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Thermography system reveals PCB and component temperatures
29 January 2014, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

The new ethermVIEW liquid crystal thermographic analysis system provides optical temperature measurements of active printed circuit boards and components. The system uses the colour response of thermochromic liquid crystals (TLC) for non-invasive thermal studies.

Developed by Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS), the system includes a high-performance, solid-state colour camera for macroscopic inspection of boards and components coated with heat-sensitive liquid crystals. The camera links to a PC by Firewire and features a flicker-free white light source for clear viewing of dark surfaces and partially concealed features.

For image processing and management, the system includes the proprietary thermSOFT software used in other ATS thermal analysis devices. A transformer is provided for international use.

Liquid crystals used with ethermVIEW reflect incident light at visible wavelengths based on the surfaces temperatures where they’re applied. The camera captures the reactive TLC colours to reveal hot spots and defects for more effective thermal management.

In contrast to infrared thermography systems, the ethermVIEW TLC method is not affected by ambient temperatures and provides precise temperature measurements within ±0,1°C accuracy. According to ATS, the system can also be purchased for less than one third the cost of a typical IR thermography system.

ATS provides a choice of TLC-100 liquid crystals formulated to respond visually to specific temperatures. The crystals are specifically designed for mapping heat fields on PCBs and components, and change colour at a specified temperature starting at red, changing to green then blue.

The ethermVIEW system can also be calibrated to use any standard thermochromic liquid crystals. ATS provides four calibrations at no cost during the first year of ownership of an ethermVIEW system.

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