When should the Thermal Pad be replaced?

heat sink thermal pad

Thermal pads are a type of thermal interface material (TIM) that improve heat conduction between surfaces, such as between a heat source like a CPU or GPU and a heat sink. They are useful in situations where there are gaps or uneven surfaces that might prevent good contact, and therefore good heat conduction, between the two surfaces.

Here are some situations where thermal pads might need to be replaced:

Performance issues

If your device is overheating or experiencing thermal throttling, it may be due to a worn or ineffective thermal pad. If you've checked other potential issues (like dust in the cooling system or software problems) and the problem persists, the thermal pad may need replacing.

Physical degradation

If the thermal pad is visibly worn, cracked, torn, or otherwise damaged, it should be replaced. This can happen with age and use, or if the pad has been improperly handled.

Component replacement or maintenance

If you're replacing or maintaining the component that the thermal pad is attached to (like the CPU or GPU), you'll often need to replace the thermal pad as well. This is because removing the component can damage the pad, and even if it doesn't, the pad may not make as good contact when reattached.

Pad age

Even if there are no visible issues, thermal pads can degrade over time. If your thermal pad is several years old, you may want to replace it as a preventive measure.

To carefully select a replacement thermal pad. Factors to consider include it's thermal conductivity (measured in W/m.K), it's thickness (to make sure it will fill the gap between the components), and it's softness or compliance (which affects how well it can fill in uneven surfaces). Some thermal pads also have adhesive on one or both sides, which can make installation easier, but may not be necessary or desirable depending on your application.

If you would like to learn more about AOK performance thermal materials, please visit our website at www.aok-technologies.com

Updated on:2023-07-27 15:30:37
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