Thermal interface materials (TIMs) play a pivotal role in electronics and thermal management. They help improve the thermal conductivity between components, ensuring efficient heat dissipation and preventing overheating. By filling microscopic gaps between surfaces, TIMs facilitate heat transfer, and in turn, improve the reliability and performance of electronic devices. According to Inkwood Research, the global thermal interface materials market is set to progress with a CAGR of 9.91% during the forecast years 2023 to 2032, reaching a revenue of $7044.80 million by 2032.
With the rising development and adoption of increasingly compact and powerful electronics, TIMs are becoming indispensable for maintaining optimal operating temperatures, prolonging the lifespan of devices, and ultimately ensuring their seamless functionality. TIMs are available in many forms, including gels, pastes, and greases; they offer excellent thermal conductivity, high-flexibility and better fill larger gaps.
Thermal Interface Materials Market: Enhancing Performance in Electrical Applications
Through the efficient conduction of heat away from critical components such as processors and semiconductors, TIMs prevent overheating and ensure the longevity and reliability of electronic devices. This enhanced thermal management results in improved performance, reduced downtime, and increased energy efficiency, making them an indispensable component of modern electrical applications. Here’s how –
- Automotive Electronics:
Thermal conductive materials play a pivotal role in dissipating heat generated by various automotive electronic systems, such as engine control units, infotainment systems, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and electric vehicle (EV) components. TIMs facilitate heat transfer between electronic components and heat sinks, ensuring that delicate automotive electronics operate at optimal temperatures. For example, the DOWSIL™ 3-6752 by Dow Chemical Company (United States) is a thermally conductive adhesive used for bonding organic as well as ceramic substrates to heat sinks for electronic control modules in automotive applications.
Market Position: As per Inkwood Research, the automotive electronics segment, under the application category, is set to grow with the highest CAGR of 11.08% between 2023 to 2032.
In addition to performance improvements, these materials also aid in energy efficiency, which is a major concern in the automotive industry. By preventing overheating and ensuring the longevity of vital components, these materials enhance the reliability and performance of modern automotive electronics, thereby contributing to the safety and efficiency of automobiles.
Computers, encompassing various devices such as desktops, laptops, servers, and data centers, produce a significant amount of heat during their operation. The use of thermal interface materials, in this regard, is common for enhancing heat dissipation from critical components like CPUs, GPUs, and memory modules to their respective cooling solutions or heat sinks.
The demand for efficient TIMs in computers is projected to increase during the forecast period, driven by the growing popularity of gaming PCs, the expansion of artificial intelligence applications, and the increasing utilization of data-intensive tasks. Additionally, the emergence of technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) is fostering the need for robust thermal management solutions in edge computing devices and cloud data centers, as well.
Thermal interface materials (TIMs) are employed in telecom equipment in order to efficiently transfer heat from high-power electronic components, ensuring that devices operate within the required temperature range. Thermal greases, phase-change materials, and thermal pads are commonly used in these applications. As the telecom industry transitions towards 5G, while preparing for the future with 6G technology, the demand for thermal conductive materials is anticipated to increase further.
Aligning with this, telecom is expected to be the dominating application during the forecast period, capturing a revenue share of 24.80% by 2032 (Source: Inkwood Research). Several leading companies are actively engaged in the telecommunications infrastructure space, predominantly with regard to thermal interface materials. These include Henkel AG & Co KGaA (Germany), Parker Hannifin Corporation (United States), and Indium Corporation (United States).
- Medical Devices:
Efficient thermal management is critical in medical devices in order to ensure accurate and reliable performance during medical procedures. TIMs assist in heat dissipation from high-powered medical electronics, preventing overheating and maintaining optimal operating temperatures. As pharmaceutical R&D and industrialization continue to grow in major regions, such as Europe, the demand for thermally conductive compounds in medical devices is expected to rise further. For example, Germany’s robust pharmaceutical and medical device sectors highlight the demand for TIMs in medical applications.
With a substantial number of companies in the medical equipment and supplies sector, Italy’s mature market necessitates precise temperature control in medical devices. Likewise, the robust export value of the Polish medical devices and equipment sector, reaching €3.2 billion in 2021, also demonstrates the critical role of TIMs in healthcare technology. These growth factors, in turn, further propel the market demand in the region. Accordingly, as per Inkwood Research, the Europe thermal interface materials market is set to grow with a notable CAGR of 10.15% during the forecast period, 2023 to 2032.
As technology continues to evolve, the need for efficient heat management becomes increasingly crucial. Moreover, with industries and consumers alike demanding smaller, faster, and more powerful devices, the use of TIMs is set to play a pivotal role in maintaining optimal operating temperatures and ensuring the longevity of modern electronics. These factors, in turn, are expected to boost the growth of the global thermal interface materials market during the upcoming years.
Typically, several interfaces exist between the heat-generating element as well as the eventual heatsink. Their thickness can vary from several hundredths of an inch to a few thousandths of an inch.
Yes, various TIMs are designed to be environmentally friendly, offering low volatile organic compound (VOC) content and longer lifespans, which reduce waste and environmental impact.