The principle of measuring thermal resistance of thermal interface material (TIM) by sandwiching the material between a hot block and cold block is well known in the industry. TIM manufacturers usually use a variation of the industrial standard ASTM D5470 test method, and subsequently provide data that is difficult for the end user to effectively utilize for product development. This paper will discuss the design and construction of an automated TIM test system based on the ASTM D5470 standard. This automated test vehicle provides an independent study of various TIMs. The instrument enables standardized testing and performance documentation of interface materials from a wide array of manufacturers making it easier for end-users to compare and select the appropriate material for various applications. The automated test method is faster and easier to use than previous methods. It requires minimal operator intervention during the test and can perform preconditioning, and non-uniform heating if required. Experimental results obtained from the instrument will be discussed.

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