As electric vehicle technology evolves, so should your expectations. CoolTherm is the leader in thermal management materials. Our customizable products help EVs go longer, charge faster, and have higher reliability by managing heat in batteries, chargers, motors, and power electronics. Ready to think differently about heat? It’s time to experience a different kind of cool.
CoolTherm is the latest advancement in thermal management and infuses high-performance thermal interface materials with world-class service and support. Our team is highly responsive and specialized in custom formulations in multiple chemistries to meet your performance, cost, and schedule targets.
We’ve adapted to support the growing electric vehicle market and re-branded our thermal management materials under the brand-name CoolTherm®. This product line includes gap fillers, potting & encapsulation materials, thermally conductive adhesives and gels & greases.
While the core of our business is with automotive OEMs and tier suppliers of electric vehicles, our technology can help electrify a variety of other transportation and industrial types. If you're working on the future of electrification, contact our team to see how our thermal management materials can work in your unique design.
Electric buses are on the rise and many cities around the globe are transforming their traditional ICE or diesel fleets towards electrified transportation. Our thermal management materials can help enable fast-charging and wireless charging capabilities for these fleets.
Among electric aircraft, there is little standardization in the design of the most critcal component - battery packs. By working closely with our team, you will find a product for your toughest design challenges.
The Tg (glass transition temperature) of a material is the temperature range where the material changes from a rigid polymer to a more elastomeric polymer. Some silicone products can have a Tg as low as -120°C, which means the material is soft and flexible down to a negative 120°C. Some epoxy materials can have a Tg above 200°C, which means the material maintains its high strength properties up to 200°C.
The glass transition temperature, Tg, of a material can be determined in several ways; by measuring the material’s CTE over a temperature range using a thermal-mechanical analyzer, by measuring the modulus of the material over a temperature range using a dynamic mechanical analyzer or by measuring the material’s specific heat over a temperature range using differential scanning calorimetry.
UL certification is a symbol of trust. UL labs have developed comprehensive tests to determine the mechanical, physical and electrical characteristics of polymeric materials, ensuring that they are safe to use in electrical equipment. Several applicable UL standards govern the flammability requirements and other specific material behaviors of thermal management materials. After testing, a Performance Level Category (PLC) is assigned to the tested material. Three common UL standards CoolTherm materials meet are UL 94 Test for Flammability, UL746A for Polymeric Materials – Short Term Property Evaluations, and UL746B for Polymeric Long-Term Property Evaluations. Conforming to UL standards is an important qualification for LORD thermal management materials. The certification not only ensures optimal safety but long-term performance.
The CTE is the coefficient of thermal expansion of a cured material. It is expressed as the amount of linear expansion per degree of temperature.
Example: If a material has a CTE of 30 ppm/°C, what is the expansion of this material for a 10.0 mm long piece that is taken from 25°C to 125°C? The material will expand by 0.03 mm, which is 10 mm x 100°C x 0.000030 mm/mm per degree C. The expansion rate is determined by the chemistry of the product and the filler content. In general, flexible products have a higher expansion rate and higher filled products have lower expansion rates. The CTE of a material will be lower at temperatures below its Tg and will be higher at temperatures above its Tg.
To increase the cure speed of most gap fillers, potting materials, and/or adhesives, increase the temperature of the part to which the materials are applied. This can be done using an oven, a heat lamp, or induction heating. Parts can be pre-heated to the desired temperature, or material can be dispensed first and then the part can be heated. It is a general rule of thumb that the cure speed will approximately double for every 10 degree Celsius increase in temperature. It is worth noting that, for rigid materials, increasing cure speed can increase the risk of generating high internal stress in the material, which may degrade its mechanical strength and its ability to resist thermal and/or mechanical shock.
Most thermally conductive potting materials, gap fillers, and adhesives are electrically insulating due to the use of oxide or nitride materials (such as aluminum oxide and nitrides of aluminum, boron, or silicon) as thermally conductive fillers. There are some thermal interface materials (TIMs) used primarily in the microelectronics industry that are somewhat electrically conductive due to the use of metallic fillers, such as aluminum or silver. These TIMs are used primarily as underfills in low-voltage or electrically dissipative applications, as the materials do not have the high electrical conductivity of a wire bond or solder connection.
Thermal interface materials, or TIMs, are all thermally conductive to some extent. TIMs can be either electrically insulating or electrically conductive, depending on the type of thermally conductive filler that is used. Electrically insulating TIMs generally use some form of ceramic or nitride material as the thermally conductive filler. Aluminum oxides are most common, though TIMs with aluminum nitride, boron nitride, or other more specialized fillers are available. The maximum thermal conductivity of electrically insulating TIMs is usually in the range of 5-7 W/m∙K. Some TIMs are somewhat electrically conductive and can be used in low-voltage or electrically dissipative applications. These TIMs use some type of metallic filler, generally either aluminum or silver powders alone or in combination with oxides, and can have higher thermal conductivity than electrically insulating TIMs (up to 12-15 W/m∙K).
Thermal interface material (TIM) is a material that is used to transfer heat between two substrates. Typically, a TIM is specific to materials dispensed in very thin bond lines and dispensed directly onto individual electronic components or between a heat spreader and a heat sink. TIMs come in 4 major classifications – adhesives, gels, greases, and gap fillers. Adhesives require curing, are not susceptible to pump-out, and are typically not reworkable due to their excellent adhesion. Gels also require curing, are not susceptible to pump-out, and are reworkable. Greases are reworkable and they do not require curing, which makes them susceptible to pump-out and phase separation. Gap fillers are slightly harder and have thicker minimum bond lines than gels, but they share the other previously-mentioned properties with gels.
Even when two substrates appear to be in contact, there are tiny surface imperfections that are not visible to the naked eye and leave air pockets between the substrates. When trying to transfer heat from an electronic component to a heat sink, the air between those substrates will act as a thermal insulator, meaning that the heat will not transfer quickly from the hot component to the heat sink, damaging the component and ultimately reducing its life. Thermal interface materials, however, fill these tiny air pockets with a thermally-conductive material, allowing the heat to transfer quickly from the hot electronics to the heat sink.
Thermal conductivity is a measure of a material’s ability to transfer heat. It is presented as the variable “k” and is typically measured in the units of W/(m·K). Breaking down the units, thermal conductivity is a measure of heat flow (W) over a distance (m) and across a temperature gradient (K). The larger the temperature gradient or the shorter the distance, the faster that the heat will transfer.