Thermal Management in Electronics
2 March, 2020 by
CMC Klebetechnik GmbH

A well-known rule of thumb from electronics states that a reduction in temperature by 10°C doubles the service life of a component.

This shows that thermal management is an important topic for LED applications, solar converters and power electronics such as IGBT units. In other words, everywhere where heat is generated in confined spaces and can lead to overheating.

Thermally conductive insulation foils, silicone foil, metal foils

CMC Klebetechnik offers high-performance products (e.g. Kapton® MT) for "heat dissipation". So that the heat can be dissipated as quickly as possible from the point of origin.

A rough distinction is made between heat-conducting materials that are also electrically conductive and products that conduct heat but have an electrically insulating effect. In addition to the Kapton® variants described here, you can also obtain thermally conductive silicone films and gap fillers from CMC. All these solutions are not only interesting for device manufacturers, but also for EMS service providers.

The thermally conductive foils and gap fillers can be used as a galvanic separation from the heat sink or heat spreader, to compensate for unevenness on the circuit board or, if required, are also very thin and space-saving: CMC Klebetechnik offers the right material for your heat conduction path - in electronics production, transformer construction, for electrical drives, electrical heaters in dryers, air heaters, oil heaters, for power LED lighting, pipe trace heaters or in other thermal engineering applications: Heat management on demand.

Kapton® polyimide films offer high electric strength, extreme temperature resistance, low shrinkage and cannot break. They are therefore popular films, especially in the electronics industry, for e.g. flexible printed circuits, insulation and thermal conduction. Kapton® MT films can also be used as a substitute for aluminium oxide ceramic discs (flexible, break-resistant). Due to their low thickness, they have a low thermal resistance.

Compensation of heat transfer resistances

For thermal management in electrical engineering and electronics, CMC Klebetechnik offers variants with different coatings based on the thermally conductive Kapton® MT films. These coatings compensate for surface roughness and thus significantly reduce the contact resistances that form. Kapton® MT films are an essential addition to all products offered by CMC for heat management in electronics.

Other possibilities for improving the heat transfer resistance are, for example, soft silicone foils or thermal conductive pastes (more information on this at www.cmc.de).

If no insulation function is required or is guaranteed by a mechanically defined distance, thermal conductive pastes can also be used for thermal connection. These offer optimal surface wetting and excellent thermal conductivity with thin layers. They are available in silicone-containing and silicone-free versions. Important here is the ageing behaviour (pumping out, squeezing out, flowability, heat resistance, etc.).

Other applications for thermally conductive TIM products include: Industrial, street, marine, facade and car park lighting, stadium and stage lights as well as vehicle front lights, on-board chargers, power converters, rectifiers DC/AC, converters DC/DC in e-mobiles (powertrain), servo converters as well as high-performance electronics and in medical technology. Also for power grids, battery technology, dU/dT filters, interference suppression filters in general, high-performance capacitors, super caps and automotive applications (HEV, OBC, DC/DC converters).

Important: Consideration of the use of TIM products in the context of the life cycle.

  • Behaviour of TIM materials under surface pressure (pump-out)

  • Behaviour of different TIM materials in the power circle (degration)

  • Changes in thermal resistance in the presence of vibrations

  • What mechanical stress is transferred to the component by the TIM

  • Resettability (e.g. Powercircle with CTE pumps) of TIMs (e.g. silicone foils)

  • Behaviour during temperature cycles and shock loading of interface materials

  • Compensation behaviour of TIMs for higher order deformations (concave, convex, wavy)

  • Chemical resistance and behaviour within electrical insulation systems

  • Fire behaviour of TIMs
    Change in dielectric strength via ageing or deformation (thickness reduction)

  • Änderung der Spannungsfestigkeit über Alterung oder Verformung (Dickenreduktion)

  • Settling behaviour of gap fillers and thermally conductive joints under mechanical load

  • Installation "control" to select the correct TIM at the correct load (e.g. contant pressure or constant gap dimension).

