Thermal Interface Material Tester (TIM-Tester)


On point

As power densities in devices like batteries and electronic packaging continue to rise, effective waste heat management and thermal runaway protection become increasingly crucial. Achieving proper thermal management in these intricate systems is no simple task and necessitates a deep understanding of how various components and interface materials collaborate to dissipate heat.

Our LINSEIS Thermal Interface Material Tester (TIM-Tester) is the ideal solution for optimizing thermal management in such complex systems. This versatile device measures the thermal impedance of sample materials, providing valuable insights into their apparent thermal conductivity. It can assess a wide range of materials, from liquid compounds and pastes to solid materials, in accordance with the ASTM D5470 standard.

Key Features:

  1. Automatic Pressure Adjustment: The TIM Tester employs an electric actuator to automatically adjust pressure, with a capacity of up to 10 MPa.
  2. Automatic Thickness Determination: High-resolution LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer) technology enables automatic thickness measurement.
  3. Compliance with ASTM D5470: The instrument operates in accordance with ASTM D5470 standards, ensuring reliability and consistency.
  4. Fully Integrated and Software-Controlled: The TIM Tester is a seamlessly integrated device, with all operations controlled by software. This facilitates ease of use and precision in testing.

The TIM Tester can evaluate a variety of thermal interface materials, including thermal fluids, thermal pastes (greases), phase change materials (PCM), solders, and resilient thermal conductors. It can apply pressures of up to 10 MPa (for a 25 mm diameter sample) and temperatures up to 300°C on the hot side.

The software interface enables automated operation across a broad temperature and pressure range, with real-time recording of all test parameters. This grants users the flexibility to explore different material options for optimization. The sample holder is designed with flexibility in mind, accommodating various sample sizes and shapes, including solids, pastes, and pads.

To further enhance its versatility, the TIM Tester offers different meter bars tailored to specific applications, depending on the thermal impedance of the sample materials and the required temperature range. This adaptability makes it a valuable tool for research and development in thermal management and materials optimization.

Exchangeable meter bars
Different samples of thermal interface materials
Solid samples and TIM Pads
Solid samples and TIM Pads


Within our testing setup, a sample is carefully positioned between two meter bars: a hot meter bar connected to a precisely regulated heating stage and a cold meter bar linked to a heat sink controlled through liquid cooling. This configuration ensures accurate temperature control for the sample under evaluation. The pressure exerted on the sample can be automatically adjusted, guaranteeing stability across varying temperatures, thanks to an integrated electric actuator. Additionally, the thickness of the sample can be managed either manually or by utilizing an integrated sensor for precise measurement and control.

To assess the heat flux passing through the sample, a network of temperature sensors is strategically placed at known intervals inside each meter bar. By measuring the temperature drop induced by the sample material and considering its geometry, we can determine its thermal impedance. This information is essential for understanding how effectively the sample conducts heat.

In order to calculate the apparent thermal conductivity, we plot the thermal impedance for both single and multi-layered specimens against their respective thicknesses. This comparative analysis helps us gain insights into how different material configurations impact thermal conductivity, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the sample’s thermal performance.


Detailed view of the Meter Bar

Model TIM-Tester*
Sample size: round: from ø 20 mm to ø 40 mm
rectangular/square: from 20 x 20 mm to 40 x 40 mm, other on request
Thickness: 0.01 mm up to 15 mm (extendable to 50 mm)
Sample types: solids, powders, pastes, foils, liquids, adhesives
Automatic sample thickness measurement Integrated LVDT
Sample resistance range: 0.01 K/W – 8 K/W
Sample temperature range: RT to 150°C (up to 300°C on hot side)
Temperature measurement accuracy: 0.1°C
Thermal conductivity range: 0.1 up to 50 W/m∙K (extended range on request)
Contact pressure range: Up to 10 MPa (depending on sample size)
Dimensions: 675 mm H x 550mm W x 680 mm D
Cooling system: external chiller (in combination with a additional heater)
Heating system: Resistance heater

*Specs depend on configurations

You are interested in a TIM-Tester?

You need more information?

Contact our application experts!


