Typical thermal interface materials (TIMs) consist of high thermal conductivity solid particles dispersed in a continuous, low thermal conductivity organic compound. Despite using filler materials of very high thermal conductivity, the effective thermal conductivity of these TIMs is often two orders of magnitude lower than the pure filler materials. In addition, dispensing and flow of the particle-matrix composite results in voids being trapped within the bond. To address these issues, a novel metal micro-textured thermal interface material (MMT-TIM) has been developed. This material consists of a thin metal foil with raised micro-scale features that plastically deform under an applied pressure thereby creating a continuous, thermally conductive, path between the mating surfaces. Numerical tools have been developed that couple the mechanical and thermal properties and behaviour of MMT-TIMs as they undergo large-plastic deformation during assembly. This study presents the modelling approach and predictions of MMT-TIM performance based on these numerical techniques. The predictions show good agreement with experimental results, which were obtained using prototype MMT-TIMs and an advanced TIM characterization facility. Finally, a future outlook for this technology is presented based on these promising initial results.

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