the radial plane, lightweight, aging and oxidation resistance, and so on, and they have a great potential to be used as a thermal interface material. Carbon nanotubes have a stable structure, providing an excellent graphene support system. In contrast, the good flexibility of graphene is used to fill the gap between the carbon nanotubes, forming a coherent carbon nanometer network structure connected so that the two can play an excellent thermal conductivity, and the two airframe structures and physicochemical properties of the two are perfect to complement each other. It has been proved that when the mass fraction of graphene and carbon nanotubes is 1.5% and 0.5%, respectively, the material’s thermal conductivity reaches the maximum 2.26W-m-1-K-1.

High thermal conductivity interface performance-trumonytechs

IMPACT OF SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

One of the core objectives of the new generation of thermal interface materials is to reduce the environmental impact and bring sustainability to the industry in the future. Therefore, the manufacturing process of thermal interface materials pays more attention to waste generation and reduction of resource consumption. Green manufacturing techniques are used to achieve energy saving and emission reduction. Secondly, the design of new materials emphasizes high stability and muscular endurance, reducing the frequency of replacement to reduce resource waste. The new generation of thermal interface materials can improve performance in the use process to minimize equipment consumption and the negative environmental impact. Finally, the recyclability of the materials has been dramatically enhanced, realizing the purpose of the circular economy.

Combined with the above, the new generation of thermal interface materials is committed to reducing the environmental impact through the production, use, and recycling ends. It has a remarkable performance in energy efficiency, resource utilization, waste reduction, and environmental safety. With the continuous progress and promotion of technology, the new generation of thermal interface materials is expected to contribute more significantly to the subsequent applications.

A new generation of thermal interface materials

CHALLENGES TO THERMAL TECHNOLOGY IN THE 5G ERA

Since the popularisation of 5G technology in 2022, the power, thinness, and intelligence of consumer electronics products have been developing rapidly. However, due to the rapid surge of these indicators, working energy consumption and heat generation have also risen significantly. According to research data, material failure due to heat concentration accounts for 65% to 80% of the total failure rate. Therefore, to avoid device damage caused by overheating, heat dissipation management has become an indispensable project for electronic components, which in turn puts forward higher requirements for the performance of thermal interface materials.

Traditional mobile phones, heat dissipation materials, are based on thermal interface materials such as graphite sheets and thermal gel. Still, the low thermal conductivity and large thickness of graphite sheets could be more conducive to adapting new products. Therefore, heat pipes and V.C.s (heat-averaging plates) have begun to penetrate smartphone terminals from computers and servers, and graphene materials have also started to be applied on a large scale. Compared with graphite sheets, V.C. and graphene have high thermal conductivity and low thickness, which are better-performance heat dissipation materials.

New Advances in Thermal Interface Materials Enhance Electronics Cooling Efficiency

PROSPECT OF THERMAL INTERFACE MATERIALS

According to BCC Research, the global thermal interface materials market size was $764 million in 2015 and is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2020, with a CAGR of 7.4%. Traditional polymer-based thermal interface materials account for the largest share of all products, nearly 90%. Phase change and metal-based thermal interface materials accounted for a smaller but gradually increasing share.

The development of the field represented by communication networks (5G), automotive electronics (new energy), artificial intelligence, LED, and so on has driven the development of related industries. First, the base station and corresponding base station equipment demand are increasing rapidly. The need for thermally conductive interface materials has also been rapidly rising, followed by the Internet of Things applications, in addition to mobile phones and computers and other electronics industry, but also to expand to the automotive, home appliances, intelligent wearable, and industrial equipment, but also directly pulled to the demand for thermally conductive materials and related devices. The last is the communications equipment manufacturing industry superimposed on the catalyst of 5G, which will bring massive demand for thermally conductive materials, EMI shielding materials, and other products.

SUMMARY

With the electronic equipment and performance of the push-up, heat dissipation is more and more attention by the industry, and the related thermal interface material research is also increasing. From the initial thermally conductive silicone grease to the expansion of liquid metal thermal interface materials, improving thermal performance brings breakthrough opportunities.

The industry context of sustainability and environmental protection poses new challenges for the new generation of thermal interface materials, which play an active role in improving products and performance through green design and manufacturing and improving the recyclability of materials.

The rise of the 5G industry brings challenges as well as a massive demand for heat dissipation, so the market for the thermal management industry is set to see rapid development, and a new generation of thermal interface materials will play an essential role in improving heat dissipation efficiency, reducing environmental impact, and promoting sustainable development. With the advancement of technology, it is expected to make a more significant contribution to improving the performance of electronic devices and promoting environmental awareness in the future.

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