Case Study Series

Chemical Compatibility of Thermal Interface Materials
–Adam Klett

Q: Can I put assemblies with silicone materials, like TIMs, into my inline cleaner?

A: Generally, no, unless testing has been qualified and verified. There are chemistries that will dissolve and extract materials from your TIMs. This can build up in your inline cleaner and cause issues down the road.

Q: How can I verify the chemical compatibility of TIMs with my process?

A: We recommend static and dynamic testing to see how the material behaves on its own in a bulk sense and during your specific process parameters. Something to note: if you have any special properties (Thermal, RF, etc.) that need to be verified, you should also track those.

Q: Would compatibility testing be similar for pastes?

A: Yes. In this case study, we tested pads, but as mentioned, these thermal interface materials come in a variety of forms. There might be a slight difference in the logistics, but it is generally a very similar process.