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TIM Materials in Auto Devices

My Co-Worker, Mike Fenner wrote an article in the June 2008 issue of OnBoard Technology (A Great Resource of SMT Electronics Literature).  His article, Soldering: Is the Automotive Assembler Really Different?Ӕ asks the question of whether electronics used in auto applications are handled differently than other applications.  


This got me wondering, Is there also a difference in thermal design between various end product types?Ӕ  I have to say that the answer, like it or not, is yes, at least with regard to the TIM material.  The applications I see most commonly are very critical ones-military, medical, etc.  This is likely due to the reliability my products can handle, but there is certainly still a difference. The auto devices require very thorough testing before any material is specified into the device while less critical applications, require less-strenuous life testing, which a wider variety of TIM materials are capable of passing.