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Old 13th October 2012, 04:45 PM   #1
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Default heat spreader insulation sheet - where to buy?

I have from time to time seen output devices or chip amps bolted to a heat spreader bar, which is then bolted on to a heat sink. I assume that this has the advantage that the output devices can directly dissipate heat to a large metal object in which they are in intimate contact, and then that object (the heat spreader) with its larger surface area can transfer the heat flow to the heat sink for removal into the environment with less thermal resistance, because of the larger area. The problem is that I can't seem to find insulating material in a sheet form. I know that silicone is used, and perhaps I could just look for very thin sheet silicone, but I am not sure if there is a "special" type that is used in this application where heat transfer is important. I have also seen large mica sheets but I want to avoid using that material.

So, what kind of silicone sheet should I look for and where can I get it?

Thanks,

-Charlie
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Old 13th October 2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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The most efficient way is to bolt directly to the heatsink, any other interface adds thermal resistance. The bars are usually used to make mounting easier.

Heat conducting electrically insulating sheet material is made by Bergquist and should be available in from major electronics catalogue places where you are. It is fairly expensive though.
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Old 13th October 2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richie00boy View Post
The most efficient way is to bolt directly to the heatsink, any other interface adds thermal resistance. The bars are usually used to make mounting easier.

Heat conducting electrically insulating sheet material is made by Bergquist and should be available in from major electronics catalogue places where you are. It is fairly expensive though.
Thanks for your response. Hard to imagine that the heat conduction with
output_device - spreader_metal - insulator - heatsink
would be worse than
output_device - insulator - heatsink
if the area of the spreader contacting the heat sink is 20-50 times larger... I'm envisioning a large, rectangular plate as the "spreader".

How about some very thin silicone sheet? I found some available in 0.01 inch (0.25 mm) and 0.05 inch (0.13 mm) thicknesses.

-Charlie
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Old 13th October 2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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Ah, some kapton film would likely be better. It is heat conducting:

See: "Kapton® Polyimide Thermally Conductive Film" on this page:
Kapton® Polyimide Thermally Conductive Film

It comes in 12"x12" (30x30 cm) sheets.

-Charlie
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