Introducing the all-new Rhodium Software, a powerful tool designed to streamline your workflow by simplifying data handling and minimizing the need for extensive parameter input. With features like AutoEval, this software provides valuable guidance for users, particularly when evaluating standard processes such as thermal impedance and thermal conductivity determination.

Key Features:

  1. Compatibility with the Latest Windows Operating System: Rhodium Software seamlessly integrates with the most up-to-date Windows operating systems, ensuring a smooth and reliable user experience.
  2. User-Friendly Set-Up Menu Entries: The software offers user-friendly set-up menu entries, making it easy to configure and customize your testing parameters.
  3. Software-Controlled Heating, Cooling, and Dwell Time Segments:Enjoy the convenience of software-controlled heating, cooling, and dwell time segments, allowing precise control and automation of your testing process.
  4. Software-Controlled Thickness Determination and Force/Pressure Adjustment: Achieve accuracy and consistency with software-controlled thickness determination and force/pressure adjustment, eliminating manual errors.
  5. Effortless Data Export: Rhodium Software simplifies data export, allowing you to generate comprehensive measurement reports effortlessly.
  6. Customized Measuring Parameters: Tailor your testing experience with the ability to set specific parameters, including user, lab, sample, company details, and more.
  7. Enhanced Security: Optional password protection and user levels provide added security, ensuring that your data remains confidential and accessible only to authorized personnel.
  8. Multi-Language Support: The software is available in multiple language versions, including English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and more. Users can select their preferred language for a more accessible and user-friendly experience.

The Rhodium Software is designed to enhance efficiency and precision in your testing and analysis processes, making it an invaluable tool for researchers and professionals in various fields.


Application: Measurement of Vespel™ (at 50°C, 1MPa)

We conducted thermal impedance (thermal conductivity) measurements on Vespel™ samples measuring 25mm x 25mm at an operating temperature of 50°C, with a hot side temperature (TH) of 70°C and a cold side temperature (TC) of 30°C. These measurements were performed under a contact pressure of 1 MPa. To assess the apparent thermal conductivity and thermal contact resistance, we tested three distinct samples, each with varying thicknesses ranging from 1.1 mm to 3.08 mm. These measurements allowed us to determine how sample thickness impacts thermal performance and establish thermal properties through linear regression analysis.

Application: Temperature dependent measurement of Vespel™

We generated a temperature-dependent apparent thermal conductivity plot for a Vespel™ sample measuring 25mm x 25mm. The plot covers a temperature range from 40°C to 150°C, with a consistent contact pressure of 1 MPa. This graph provides insights into how the apparent thermal conductivity of the Vespel™ material varies with temperature within the specified range.

Application: Temperature dependent measurement of Vespel™

We conducted measurements of the thermal impedance (thermal conductivity) for thermal conductive pads, specifically those measuring 25mm x 25mm (sample type 2), at an operating temperature of 50°C. The hot side temperature (TH) was set at 70°C, and the cold side temperature (TC) at 30°C. In this study, we examined three distinct samples, each with varying thicknesses ranging from 2.01 mm to 3.02 mm. These measurements were aimed at determining the thermal contact resistance through the application of linear regression analysis, shedding light on the relationship between sample thickness and thermal performance.

Application: Possible sample types

Certainly, here’s a revised version of the provided information:

Type I:

These are characterized as viscous liquids, demonstrating extensive deformation under applied stress. This category encompasses materials like liquid compounds such as greases, pastes, and phase change substances. In Type I materials, there is no discernible manifestation of elastic behavior, meaning they do not return to their original shape once the stress is removed.

Type II:

Type II materials fall into the category of viscoelastic solids, where deformation stresses are eventually counterbalanced by internal material stresses, thereby limiting further deformation. Examples of these materials include gels, soft rubbers, and hard rubbers. They exhibit linear elastic properties, allowing for significant deflection relative to their material thickness.

Type III:

These materials are classified as elastic solids, characterized by minimal deflection. Common examples of Type III materials include ceramics, metals, and certain types of plastics. In Type III materials, deformation is negligible, and they maintain their original shape without significant deviation.


TIM Tester Product Brochure (PDF)

Scroll to Top