Do Thermal Compounds have an expiration date?
Depends on the contents of the thermal compound but most should have a shelf life of around 2 years, if the cap was placed on properly and it was stored in a cool location out of the sun light.
Since most users may only install a CPU cooler every couple of years, it’s possible that the thermal compound could be expired by the time that it is required for a second application.
If the user would still like to apply the thermal compound after it has expired, then please follow the instructions below.
The first few drops that come out of the expired thermal compound would most likely be a clear liquid. As you squeeze the tube compound, discard everything that comes out until the colored material starts to be released. Make sure the thermal compound is a well mixed, smooth liquid before applying it to the CPU.
If the thermal compound is hard, flaky, or dried out, then it would be recommended to discard the whole tube.
Be sure to follow the CPU Manufactures specifications for methods on applying the thermal compound or consult our FAQ on "How to Apply Thermal Paste."
Please note that Cooler Master nor the author of this article is responsible for any problems or damages that occur.