Different Types of Thermal Grease and Their Uses
A machine heats up whenever it is working, especially a computer. In order to maintain the efficiency of a machine, it is necessary that the temperature of the machine should be kept down. Excessive heat may damage your machine or its internal wiring. In order to bring the temperature down, thermal grease is used. It is attached to a heat sink once it is applied to a central processing unit of your computer. A heat sink disperses the heat and reduces the temperature of your machine. Thermal grease draws heat away from the computer into the heat sink. It does so by creating maximum surface to surface conductivity.
In absence of thermal grease, there are air gaps in two surfaces of the central processing unit’s wafer. This reduces efficiency and effectiveness of the heat sink which results in overheating. Overheating may cause various errors and ultimately failure. Each type of thermal grease has a different level of thermal conductivity. Depending on your needs and requirements along with the type of your machine, you can choose an appropriate type of thermal grease for yourself. In this article, we will tell you about the different types of thermal grease and their uses.
Types of Thermal Grease
1) Thermal tape – This type of thermal grease is the least effective of all. However, being least effective, it is also most economical and least messy of all. Experts usually do not recommend thermal tape for machine with a high workload.
2) Grease pads – These pads are often a part of the packages that include a heat sink as well as a fan. The pad is usually grey in color and wrapped with a protective covering. It should not be touched once the covering has been removed. Grease pads usually melt and stick to the surface of the central processing unit and the heat sink when they are heated. They become stiff once the temperature of the machine falls.
3) Silicon & Zinc – This type of thermal grease comes in a tube and it is colored white. It fills the gaps between two surfaces. However, silicon and zinc based thermal grease is not heat conductive itself.
4) Ceramic – This type of thermal grease includes aluminium oxide particles. Usually, ceramic pastes are considered to be associated with mid range efficiency. But, there is one formula of ceramic based thermal grease which is considered to be better than silver based thermal grease. This formula performs to the maximum extent once it has been used several times. Once maximum performance is reached, you can keep your system on for several hours without any issues. Ceramic grease is not electrically conductive, and this is one big advantage that this type of thermal grease has over silver based grease.
5) Silver – Most of the experts believe that silver should be used in heatsink manufacture. Therefore, silver based thermal grease is quite popular. However, since silver is a good conductor of electricity, it should be made sure that it does not touches the surface of the motherboard or electrical circuitry, as it may result in an electrical short. There are many website which provide you with an online heat sink performance simulator so that you can check the performance of your heat sink as well as machine.