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22 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2020 This month, I'd like to concentrate on some of the complications you are likely to encounter when selecting and applying a thermal inter- face material. I'll also look a little more closely at thermal resistance, viscosity, and vibration, as well as their effects on performance. Choosing a thermal management product is not just about ticking all of the correct boxes on a specification sheet; it's a complex pro- cess that requires consideration of how to apply the product in accordance with produc- tion schedules and testing of the product in the final application. Selecting the right type of thermal management method for a particular electronic assembly and its predicted operat- ing conditions is far from easy. Once selected, it is vitally important to ensure that the thermal management product continues to perform satisfactorily throughout the expected lifetime of the product. To estab- lish this, the performance of the device or the thermal resistance between the device and the Top Tips for a Successful Thermal Management Process heat sink needs to be measured again after accelerated aging or with environmental tests that simulate the real-world application condi- tions. This is the only way you can be sure that the thermal management product chosen is really suitable for the job. Without further ado, let's explore how you can fully optimise your thermal management process using our trusted five-point question and answer format. 1. How do I ensure that my choice of thermal management material is the most appropriate one? What factors should I take into consideration? Choosing a thermal management product must always take into account the applica- tion under production conditions because the thickness and uniformity of a thermal inter- face material can have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of thermal transfer. A product tested under lab application conditions, there- Sensible Design by Jade Bridges, ELECTROLUBE

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