Proper selection of thermal interface materials (TIMs) is crucial for the efficiency of electronic devices, has been proven to reduce the cost of ownership, reduce system power consumption and increase operational lifetime. The IDTechEx Research report Thermal Interface Materials 2015-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts
finds that this market will be $1.3 billion in 2015, growing to $3 billion in 2025.
Portable and wearable electronics require miniature high density circuits, often housed in airtight enclosures. Heat management is therefore a big problem which is growing with the increasing demand for smaller and more powerful products. Thermal management technology has to evolve quickly to keep up with this relentless advance of electronic component and product design. The range of TIMs available a decade ago are now redundant and that is leading to extensive development of advanced materials and structures which can manage heat better and as a result enable electronics to operate faster.
The IDTechEx Research report details the current state of the market, a geographic breakdown of the market and annual forecasts to 2025 for the different TIM types - including greases, gels and pastes, liquids, elastomeric pads, metals and phase change materials. The technologies and chemistries are described and compared, and performance data from a wide selection of commercially available products is benchmarked.
The importance and opportunities in these application sectors is also forecasted annually to 2025:
- LED lighting
- Telecommunications equipment
- Automotive electronics
- Industrial computing
- Defence and aerospace electronics
- Consumer and mobile handheld electronics
- Medical electronics
- Wireless sensor networks
- PCB testing equipment
The forecasts have been compiled after an extensive interview program with TIM manufacturers and using financial data published by public companies. The report also includes detailed profiles of 29 companies working in this industry.
The report also explores many new and emerging disruptive materials. Traditionally, TIMs have been micro-structured, but R&D is increasingly focussed on nano-structuring which can involve using nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes
or graphene, metallic nanoparticles as fillers for polymeric TIMs and nano-structuring a bulk ceramic or metal foam.
Top image: Bergquist Sil-Pad®. Source: Henkel, with permission