Frequently Asked Questions NeoGraf Solutions Flexible Graphite Thermal Management
Flexible graphite for thermal management – that's what performance materials from NeoGraf Solutions are all about. The NeoGraf eGraf® products are engineered for lightweight, cost-effective and efficient heat spreading and include a variety of thermal management solutions for electronics and battery applications.
JBC Technologies uses custom die cutting and lamination to convert these specialized flexible graphite materials into custom components and multi-material stack-ups designed to help manufacturers with their thermal management and heat-spreading applications.
You probably have questions about flexible graphite, and you may be curious about what makes this unique performance material such a great thermal management option for nearly every industry. Just look through this list of questions and answers – we're sure it'll help. And if you've still got some flexible graphite questions when you're done, please let us know.
eGraf® Flexible Graphite | Frequently Asked Questions
Flexible graphite, in this case, refers to 100% natural or synthetic graphite products produced in rolls or sheets with a supple, flexible form factor.
NeoGraf Solutions typically manufactures flexible graphite thermal management materials in large rolls up to 39 in (≈1 m) wide and 200 ft (≈61 m) long and as sheets that can measure 3 ft (0.91 m) wide by as much as 6 ft (1.83 m) long. The actual material form factors depending on the needs of the end-user customer and the material converter.
Flexible graphite is an ideal thermal management solution because it’s thin, lightweight, and can be readily die-cut into custom shapes for even the most demanding applications. Some more essential features of flexible graphite heat spreaders include
- Directional heat spreading, cooling, or shielding
- High-temperature stability
- Thermal uniformity and responsiveness
- Noise and vibration reduction (NVH)
- Thermal & Acoustical insulation enhancement
The flexible graphite thermal management products from NeoGraf Solutions fall under the eGraf® brand. These products mainly include thermal management solutions for heat spreading and thermal interface of electronic and battery applications.
The NeoGraf flexible graphite products feature a variety of thermal properties, each delivering a broad range of performance attributes.
NeoGraf Solutions makes three different flexible graphite products, all under the eGraf brand:
- eGraf® SpreaderShield™ flexible graphite heat spreaders
- eGraf® NeoNxGen™ high-performance flexible graphite heat spreaders
- eGraf® HiTherm™ thermal interface materials
SpreaderShield heat spreaders are ideal for
General Electronics • Smartphones • Tablets • LCD Displays • Set-top Boxes • Enclosed Electronics • Medical Devices • Satellites • Drones • xEV • Marine and Grid Storage Batteries • Automotive Electronics
eGraf NeoNxGen is a family of high-performance, flexible graphite heat spreaders designed for the most challenging thermal applications. NeoNxGen is a reliable, easy-to-use, single-layer solution that eliminates cost, complexity, and reliability concerns often associated with multi-layered flexible graphite solutions.
NeoNxGen heat spreaders are ideal for use in
Laptop Computers • Tablets • Cell Phones • High-definition Televisions • Battery Thermal Management • ADS/ADAS Systems • Energy Storage • Medical Diagnostic Devices • IoT • 5G
eGraf® HiTherm™ is a thermal interface material (TIM) that’s an excellent thermal management solution for long-life, mission-critical applications with extreme heat cycles, low contact resistance, and high thermal conductivity.
HiTherm™ TIMs are ideal for
Solid-state Lighting Modules • UPS & Inverters • Motor Drives • Base Stations / Telecommunication • Power Supply Modules, Rectifiers, & Chargers • High-performance Computers & Servers • EV/HEV/PHEV Power Modules
Markets all over the world use lightweight, custom components made with NeoGraf eGraf™ flexible graphite thermal management materials, including
- Consumer Electronics
- Energy Generation
- Heavy Industrial
- Building & Construction
NeoGraf Solutions is a leading global supplier of North American-sourced flexible graphite material. NeoGraf offers the industry’s most comprehensive range of flexible graphite products in various thicknesses and performance grades.
NeoGraf flexible graphite products are consistently high-quality and meet the most stringent global environmental sustainability standards.
Consumer appliance OEMs now use manufacturing technologies once found only in smartphones, televisions, and computers. The appliance industry continues to make interconnected machines and devices that do more than cook and store food and dry your clothes.
Flexible graphite has become an ideal solution for managing heat transfer, temperature stability, and more in next-gen appliances.
- NeoNxGen™ and SpreaderShield™ to spread and manage heat in refrigerator defrosters and ovens.
