Need Thermal Epoxy? - Make Your Own

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The recipe for making silver epoxy. – Young Choi.

SUMMARY: A thermal epoxy adhesive is required for cooling a chipset, GPU or RAM. In this article, I show how to make a thermal adhesive with CoolingFlow thermal compound and an epoxy adhesive.

Preparations

Tube

This picture shows CoolingFlow thermal compound.
In the syringe, the weight of the thermal compound is 3 grams.
If you don’t have CoolingFlow thermal compound, you can try this with another thermal compound, but I only tried it with CoolingFlow.

Epoxy

This picture shows an epoxy adhesive, Araldite 5 Minutes Rapid.
This epoxy adhesive has low viscosity. Choose an epoxy adhesive that has low viscosity. Hardening time depends on the ratio of epoxy to hardener – 5 minutes is OK for me.

Thermal Adhesive

My idea is that

“Thermal Compound + Epoxy Adhesive = Thermal Adhesive”

For this, thermal compound is mixed with the epoxy adhesive.
For mixing, a disposable aluminum bowl is used because it is very cheap.

Bowl

In mixing, the weight of the thermal compound is important.
The mixture ratio of thermal compound to epoxy adhesive (resin + hardener) is 1:1 by weight.
The specific gravity of CoolingFlow is about 2.4 and of the epoxy adhesive, 1.
So, the volumetric ratio of the thermal compound to the epoxy adhesive (resin + hardener) is 2:5.
If you increase the thermal compound, you will get more thermal conductivity with weaker adhesive strength.

Test Device of CoolingFlow Thermal Adhesive

Test

I thought of various test methods for testing the thermal adhesive. This picture shows a simple test device. Because the adhesive is permanent, GPU of VGA or CPU was not used. This device shows the comparisons of two thermal adhesives. From the heat source, a gas burner, heat is supplied to the copper rod 1. The heat flows from rod 1 to rod 2 and rod 3 through the thermal adhesive 1 and 2.

Test 1

The digital thermometers display temperatures of rod 2 and rod 3. If the thermal adhesive is bad as an insulator, the temperature is almost the same as the ambient temperature.

Test Rig

This picture shows the device for comparisons of the thermal adhesives

Test Results

Tubes

For the comparison, ArticSilver adhesive is used.

Heat

From the heat source, heat is supplied to the copper rod. The copper rod will be hot. The heat flows through the thermal adhesive and ArticSilver adhesive to copper rods.

Temps

This picture shows the temperatures of rod 2 and rod 3. Left displays temps for CoolingFlow adhesive and right is for ArticSilver.
You can get a more conductive thermal adhesive by increasing the thermal compound in the mix.

Conclusions

Making your own thermal adhesive is possible. In making thermal adhesive, some points to consider:

  1. Mixing is important. The viscosity of the epoxy adhesive must be low.
  2. For adhesive removing, use acetone – it is not easy.
  3. Most adhesives are bad things for humans. Don’t eat it or smell the adhesive.

Young Choi

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