This blog post will answer the question, “How long does thermal paste take to dry?” The answer is pretty straightforward; it takes a few minutes.
However, some caveats need to be considered before you can determine how long your particular paste will take to dry.
These include the temperature of the room, humidity in the air, and what material was used as an adhesive for your thermal compound.
How Long Does Thermal Paste Take To Dry?
– It takes at least one hour or two hours for a layer of thermal compound to dry.
– You can test how dry it is by using the “paper towel test”. Put some pressure on the thermal paste with a paper towel, and if you see liquid seeping out, there might be a leak in your system.
– If you’re going to wait more than an hour before installing your processor, disconnect power from it but keep it in the chassis so that cool air can get around it.
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Does thermal paste dry out in the air?
Thermal pastes don’t dry out in the air, but they do evaporate. You can test how dry thermal paste is by doing the “paper towel test.”
Can too much thermal paste be bad?
Too much paste creates a high level of thermal resistance, defeating the purpose of using the thermal compounds.
Too much paste creates a very high level of thermal resistance. This will defeat the whole reason for applying the thermal compound to reduce contact and give better heat transfer between components by filling in present gaps.
Too much thermal paste reduces the airflow over CPU or GPU surfaces to help dissipate heat away from each component.
It can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours for thermal paste to dry. When you apply too much, the paste may not have enough time to dry before it is put under pressure and heat due to being used in a computer system’s CPU or GPU.
If your thermal compound has dried out on the surface of any electronic device, don’t panic! You can remove it with alcohol and cotton swabs.
If you don’t know how to replace thermal paste, check out our detailed guide on how to reapply thermal paste.