11/12/2012, Irvine, CA

 

New Material Keeps Handhelds – and your Hands! – Cool

It’s something every user of smart phones, tablets and even laptops has experienced: heat emanating from your indispensable electronic device. As the device works to perform all of the functions you demand, the temperature rises.

Not only does the heat generation put stress on the internal device components, it can also be uncomfortable for the user. What’s more, this problem has only gotten worse as handhelds have become smaller and thinner while, at the same time, increasing functionality. Temperature concerns not only cause user discomfort; they also limit advancing semiconductor designs as many next-generation chips are simply too hot for current products.

Manufacturers of popular handheld devices aim for a skin temperature (the temperature on the product’s outside case or housing) of 40°C (104°F) or less. But, of course, the external temperature is driven by what’s happening inside the device and, most often, the CPU is the primary cause of excessive heat. The industry has addressed this issue with various thermal management approaches including heat spreaders, heat sinks and graphite films which spread the temperature evenly across a large area. The truth is, however, that many of these techniques still don’t lower the temperature enough and some of them are just too large or thick for modern handheld designs.

In a patented breakthrough materials development, Henkel has formulated a fist-of-its-kind thermal film which more effectively reduces CPU and skin temperature, while also delivering a solution that is lighter than current alternatives. The new material, LOCTITE TAF-8800, is a novel approach to heat management materials and is designed to absorb, spread, insulate and slowly dissipate thermal energy generated by ICs, thereby allowing the device to maintain a lower skin temperature. In fact, a customer that is currently using LOCTITE TAF-8800 was able to lower CPU and skin temperature of a tablet device by over 3°C (approximately 5°F) as compared to that of its former heat spreading material. That’s a significant temperature drop, resulting in greater comfort to the user as well as more efficient operation of the CPU.

LOCTITE TAF-8800 can be supplied in customized, pre-cut sizes depending on specific application requirements. The current version of the material is available as a coating set between two copper substrates, though the film is so versatile that a variety of heat spreading layer constructions could be incorporated to create both thinner and thicker solutions. The material is generally applied manually but can also be integrated into a pick-and-place process for high volume operations. With a thickness of 0.305mm and an extremely light composition, LOCTITE TAF-8800 is ideal for a variety of handheld devices including tablets, smart phones, ultrabooks and laptops or any electronics application where high heat generation is a concern.

The fact is that devices are only getting smaller, thinner and more capable. With these three conditions, temperature can become a limiting factor. LOCTITE TAF-8800, a market first, now helps manufacturers overcome these challenges with a material that is significantly more effective than traditional solutions.

 

For more information on LOCTITE TAF-8800 thermal film or any of Henkel’s advanced thermal management materials, please email jason.brandi@us.henkel.com