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AUGUST 2023 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 47 improvements beyond just enriching traceabil- ity; they will also be able to assign quantifiable values to their operational efficiency, product quality, and to the capital they end up saving. A Data Wake-up Call Insufficient traceability doesn't just create headaches for OEMs; it affects everyone across the value chain, including suppliers, distribu- tors, and especially consumers. Manufacturers, regulators, and industry stakeholders cannot continue operating under the illusion that conventional traceability pro- cedures meet the moment, especially when the devices in question are used in the automo- tive, medical, or defense industries where the potential consequences of complacency are far too dire. Taking proactive steps to bolster traceability is the best way to protect the integrity of our most essential electronic devices and the peo- ple who depend on them. SMT007 Dr. Eyal Weiss is CTO and founder of Cybord. Battery safety and performance in electronic devices and systems like battery thermal manage- ment, space conditioning, vehicle thermal comfort and thermal energy storage can improve thanks to a continuously tunable thermal regulator created at Purdue University's College of Engineering. Xiulin Ruan and Amy Marconnet have invented patent-pending, solid-state, continuously tunable thermal devices based on compressible graphene foam composites. The devices can dissipate heat, insulate against cold and function across a wide range of temperatures. "As batteries and electronic devices get more powerful, managing heat becomes a more crucial issue," Ruan said. "We all know humans have a nar- row range of temperature to live comfortably, and that is why we wear shirts in the summer to keep cool and coats in the winter to keep warm. Similarly, batteries and electronic devices have a narrow temperature range to function appropriately as well, and are even more 'picky' than humans." Marconnet said, "Batteries perform poorly if they are too hot. As they heat up, chemical reactions occur that cause them to heat up even faster. This unstable reac- tion progression is called 'thermal runaway' and can even lead to fires and explosions. On the other hand, if the temperatures are too low, batteries suffer internal damage. It leads to poor performance like shorter driving ranges for electric vehicles and less cell- phone usage time." Conventional thermal switches, analogous to electrical switches that moderate current flow, tune a battery's heat dissipation pathways only by changing the conduction between on and off states. Ruan said the Purdue-invented thermal reg- ulators improve upon this technology by changing the thickness of the material inside the regulators, which helps batteries continually adjust to different climates and seasons. The commercially available compressible gra- phene foam Ruan and Marconnet use is built from nanoscopic particles of carbon deposited in a spe- cific pattern with small voids of air in between. (Source: Purdue University) Purdue Engineers Create Continuously Tunable Thermal Regulators

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