Flexible Graphite for Superior Thermal Management Solutions in LED Lighting
Recent trends in the LED industry include higher power LED packages, novel architectural form factors and smart & connected lighting. All these trends have one thing in common: more electrical power being packaged within increasingly slim and lightweight form factors. The resulting increase in power density and inclusion of temperature-sensitive electronics drives the need for innovative thermal management solutions to ensure maximum performance and long life. Flexible graphite is being used extensively to remove heat from LED circuit boards, drivers, and other “smart lighting” components, and will play a leading role in the thermal management of the next generation of LED Luminaires.
Flexible graphite’s key properties include high in-plane thermal conductivity, low thermal contact resistance, light weight, flexibility, compressibility, cost effectiveness, infinite duty life, and sustainable cradle to grave characteristics. Due to its unique structure and properties, flexible graphite can be used as a heat spreader, heat shield or thermal interface material.
Case studies for specific end uses will be described. A strong emphasis on cooling drivers in exterior lighting fixtures will show how to design systems to effectively remove heat and improve the longevity of LED system components thus, reducing maintenance and warranty costs.
A technology roadmap will clearly show how materials and methods are evolving to meet the thermal management challenges of the next generation of LED luminaires.