Electronic Design

Metal-Matrix Composite Delivers Advanced Thermal Management

Engineers can now tailor their thermal-management, packaging, and interconnection needs with a low-cost, metal-matrix composite material made of aluminum, silicon, and carbon (AlSiC). The material's isotropic thermal coefficient of expansion (CTE), which includes 8.75, 10.56, and 11.7 for AlSiC-9, -10, and -11, respectively (from 30°C to 200°C), can be adjusted for specific applications by modifying the aluminum-metal/SiC ratio. This eliminates the need for thermal-interface stacking, increasing field reliability.

The material, developed by CPS Corp., features a high level of thermal conductivity of 200, 200, and 100 W/mK for AlSiC-9, -10, and -11, respectively, at 25°C, for highly efficient thermal dissipation. Specific heat ratings of the three composite materials are 0.741, 0.786, and 0.808 J/gK, respectively, at 25°C. This, combined with the high CTE and conductivity ratings, prevents the bowing and flexing of packaging and substrate materials that can lead to failure. Other features include respective densities of 3.01, 2.96, and 2.89 (g/cm3) and a respective Young's modulus of 188, 167, and 167 GPa.

The AlSiC composite's near- and net-shaped fabrication process produces the composite material and fabricates the product's geometry. This results in a cost-effective product and enables rapid prototyping for high-volume advanced thermal management. Its unique casting process permits the integration of very high thermal-conductivity inserts (over 1000 W/mK) or cooling tubes for more advanced thermal management.

According to CPS, because the performance of the material varies greatly depending on how it's customized, prices can range from $5 to $30 per unit. The material is available now.

CPS Corp.

(508) 222-0614, ext. 42

TAGS: Components
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