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Converting Thermally Conductive Materials to Meet LED Performance Challenges

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) provide a wide range of benefits for design engineers:

  • High energy efficiency
  • Produce a long service life
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Rugged and durable
  • No UV emissions/very little infrared
  • Small size allows for design flexibility

All the advantages of LEDs come with one concern – they heat up. High-brightness diodes, especially in LED clusters, can cause sufficient thermal challenges to impact LED performance.

LED diodes consist of a die semiconductor material impregnated, or doped, with impurities to form a p-n junction. Light is projected upward in the LED and heat downward into the base. As heat rises within an LED, light output diminishes. Proper thermal management in designing modules for LEDs, whether on a circuit board or within an enclosure, requires an assessment of materials and methods for dissipating heat. Fabrico can recommend appropriate materials and designs to provide the required thermal conductivity and electrical insulation. 

Suggested materials and adhesives could include:

  • Conductive adhesives and greases
  • Tapes
  • Ceramic and metal-filled elastomer gap-fillers
  • Coated fabrics
  • Phase-change materials

Once the best materials have been selected Fabrico provides the finished die-cut thermal management component as well.