Circuit & System Protection


Heatsink analysis system

10 November 2010 Circuit & System Protection

The new Tactilus heatsink analysis system by Sensor Products enables research and design engineers to test and correct the surface contact and pressure distribution between a heatsink and semiconductor.

Even a slight warping of the heat exchange structure or reduction in surface contact area can have a profound effect on cooling efficacy. If the pressure distribution is not uniform, heat conduction will be low, and the electronics may overheat.

With Tactilus, engineers can visualise actual contact forces and pressure distribution data on circuit board components. As the mounting screws between the component and the heatsink are torqued, Tactilus maps and measures the changing pressure distribution between the mating surfaces and displays it through its software. The heatsink interface can be tested, manipulated and repositioned in real time, speeding the trial and error process and eliminating the need for additional assembly. Tactilus also provides the pressure data needed for FEA simulation predictions.

The Tactilus sensor is flexible and only 0,38 mm thick, allowing it to be placed between a device and heatsink without affecting the assembly. The sensor pad has 625 resistive sensing points arrayed on a 25 x 25 grid for a total sensing area of 50 x 50 mm. The scan speed is up to 1000 Hertz and the operating pressure range is 0 to 100 psi (0 to 7 kg/cm²).

The system collects and processes sensor data using Windows-based software that creates pressure vs. time graphs and histograms; performs 2D, 3D and 360° image rendering and region of interest scaling; displays maximum, minimum and average pressures and does force integrations; and prepares reports through export to Excel, ASCII or Access formats. In addition, Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files and the graphical user interface can be tailored to the customer’s request.

The Tactilus sensor system will endure hundreds of diagnostic uses on different heatsinks with consistent repeatability. It is highly resistant to electromagnetic noise, temperature and humidity fluctuations. Accuracy is ±10%; repeatability is ±2%; hysteresis is ±5%; and non-linearity is ±1,5%.

For more information visit www.sensorprod.com/dynamic/heatsink





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