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66 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 In my previous column, I highlighted a few cautionary notes on the pain points associated with thermal management products, particu- larly the choices that you will be confronted with, such as which material or product type (i.e., pad or paste) is best suited to your appli- cation. In this column, I will underline the im- portance of getting it right, and touch on the consequences if you don't. There are a variety of materials and methods to choose from, and they serve different pur- poses depending upon the physical constraints of the application, component layout and as- sembly geometry, the environment in which the assembly will be placed, the severity of duty, etc. Then, there are some more specific questions to ask, such as: what thermal con- ductivity do I require, or how much material will be needed in the interface between com- ponent and heat sink to achieve a thermally stable assembly? Overlook the slightest detail, and you could compromise the performance of your electron- ic assembly. Clearly, poor thermal manage- ment practice will affect the efficiency of dissi- pating heat away from components and safely out of the assembly. As the temperature of a component increases and reaches its equilib- rium temperature, the rate of heat loss per sec- ond will equate to the heat produced per sec- ond within the component. This temperature may be high enough to significantly shorten the life of the component or even cause the de- vice to fail unless adequate thermal manage- ment measures are taken. Of course, the same applies to a complete circuit or device, which has individual heat producing components within it. In this case, Thermal Management: Why It Should Be High on Your Circuit Protection Agenda Sensible Design by Jade Bridges, ELECTROLUBE

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