Acrylic Vs. Silicone Thermal Gap Pads: Are You Over Spec’d?

3M Thermal Management materials are designed to solve a wide range of heat related challenges, efficiently and economically. 3M Thermal Gap Pads are soft, conformable thermal interface pads with high thermal conductivity and dielectric strength. 3M Thermal Gap Pads are used between heat generating components to aid in the transfer of heat that keeps the electronic protected and gives them the ability to run cooler and longer.

All 3M Thermal Gap Pads are UL listed and available in both acrylic and silicone varieties. Although silicone is a great option, there has been a major supply disruption going on in the thermal market and silicone gap pad customers are being affected greatly. If you are in the market for, or are currently using silicone Thermal Gap Pads, it may be worth looking into an acrylic Thermal Gap Pad.

The Benefits of Acrylic Vs. Silicone Thermal Gap Pads

The decision as to whether or not you will need to use an acrylic or silicone Gap Pad will be based on the specs of the application. To determine if acrylic is the right 3M Thermally Conductive Interface Pad material for you, see selection guide below.

3M’s most commonly offered Acrylic Interface Gap Pad materials include the 5590H and 5571. 3M 5590H can decrease the load to integrated circuit chips during compression, and provides good tack on many surfaces. These properties lead to a high performance non-silicone based thermal pad. 3M pad 5571 consists of a highly conformable, slightly tacky acrylic elastomeric sheet filled with conductive ceramic particles.

3M Acrylic Gap Pads 5590H & 5571 typically offer the following benefits:

  • Lower cost alternative to Silicone
  • Similar Thermal Conductivity performance to Silicone
  • Halogen Free
  • UL VO
  • Supplied in Roll format for reduced scrap
  • Stocked in the USA
  • 5590H has a 3W/m-K Thermal Conductivity
  • 5571 is tested at 2W/m-K

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For more information, you can reach SRP at or 847-593-5630.