The thermal requirements of medical devices are unique in the electronics industry. For example, the OLED screens of a medical device often use color to determine a diagnosis, so these colors must be completely accurate. Unfortunately, hot spots or uneven temperatures across the display can change the color that is shown. Another common difference is in touch-temperature. Where in a cell phone, the shell of the device can have touch temperatures of 50° to 55°C, medical devices often have a much more restrictive 40° to 42°C. Lastly, since many of these devices are designed to be handheld, weight and thickness of the device is often more of a critical factor than it is in most commercial devices.
SpreaderShield™ flexible graphite heat spreaders from NeoGraf Solutions® often play a critical role in thermal management in many kinds of medical devices. These devices range across the spectrum from diagnosis to clinical care. SpreaderShield flexible graphite is used to optimize device design because of its ability to cool hot components, such as processors, shield temperature sensitive components, such as sensors, and reduce thermal gradients on things such as OLED displays. Used in place of aluminum, SpreaderShield flexible graphite can reduce the weight and size of a device while still managing the thermal load.
Many diagnostic processes, such as real-time polymerase chain reaction (or PCR for short) require a test sample to be put through numerous thermal cycles. SpreaderShield flexible graphite can be used in conjunction with PCR trays and containers to allow all the test wells to heat and cool uniformly and rapidly. SpreaderShield flexible graphite can be used to spread a point heat load across a larger surface, evening out the thermal gradients, effectively enabling faster thermal cycling. Faster thermal cycling in PCR means quicker diagnoses and therefore quicker treatment for patients.
Imaging devices can also be improved by using NeoGraf’s materials. Because graphite is transparent to x-rays and magnetic waves, SpreaderShield flexible graphite can be used in those diagnostic imaging applications.
As handheld devices become more common, flexible graphite is used more and more for overall device thermal management. Handheld displays, medical tablets, and point-of-care devices all benefit from SpreaderShield flexible graphite. It eliminates hot spots and thermal gradients in LCD displays, leading to a longer device life by allowing the electronics to stay cooler longer. In handheld imaging devices, such as ultrasound, flexible graphite not only reduces hot spots on the shell of the device but can make the device smaller and lighter than if aluminum was used.
In clinical care, SpreaderShield flexible graphite can be used to manage hot spots in patient contact applications, including wearables. SpreaderShield flexible graphite heat spreaders can be layered into patient support surfaces like beds and wheelchairs to help move the heat generated by the body, leading to greater patient comfort and compliance. This graphite solution can even be used in combination with textile layers to create a composite material that can be used for thermoregulation.
As a world-leading North American manufacturer, NeoGraf Solutions is a global supplier that provides consistent, high quality, high-value flexible graphite products that meet the most stringent global environmental sustainability standards. Contact us today to learn more about NeoGraf’s eGraf® Spreadershield™ Heat Spreaders and our diverse line of additional high-quality flexible graphite products.