Dynamic thermal characterization of Thermal Interface Materials (TIM)


DynTIM is a high-precision test environment for both standalone materials and in-situ and is designed to operate in conjunction with T3Ster®, Mentor’s leading thermal transient testing solution. The system is mainly designed for the measurement of soft materials, such as thermal greases and compressible pads. Adhesives and solid samples can also be tested.


The DynTIM high precision test environment


Fast and Fully Automated Testing Process from Start to Finish, Both Standalone and In Situ

DynTIM offers a fully automated testing process and allows users to test the TIM in its real-world application environment thereby saving time and effort in obtaining true-to-life results. It provides an unrivalled TIM measurement methodology with high accuracy quickly.

Studies show that the datasheet values of TIM materials measured by traditional methods can significantly overestimate the thermal conductivity and in some instances by 9x. DynTIM provides accurate measurement of these materials relative to established highly sophisticated methods in laboratory conditions.


Test a Large Variety of ASTM Type I, II and III Materials

A variety of compressible materials such as greases, pastes, phase-changing materials and with some additional considerations, the test of adhesives and solid samples is also possible. In addition, by testing a wide range of TIMs, users can choose a narrowed selection of the best-performing materials.

Use in combination with T3Ster thermal characterization hardware to test the materials in-situ and in their target environment, for the best possible design decision. Thermal conductivity data measured by DynTIM can also be applied to add thermal properties to simulation models in Mentor CFD solutions, such as FloTHERM or FloEFD.


TIM Measurement with ± 5% Accuracy

Testing systems using today’s current methods* do not allow for lower pressure measurements. This causes less than accurate results and the test results can not be replicated without a 10-20% repeatability error (based on conductivity data reports from various vendors).

DynTIM combined with T3Ster provides the industry’s most accurate method of measuring thermal resistance of TIMs (±5% with high repeatability) under conditions close to real life applications on a variety of materials at different pre-set thickness levels, such as greases, pastes, phase-changing materials and even specially prepared metallic samples.


* ASTM D5470 Standard Test Method for Thermal Transmission Properties of Thin Thermally Conductive Solid Electrical Insulation Materials and ASTM D5470-06 Standard Test Method of Thermal Transmission Properties of Thermally Conductive Electrical Insulation Materials.


Repeatable High-precision Test Environment

DynTIM tests materials in a realistic thermal environment, between a real diode package and a nickel plated copper cold-plate. The system can set-up the distance of the two surfaces with a resolution of 1 micrometer with minimal effort.

Thermal conductivity of samples is calculated based on the change of the thermal resistance of the TIM as a function of its thickness.


This concept is similar to the ASTM standard; however, temperature is measured at one location only (the junction of the semiconductor diode in the top grip). Fine temperature measurement (0.01°C temperature resolution) combined with the calculation of the applied power based on accurate electrical parameters is responsible for the high repeatability of the testing solution.


Short Learning Curve

Due to its simplicity and robustness, DynTIM can be operated by almost anyone after attending an 8-hour training session (optional).

Technical specifications

Feature   Valkue   Note
Sample size and shape   12.8 mm diameter, circular grips    
Sample resistance range   0.01 K/W - 10 K/W    
Measurement grip materials   Bottom: Nickel plated copper, Top: Copper    
Cold-plate temperature range   5-90 °C   Set by external fluid thermostat
Sample thickness range   0-70 mm   Measurement above 5mm thickness not recommended
Sample thickness setting resolution   1 µ    
Sample thickness setting accuracy  
  • 1 µ for Type I materials
  • 5 µ for Type II materials
  Thickness measurement of Type III materials is better than 10 µ
Temperature measurement resolution   0.01 °C    
Relative accuracy of derived heat conductivity   Typically better than 5%   For Type I materials
Pressure range   1060 kPa - 3600 kPa   Measurement of Type I materials is carried out at 0 pressure
Measurement modes  
  • ASTM TYPE I materials : Bondline thickness control
  • ASTM Type II materials: Bondline thickness control + pressure limit
  • ASTM Type III materials: Constant pressure mode
  Bondline thickness values set by the user in case of Type III materials
Data output  
  • Raw data export: XML, CSV
  • Report generation: HTML
  • Export conductivity value as a FloTHERM assembly
  Raw measurement data can also be processed using T3Ster Master
Dimensions (LxWxH)   590mm x 570mm x 260mm    
Weight   40 kg    
Supply voltage   100-230 VAC 50/60 Hz   Residual current device (RCD), min 30 mA leakage current
Additional hardware requirements  
  • T3Ster unit
  • Liquid circulator unit, min. 10 l/min, min. 10 W cooling capacity (Third party)
  • PC running Windows XP/Windows 7 OS (Third party)
  Thermostated circulator unit required for tests carried out at different than ambient temperatures

Tubing not included, for assembly instructions see quick connection guide

For the list of recommended third-party elements, please contact your official Mentor Graphics partner