How do I remove old thermal material from GPU?

The cooling fan on my ATI All In Wonder 9600 Pro went bad and I'm attempting to replace it. I have a Zalman after market fan to replace it. It's much larger, overkill for this board, but I've read it will work with a few of the vanes trimmed and it was readily available locally. It appears that it should work.

I've removed the old fan/heat sink and my current problem is how to remove all the old thermal material from the chip to make it ready to receive the new heat sink.

The old material is yellowish in color and HARD. I've tried to heat it a bit with a hair dryer (on the old heat sink) but it does not soften. I've contacted ATI but they offer no advice or identification of the material used. The chip is 3/8 inch square, the old thermal material left on the heat sink is about an inch square. The compression springs on the original heat sink squeezed an impression of the chip into the material resulting in a very thin layer between chip and heat sink.

I'd be extremely grateful if anybody has an idea how to remove the old material.
3 answers Last reply
More about remove thermal material
  1. Try different solvents. I removed it with some lavander essential oil. It's actually a good natural solvent. Any other PURE essential oil would probably be OK.
  2. I suggest isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol), $1 at most drug stores. I use 90% on a clean Q-tip (often found as 70% with 30% water - would probably work but less aggressive and slower drying).

    Some enthusiasts at XtremeSystems {refer to thread:} follow isopropanol with acetone, as some pastes have silicone(s) that may not dissolve as readily. I would urge caution using acetone, beyond being more flammable it will melt wire insulation (PVC), polycarbonate, acrylic and other "softer" plastics.

    Use just enough solvent to dampen the swab, repeat with clean swabs as needed.

    (yes, an old thread, but might help someone)
  3. I use this and it does wonders :

    Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier - OEM
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