3M Thermally Conductive

Why Do Electronics Need Thermally Conductive Solutions?


Components in electronics – such as circuit boards, LEDs, batteries – produce a lot of heat as an unwanted byproduct. This unintended heat byproduct is often called power dissipation because it’s wasted energy. 


The electronics do not make use of the heat. In fact, the heat buildup usually compromises the device’s ultimate lifespan and performance. By being exposed to this extra heat, electronics run slower, use up battery faster, and can malfunction.


Case in point: buildup of excess heat causes 55% of electronic system failures.


These failures are frustrating enough when they affect our daily work, presentations, or cause time-stalling “technical difficulties.” But losing a day’s unsaved work is just the beginning of potential threats when our electronic systems fail. Imagine the terrifying notion of a flight monitoring instrument display burning out and the cockpit suddenly going dark at 30,000 feet. 


But complete failures aren’t the only concern with overheated electronics. For instance, let’s look at an example that’s gaining more and more traction when it comes to efficiency: electric vehicles (EVs). 


Compared to gas-powered automobiles, EVs set themselves apart with their efficient drivetrains. Gas vehicles are notoriously inefficient. They lose more than 80% of their energy to wasted heat. EVs, by comparison, only lose about 25% of their energy to heat. 


While that difference is a major improvement, it’s still the reality that our most technologically advanced forms of transportation waste one quarter of their energy.


To extend an EV’s battery life and driving range, we need to find ways to remove that excess heat from the picture more efficiently. That’s where 3M’s Thermally Conductive tape solutions come into play!


3M Has an Entire Thermally Conductive Adhesive Family of Products to Tackle this Issue


The 3M Thermally Conductive Adhesive family consists of a high-performance acrylic adhesive. But it’s what inside that adhesive that makes this category of tapes and pads so exciting. They are filled with highly conductive ceramic particles. 


This ingenious makeup creates an extremely reliable thermal interface material (TIM). TIMs are any material placed between two parts to enhance the thermal flow between the two components. For example, you can insert a TIM between the heat-producing device (the heat source) and the heat dissipation device (the heat sink or cooling plate). 


The key to 3M’s Thermally Conductive solution’s efficiency is the balance between the product’s gap-filling ability, conformability, and conductive ceramic particles. The gap-filling performance ensures that no heat gets trapped in air pockets or bubbles inside the device. Then, the form-fitting adhesive and conductive ceramic creates a highly efficient flow of heat away from the source.


3M Thermally Conductive solutions include tape options and interface pads. Both of which are die-cuttable in order to best fit the exact dimensions of your electronic device components. 


At Walker Tape Converting, we can offer you precise custom die-cut solutions of either these tapes or interface pads. Send us a free quote request, and we can get started on helping your electronics become more efficient than ever!


3M™ Thermally Conductive Transfer Tapes


3M’s Thermally Conductive transfer tape options offer you four different thicknesses to choose from: 5 mils, 10 mils, 15 mils, and 20 mils. 


Of course, if your application needs an even thicker solution, we offer custom lamination services. A part of these services includes our capability of layering any of these options together to achieve the thickness your project needs.


Regardless of their thickness choices, these transfer tapes enable you to design devices that run cooler and more reliably. They’re designed specifically to transfer heat away from critical display components. Their excellent thermal conductivity and conformability make them ideal for the various applications. Below include a handful of electronics that benefit from 3M™Thermally Conductive transfer tapes:


  • Computers 
  • Tablets and mobile devices 
  • Wearable devices 
  • IC packages 
  • Power transistors 
  • LED lighting and displays 
  • Automotive batteries
    • Especially in reducing what is known in the industry as “thermal fatigue,” which improves EV and hybrid battery life


3M Thermally Conductive Interface Pads


These soft, conformable interface pads also come in four thickness options: 20 mils, 40 mils, 60 mils, and 80 mils. They consist of a silicone polymer filled with highly conductive ceramic particles. 


Even though they run thicker than the transfer tape choices, like mentioned above, we can die-cut these pads to fit your individual applications. You can combine these high-quality interface pads from 3M with our custom services to make them ideal for use in the following ways:


  • LEDs
  • In-flight WiFi
  • Automotive batteries
  • Notebook thermal modules 


Plus, a lot more. Of course, these above examples barely scratch the surface of all the applications that can benefit from custom die-cut 3M Thermally Conductive interface pads. 



Ready to see how these amazing solutions can improve your electronics? Send a free custom quote request today, and leave the rest to us!


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