- HiTherm™ Thermal Interface materials help manage heat transfer, user comfort, and high-temperature stability in hair straighteners and blow dryers.
- NeoNxGen™, SpreaderShield™, and HiTherm™ products make excellent TIMs for dishwasher motor drives to enhance heat spreading, reduce noise and vibration, and insulate.
Design engineers in the appliance market now face challenges similar to those once faced by their consumer electronics counterparts over two decades ago — How to increase the speed and performance of electronic devices while maintaining their aesthetics and keeping them small and light.
Today, appliance manufacturers are looking to manage the time it takes a product to heat up or cool down while ensuring proper insulation that shields users from heat and reduces an appliance’s energy usage. Since flexible graphite is lightweight and long-lasting, it can boost thermal management, heat spreading, and temperature uniformity without adding unnecessary weight or bulk.
Flexible graphite weighs 80% less than copper and offers up to 4x better thermal conductivity. It weighs 30% less than aluminum and offers up to 9x the thermal conductivity.
Graphite is also anisotropic, meaning it has different properties in its plane versus through its thickness. Metal, in contrast, is the same in any direction. eGraf SpreaderShield spreads heat both in the plane and shields heat flow through the plane, acting as both a heat spreader and insulator.
Converting — slitting, laminating, die cutting, etc. — flexible graphite into finished thermal management solutions significantly impacts the overall effectiveness of the material and its application.
- Edge Seals fully encapsulates the flexible graphite into a plastic insulator, protecting it from dust and environmental exposure and insulating it against electrical currents.
- Peel-and-Stick Adhesive Backing improves the ease of installation and eliminates the need for clamps during assembly.
- Part Presentation improves packaging, handling, part installation, and efficiency. Depending on the final application method (manual or automated), parts can be individually die-cut, presented on sheets, or in rolls.
Global consumer demand for electric vehicles continues to grow. As this demand increases, EV OEMs continue to seek the answers to the problems that will help them with their most significant challenges: thermal management, safety, and vehicle performance.
Four overall trends in the EV market driving demand for flexible graphite thermal management solutions are:
- Extended driving ranges
- Longer battery lifetimes
- Thermal runaway prevention and control
Designers currently rely on aluminum to address thermal management in EV battery systems. Aluminum is a very traditional heat and thermal management material in the automotive industry and is still the most widely used material. But it isn’t the best solution for EV battery systems.
If EV manufacturers want fast battery charging, extended driving range per charge, long battery cell life, and thermal propagation control, using aluminum will make the overall battery too big and too heavy to be practical.
Replacing aluminum with eGraf® SpreaderShield™ flexible graphite heat spreaders enable manufacturers to achieve all of the above in a smaller, safer, lighter-weight battery package.
eGraf® SpreaderShield™ flexible graphite accomplishes the same heat spreading as aluminum, but at half the thickness and one-third the weight.
For a typical EV battery pack, switching from aluminum to flexible graphite could mean a battery weight reduction of nearly 20 kilograms (44 pounds). In addition, for the same energy capacity and charge/discharge cycles, the battery pack size can be reduced by several centimeters in length and width.
eGraf® SpreaderShield is a unique material among other thermal management solutions within the EV space. It offers excellent thermal performance at a reduced size and weight and can cool battery cells during regular charge and discharge operations and prevent propagation during a thermal runaway event.
eGRAF is also more flexible, maintaining consistent thermal contact with battery cells during routine vehicle operation.
For applications outside of EV, eGRAF® flexible graphite is ideal for thermal management with battery-powered propulsion systems. Think of instances where internal combustion engines (ICEs) are polluting and may cause safety concerns (e.g., docks and ports with cranes, trucks, forklifts, etc.)
Flexible graphite is also well-suited to industrial/heavy marine applications like ferry boats, diesel-electric hybrid cargo ships, and grid storage battery systems requiring safe, effective, compact, and reliable solutions.
Flexible, Lightweight, Effective Flexible Graphite Solutions Thermal Management
Neograf Solutions eGraf flexible materials are high-performance, graphite-based thermal management solutions designed to be used in even the most challenging applications. The eGraf products are reliable, easy to use, and lightweight, eliminating the often expensive and bulky multilayered thermal management solutions often encountered in markets like consumer electronics, manufacturing, and automotive.
JBC Technologies can transform these unique materials into custom die-cut components based on your heat-spreading and thermal interface material specifications. Let's talk about your project today.