Thermal Paste

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ayeying, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Sooo.. this may be a weird question but what happens if you were to cool the thermal paste to... say 0 deg C... leave it there for about 2 hours, then use it. Would that help change the viscosity of the thermal paste? (just general thermal paste, no need to go name brand and all that)

    Btw: The thermal paste is applied to the diode already, not putting the tube in the fridge and see what happens.

    Just curious btw. lol
  2. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    So you are applying the thermal paste to the diode and then waiting 2 hours in a cold area and then putting the heat sink on? Sorry its kind of a weird question. The main reason that we use thermal compound is to compensate for irregularities in the surfaces on the heat sink, you want the paste to bond to both sides so a solid connection is made.

    I don't think freezing it is going to help, in fact its just going to heat up again anyways when you turn your computer on.

    I am not an expert on thermal compounds though so who knows.
  3. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Well, no, the thing would be put back together in one piece... just the thermal paste would be a newly applied item.

    I understand it'll heat back up, but would it change the texture/thickness/goo-ness yadada by freezing it.. for better contact
  4. Berlepsch macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    Thermal paste should not be used as a "filler", it works best when it is applied sparingly. In the ideal case, you have mostly direct contact between your heat source and the heat sink, with the paste only filling the gaps due to surface roughness. When you apply a thick layer of paste, it can liquefy under heat and seep out of the gap.
  5. conch575 macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Try it out :D It would probably go hard.
  6. djjclark macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008
    Thermal paste is made to replace the air that can be trapped in the voids of the surface. You want it to be pliable so that it will flow into those voids. You dont want it preventing surface to surface contact. Chilling it is probably worse then not having any on it.
  7. spatterfree macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2009
    South Dakota
  8. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    it's a silly question when asked independently of the type of thermal paste used, if by chance a phase change will alter the structure of the material it will be specific to the material in question and even then this is HIGHLY unlikely to occur, if anything heating it up is more likely to dry it out or bake it.

    Why do you think it would serve your purposes better as a solid? thermal paste benefits from being malleable/liquid so it can get into all the flaws in the surface of the materials you are putting together, you should be scraping a thin layer of the stuff across the surfaces with a card so that barely any is used.

    It makes me wonder if you're logic is to "imbue" the essence of coldness to the paste, which is even more stupid.

    What exactly is this "diode" you're trying to cool, and why have you applied moist thermal paste to the thing? What is your issue with it's current level of viscosity? If you're trying to use the paste as an adhesive freezing it won't help, you'll need some thermal epoxy. If the heatsink is held in place by some other method of attachment why does it matter how viscose the material is?

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