TP-3 - 100 x 100 mm - Number of Pads: 1
TP-3 - 120 x 20 mm - Number of Pads: 4
TP-3 - 200 x 100 mm - Number of Pads: 2
What Is a Thermal Pad and What Is It Used For?
A thermal conductive pad is a TIM (thermal interface material) and an easy-to-use alternative to conventional thermal paste that is used for larger gaps or for cooling sensitive components.
Although thermal pads are available in fixed sizes, they can also be easily cut to size and adapted to different uses. They are used on mainboards, graphic cards, laptops and consoles (e.g., PS4) to connect sensitive components, like RAM, ICs or voltage converters with a heat sink.
What’s So Special about the Tp-3 Thermal Pad?
In addition to their low thermal resistance, their flexibility of use makes TP-3 thermal pads unique. They are very soft and therefore they can adapt to the unevenness of the substrate profile, without mechanically stressing the covered components, even with higher contact pressure. Not only are they very practical, but also very safe and easy to use, as they are vibration damping, electrically insulating and non-capacitive. ARCTIC TP-3 thermal pads are not self-adhesive.
In addition to different sizes, the thermal pads are also offered in different thicknesses. This further increases the range of applications.
What Should One Look Out for When Using Thermal Pads?
It’s important that the thermal pad covers the entire surface of the component. To do this, you either buy the corresponding prefabricated size, such as for M.2 SSDs, or a larger pad and cut this to size as required. The thickness of the thermal pad is also important.
As a rule of thumb for thickness, the thermal pad should not only fill the gap between surfaces accurately, but should also be between 10% and 40% larger, depending on the pad hardness. So, with a gap of 0.7 mm, a 1.0 mm thick thermal pad should be used.
Here are a few more tips:
- The thermal pad should always be as thin as possible. We recommend soft pads, because they can be compressed better.
- In principle, several thermal pads can be placed on top of each other, but this is only recommended if irregularities in the surfaces make this absolutely necessary and the gap cannot otherwise be bridged.
- If a large gap must be bridged, an aluminum or copper plate should be used in addition to the thermal pad. A thermal pad should then be attached to each contact surface. Example: a gap of 4 mm is to be bridged. It’s now recommended to use a 3.3 mm thick copper plate and two 0.5 mm thick thermal pads.