Thermal paste is an essential computer component, and we cannot deny that. Because computers cannot cool themselves, thermal pastes are used on CPU coolers to aid heat transfer. As a result, computers disperse heat more effectively. Researchers use a tiny amount of thermal paste. It means that a single tube of thermal paste can be used four to five times.
What happens to the remainder of the thermal grease? Does the thermal paste expire within the tube, or will it last for years? It depends on several factors, including the type of thermal paste used .I have compiled a comprehensive guide in this article to answer the question how does thermal paste expire?
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How Does Thermal Paste Expire?
Yes, thermal pastes do expire, although it might take years for them to go wrong. Many variables affect the expiration date of thermal paste, including the company’s thermal paste, whether it is metal, carbon, or silicon, how long it has been kept, and at what temperature it has been stored.
If you see a slippery, complex, or flaky thermal paste, it hasn’t gone well and should be discarded immediately. If the thermal paste in the CPU has dried up, it is time to replace it. Remove it with an isopropyl alcohol pad and replace the thermal paste layer.
Thermal paste typically degrades after three years. The thermal paste may dry up quickly if you use thermal paste on a gaming PC or a PC subjected to heavy loads.
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How to Check If Thermal Paste Has Gone Bad?
Do you know whether the thermal paste you used is still good? When it comes to their thermal pastes, several manufacturers have varying expiration dates. If you keep the unsealed thermal paste well packed and store it in a dry location, there is a reasonable probability that it will remain used for many years.
To assist you in determining whether or not the thermal paste has reached its expiration date, I have provided the following comprehensive guide:
- Once you have opened the thermal paste, there will be a minimal quantity of grease at the opening of the syringe.
- You may pull additional thermal paste out of the tube if you push the plunger.
- On a piece of metal, apply a small quantity of thermal paste and smooth it out with your finger to evaluate its consistency and smoothness.
- The thermal paste has reached the end of its shelf life when it becomes runny, separated, dry, or flaky.
- On the other hand, if it is smooth and uniform as it comes out, you may utilize it.
How Can the Thermal Paste be made to Last Longer? Some Points
Have you already opened the thermal paste but are unsure how to store it properly until the next time it is required? No need to be concerned.
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The following is an exact way to keep thermal paste, which will prevent it from deteriorating over time:
- Here are a few techniques you may use to extend the life of the thermal paste. Also, keep in mind that the procedures are not a guarantee of success since the quality of the thermal paste is influenced by several outside circumstances.
- Keep the cover on if your thermal paste is constructed like a tube. It is due to the possibility that air may enter the tube and create internal reactions.
- The draw force is the following item to keep in mind. Be gentle with your thermal paste if it has a plunger that may be taken out and pressed in. Be careful since air may quickly enter through the plunger and cause your thermal paste to oxidize.
- Always keep the thermal paste out of harsh environments. Be it cold or hot. It is usually advised to place the thermal paste in an area with a constant mild temperature. It will prevent additional inside responses, so please do not disregard this warning.
- The thermal paste should be kept in a drawer so sunlight won’t penetrate the material. I want to say that the ozone layer cannot block many damaging rays if you are not a scientific student. Some of them find their way into our atmosphere, where they might trigger internal product combustions and skin responses. So, avoid exposing your paste to the sun.
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What to do When CPU/GPU Thermal Paste Stops Working?
To accomplish so, untwist the heatsink and apply the fresh paste. Additionally, a lot of outside variables affect it. It’s recommended to constantly replace the thermal paste every 6 to 12 months in a highly humid location since the high ambient temperatures will cause the thermal paste to degrade quickly.
When thermal paste stops functioning, you will also notice an increase in the chipset and VRMs’ typical operating temperatures. Your component might overheat and die from overheating if the fresh thermal paste isn’t applied promptly. Therefore, I advise periodically monitoring the temps.
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I’ve covered How Does Thermal Paste Expire? in this article. Yes, thermal paste does lose its effectiveness after a specific time. When your CPU overheats under stress, thermal paste is crucial in avoiding any damage or performance problems that may result. Thermal paste products have an expiration date, often set between three and five years from the date of creation, but with careful storage, they may still be used for many years after that.
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The thermal paste may, however, expire shortly due to other variables such as storage temperature, air exposure, and humidity levels. Thermal grease should be kept dry and at room temperature.
FAQs for Thermal Paste Expire
Can you use expired thermal paste?
If thermal paste is watery, hard, or flaky, it has gone bad and should be discarded immediately. If the thermal paste in the CPU has dried up, you will need to replace it.
How long can thermal paste last?
Consider that not all thermal compounds maintain their effectiveness in the same manner. Most inexpensive options have a lifespan of two to three years, whereas premium compounds can last up to seven years. It is recommended to replace it every two to three years in order to maintain the chip’s optimal performance.
How long does thermal paste last once opened?
Thermal paste tubes should typically last over a year if kept out of the sun and a warm environment. Most tubes of thermal paste can only be used once, since you can determine how much you need.
Should I replace thermal paste after 2 years?
In most cases, you should not need to reapply paste more than once every few years; however, if you remove your cooler for any reason, you should replace the paste. If your CPU temperatures are rising, you should also consider reapplying thermal paste.
Can you use 2 year old thermal paste?
Do Thermal Compounds have a shelf-life? Depending on the composition of the thermal compound, most should have a shelf life of about two years if the cap is properly secured and it is stored in a cool, out-of-the-sun location.
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