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Old 11-19-2010, 05:12 AM #1
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Default Is this thermal compound safe to use?

SO i bought this stuff <CLICK>

when i was reading their instructions to see how long it takes to dry i saw this:

Arctic Silver 5 ONLY: While much safer than silver greases engineered for high electrical conductivity, Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. Arctic Silver 5 is slightly capacitive and could cause problems if it bridged two close-proximity electrical paths.

So does this mean i shouldn't be using it on my flexdrives?
Is there better stuff that i should be using?


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Old 11-19-2010, 05:14 AM #2
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weidmark View Post
SO i bought this stuff <CLICK>

when i was reading their instructions to see how long it takes to dry i saw this:

Arctic Silver 5 ONLY: While much safer than silver greases engineered for high electrical conductivity, Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. Arctic Silver 5 is slightly capacitive and could cause problems if it bridged two close-proximity electrical paths.

So does this mean i shouldn't be using it on my flexdrives?
Is there better stuff that i should be using?
It has a slight capacitance, but it's been talked about before, and most people say it doesn't matter for our application.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:20 AM #3
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

If you use it please tell everone about your experiance so we all can learn more
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:28 AM #4
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

Here are some links:
Is this thermal compound safe to use?
Which is better glue for driver heatsink?
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:40 AM #5
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

For Heatsinking it should work fine, that's exactly what it was designed for. However, it does contain metal in the compound so ideally you don't want to use it in a manner that would bridge two connections causing a short. Even a minor short could screw up your diode. So as long as you're using it simply to heatsink a specific chip you're fine (ie thermal compound only on the top of the chip and heatsink). If you are just smearing the entire circuit board with the compound then this compound would be bad to use.

Arctic Silver should also have a completely non-conductive version available as well.

Here is a quote from the AS website...
Quote:
Not Electrically Conductive:
Arctic Silver 5 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity.
(While much safer than electrically conductive silver and copper greases, Arctic Silver 5 should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. While it is not electrically conductive, the compound is very slightly capacitive and could potentially cause problems if it bridges two close-proximity electrical paths.)
Here are a couple of their non-conductive options for you...
Arctic Silver, Inc. - Arctic Alumina Thermal Compound
Arctic Silver Incorporated - Cramique

For an adhesive which I assume is what you're really after...
Arctic Silver, Inc. - Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive

Last edited by WLHostage; 11-19-2010 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:17 PM #6
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

Unless you ape-poop on it and slather the entire driver with it, you should be fine. Just use it where you need to, and remember that the goal is to get the heatsink as close to the intended component as possible. This stuff is just to fill the microscopic air gaps between the two.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:14 PM #7
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

Next time I'd get a modern TIM, it may not matter much in this case but your newer pastes perform better, are non conductive, and don't have a burn in period. Top end examples would be OCZ freeze, gelid extreme, MX-3.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:19 AM #8
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

You should read between the lines on these compoounds.

They do not guarantee electrical insulation in all circumstances, but the heatsink compund itself is non-conductive. You may require mica washers and such to ensure an electrically nonconductive result, but that holds true for vritually all thermal compounds.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:00 AM #9
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm View Post
They do not guarantee electrical insulation in all circumstances, but the heatsink compund itself is non-conductive
I don't get it, what else is there besides the "compound itself"? Shouldn't it be non-conductive or not? Is it just a matter of how much power you're pumping through it? If they're saying for pc use it's non-conductive I'd say it'd probably apply for any pocket build. The power numbers I see people talking about here are typically less than what I run into with a motherboard and a multimeter.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:32 PM #10
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Default Re: Is this thermal compound safe to use?

thermal compound isn't meant to be a layer between two interfacing materials. The materials themselves are meant to touch and the airgaps filled in with the thermal compound. Metal touching metal generally results in a short. Anodized aluminum, depending on the quality and thickness of the anodize, will not short. In theory, two flat pieces of metal with gunk in between won't touch. In practice, nothing is perfectly flat.
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