  • Lifetime behaviour of TIMs in general

Need for thermal conduction in a wide range of applications and industries

Thermal conductive products from CMC are custom made for the following applications

IT technology: WLAN routers, servers, notebooks, VOIP telephones, memory modules, fetish disks and printers

Power supply: Inverters, power converters, grid components (smart grid), uninterruptible power supplies, DC/DC inverters, solar inverters, motor control units, buck-boost DC/DC converters; high-performance resistors with aluminium housing/heat sink, mains voltage stabilisers, systems for power factor correction, energy storage systems, active filters, heat dissipation on passive components such as e.g. capacitors, resistors, transformers. e.g. capacitors, resistors, transformers, for electric vehicle chargers, in high-voltage power supplies, for electronic transformers and thermal management in converters for photovoltaics, traffic engineering and wind energy.

Automotive engineering: Daytime running lights, brake lights (LED strip), electronics for power steering, ABS brake modules, car electronics, power semiconductors, HV junction box, battery container, car control unit (CCU), HV air conditioning, HV ACC, HV booster, battery storage systems, HV batteries

Possible applications of heat conducting materials in vehicles:

  • Thermal management for devices such as the On Board Charger (OBC), the Battery Junction Bock (BJB), the Cell Supervising Circuit (CSC), the Battery Management System (BMS), the Electric Drive Unit (EDU), the Power Inverter Module (PIM), High Power Distribution Module (HPDM), the Battery Coolant Heater and the Air Conditioning Compressor Module as well as the various DC/DC inverters (Accessory Power Module) for voltages below the high-voltage battery level (e.g. 48VDC, 12 VDC and 5 VDC). e.g. 48VDC, 12 VDC and 5 VDC), step-up/step-down converter

  • Dissipation of heat loss within the battery (e.g. via the terminal lugs, battery housing, busbars).

  • Thermally conductive insulation for high-performance electronics (e.g. on-board charger, frequency converter for the drive motor)

  • Thermal management for the electric motor and the motor control unit

  • for the thermal connection of SuperCaps for a longer service life

  • Protection of power LEDs (e.g. headlights, LED strips) from overheating.

House and lighting technology: Power LED Lamps, Smart Meters, Audio Equipment, LCD TVs, Smart Meter Gateway (SMGW), LED Drivers, Constant Current Sources

Cooling technology, control cabinet air conditioning, cooling modules: Of course, cooling units, heat pumps and Peltier elements (thermoelectric cooling modules) can also be connected to heat sinks by means of TIM products.

In WBG (Wide Bandgap) Electronics (SiC, GaN) or silicone-based (IGBT, thyristor) with higher operating temperatures and power-intensive, close-packed applications, Kapton® guarantees long-term electrical insulation and thermal conduction thanks to its high temperature resistance.

Insulation and heat dissipation on passive components such as chokes, capacitors, filters on converters, power resistors, current transformers, thermistors, braking resistors, mains filters, transformers and in systems for power factor correction, discharge resistors for safe discharging of batteries or capacitors in e.g. E-Mobility

Insulation and heat dissipation for active components such as power modules, MOSFETs, thyristors, power diodes, rectifiers, Power System in Package (PSiP), IGBTs, thick film heating elements

For the connection of Temperature sensors to the surface to be monitored, to improve thermal conduction in heat exchangers, for heat sinks and fans.

as well as in medical technology and in electric motor and generator construction.

Applications for thermal conductive Kapton® MT/MT+ are found in nearly all kind of industry, especially for these markets and applications:

  • Electrical Energy Storage

  • Transportation (trains, busses, etc)

  • UPS and Motor Drives

  • Silicon Carbide (SiC) Applications

  • EV and HEV automotive applications

  • Telecommunication

  • HV- Airheater and HVCH (High-Voltage Coolant Heater)

  • Alternative Energy such as Wind and Solar

  • (High voltage) Heat pumpe

  • Industrial Power Conversion

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