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For Science!

Preservation of thermal pads

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Posted · Original PosterOP

What are your recommendations for keeping thermal pads on heatsinks clean when you aren’t using them? I’ve seen people use thermal tape (the clear yellow stuff). Would clingfilm + tape work?

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i always keep some of the backing of double sided tape around for stuff like this, but i presume clingfilm would do nicely.

 

the main matter of 'preserving' is to keep dust and dirt off the pads, i guess any method that keeps them clean would do the trick.

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15 minutes ago, For Science! said:

What are your recommendations for keeping thermal pads on heatsinks clean when you aren’t using them? I’ve seen people use thermal tape (the clear yellow stuff). Would clingfilm + tape work?

No, don't do that.

 

Thermal pads are often stretched by being removed, so if you put them back, their thermal properties are diminished. Touching them with your fingers adds oil to them, which is a separate problem. Basically if you have to remove a thermal pad from something like a SSD, and you've managed to remove it without stretching or tearing it, place it on a solid strip of aluminum foil and fold the foil over it to avoid getting any creases in it.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Kisai said:

No, don't do that.

 

Thermal pads are often stretched by being removed, so if you put them back, their thermal properties are diminished. Touching them with your fingers adds oil to them, which is a separate problem. Basically if you have to remove a thermal pad from something like a SSD, and you've managed to remove it without stretching or tearing it, place it on a solid strip of aluminum foil and fold the foil over it to avoid getting any creases in it.

Sorry if I wasn't clearer, but basically the situation is for example, you've taken off a GPU cooler, and the thermal pads are still stuck to the cooler. You want to somehow protect the exposed side from air/dust, so applying clingfilm over the pad and taping it down so that it doesn't look like a lollipop that rolled under the sofa over time.

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3 hours ago, For Science! said:

Sorry if I wasn't clearer, but basically the situation is for example, you've taken off a GPU cooler, and the thermal pads are still stuck to the cooler. You want to somehow protect the exposed side from air/dust, so applying clingfilm over the pad and taping it down so that it doesn't look like a lollipop that rolled under the sofa over time.

I'd still suggest flat foil, as cling wrap will introduce oil from your fingers on it as well and probably cause it to warp, but it's probably less of an issue if it's something you're going to swap back in a few hours.

 

From experience, tech's with laptops tend to just replace the pads entirely, which is probably what you should do if the pads have been damaged in the process.

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