Thermal adhesives that contain large concentrations of high thermal conductivity filler materials, such as ceramics or metals, are widely used by the electronics industries in a variety of applications. The thermal properties of these materials, such as the thermal contact resistance across a bonded joint and the thermal conductivity of the bulk material, are critical to the selection of the “best” material. A method is presented for the measurement of these thermal properties using a steady-state, guarded heat flux meter test apparatus based on the well-documented and familiar ASTM test standard D-5470. Five different adhesive materials are tested and a linear fit of the resulting resistance versus thickness data are used to determine the bulk thermal conductivity and contact resistance values. Four of the five materials tested had conductivity values of less than 1 W/mK, and the data demonstrates that a small but significant thermal contact resistance exists between the adhesive and the substrate for each of the adhesives.

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