Which thermal adhesive?

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Jabe1
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Which thermal adhesive?

I’m having trouble finding Arctic alumina, which I’ve used before. What do you use?
Can it be removed later? I’m looking for something new…

Athecal
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The one and only flashlight I built thus far I just used NT-H1 I had laying around left over from previous PC builds it comes with Noctua CPU coolers. It seems to do the job well and doesn't actually glue anything down if you want to remove components later.

Souichirou
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I would avoid any adhesives for ease of replacement or repair of any project, but with that said can’t go wrong with Arctic Silver 5 use the stuff on pretty much every pc build I’ve had.

Athecal
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Artic Silver 5 is good stuff too. I just use what comes with the coolers I buy. Neither cost much. I wouldn't use that cheap white stuff they use in consumer electronics (audio amps and the like).

Souichirou
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Athecal wrote:

Artic Silver 5 is good stuff too. I just use what comes with the coolers I buy. Neither cost much. I wouldn’t use that cheap white stuff they use in consumer electronics (audio amps and the like).

I just buy Silver 5 in bulk since ideally a user should remove the cooler and reapply thermal paste every 2 years or so but I do a deep clean every 6 months and remove all the components in my system for cleaning.

Hoop
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Thermal adhesives are generally considered permanent but can sometimes be removed without damaging the components by using some amount of force along with freezing the components or heating the components. The thickness of the adhesive layer and the condition of the mating surfaces would be a factor in the effort required to separate them. Thermal grease requires a constant compressive force on the mating components whereas adhesives do not. Some thermal greases have better shelf life and application life than others. MX-4 claims an 8 year application life.

Jabe1
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I use arctic silver when the board is held down mechanically. I do have some builds though where I do need an adhesive.

hinbli
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I think you are talking about Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive, not the thermal compound. Apparently, this adhesive has been discontinued few years ago. I liked it very much. I am looking for the alternative. I have used the one from MG Chemicals, but it is not the same, for example the cure time of 24 hours.

It is easy to remove with the heat. That is the easy part. Cleaning up is a different story.

kramer5150
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+1 vote for arctic silver 5 combined with some way to mechanically fasten the MCPCB. If mechanical attachment is not possible, I have used AS 5 and 3-4 small dabs of JB weld to fasten the MCPCB edges onto the pill. Press and hold the MCPCB firmly in place as the JB weld hardens. Problem with this is you have to use just the right amount of AS5… too much and it oozes out and you can’t easily adhere with JB weld. Too little and its not sufficient for thermal conduction.

Firelight2
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Thermal adhesive is useful for more than just attaching stars to pills. For example, you can use it to glue momentary pushbuttons to drivers for sideswitch lights.

You can’t do that with thermal compound like AS5… you need an actual adhesive.

I too am looking for a replacement to the excellent Arctic Alumina.

Jabe1
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I ordered some MG Chemicals 8329tcm. We’ll see how it goes. I was hoping for a faster cure time, but I don’t want only a 5 minute working time; it can take a bit to get an led centered correctly.

Enderman
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I had 4 tubes of alumina go bad, one of the compounds hardens even before mixing it.
Its performance is also not as good as thermal pastes.
I would recommend using thermal paste and screws to hold down your PCB, or thermal paste and then some JB weld to secure the part.
This way you get the best possible thermal transfer.