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Conference Program

Day 1- August 6th

Day 1 AM - Advances in Thermal Management & Materials Track

9:00 am - 12 pm CST

9:00 am CST

Innovations in Thermal Management of Electronic Devices

Andy Delano - Principal Mechanical Engineer • Microsoft Corp. 


Surmounting the challenges and limitations encountered in any endeavor often requires innovation.  While the word “innovation” currently enjoys a positive connotation in the field of technology development, one simply has to recall that “innovate” is defined as “to make changes to something established” to understand why innovation is challenging on multiple fronts. 


For not only do we have to discover how to see past our own limitations, we also have to convince our colleagues for the need to change and follow through with the necessary leadership to actually incur change.  Our field of thermal engineering is full of many great examples of innovation.  In this presentation I will take us on an inspiring tour of some of my favorite innovations in thermal engineering, and I will also discuss some perspectives on techniques for successful innovation. 

9:45 am CST

Development of Advanced Thermal Barriers

Karla Reyes, Ph.D. - Principal Member of Technical Staff, Materials Chemistry Department • Sandia National Laboratories


In this presentation, we talk about the development of advanced thermal materials to meet complex thermal insulation needs that traditional foams cannot completely fulfill. We developed techniques to accurately measure the thermal properties of anisotropic insulation materials that can control the directionality of the heat flow. Thermal barriers with anisotropic characteristics can be good candidates to dissipate the heat slowly though the thickness (as a thermal barrier) and quicker in plane (to avoid overheating of single spots). 

Anisotropic materials can be engineered as composite or multi-layered materials made up of two or more constituents. We are currently making anisotropic materials adding high thermal pathways (conductive filler or layers) into a low thermal conductive matrix (such as foams). For this kind of material development, a reliable and accurate technique to measure anisotropic thermal properties is urgently needed. 

These composite materials would be almost impossible to be measured using traditional methods and the thermal models are not well developed either to accurately predict the overall thermal properties for these systems.  Traditional methods require cutting coupons in different planes, which is not always possible and very time consuming. We developed an experimental capability for the measurements of complex thermal materials based on transient plane source (TPS) technique coupled with infrared images.  With this approach we can measure axial and radial thermal conductivity in the same test using a single sample.  This new experimental capability has been used to develop thermal models and prediction tools.  At the Thermo-Physical Characterization Facility, we believe that custom designs and innovative techniques are needed to accurately measure and develop thermal barrier materials for real applications.

10:30 am CST

Thermally Conductive Materials for Demanding Electronic Packaging Applications

David DeWire, VP Global Business Development • Hermetic Solutions Group, LLC


Legacy thermal management materials in many respects have become a limiting factor to the miniaturization of modern technologies, particularly with the advent of new Wide Bandgap devices. 


Diamond Metal Matrix Composite materials have long been of interest to the Electronic packaging community for their considered ability to bridge the growing thermal gap between traditional/ legacy thermal management materials and the growing demands of new device technologies.  The continued evolution of device technologies, for example: wide bandgap which can enable higher power densities, are driving the need for new robust and reliable thermal management materials that can be an effective tool in the continued drive for device technologies that can go smaller, farther and faster. It’s the intention of this body of work to show that with the advent of this new family of Diamond Metal Matrix Composite materials that the time has come to reconsider the norm and add this new and widely available material to the palette of the design engineer.    

11:00 am CST

High Thermally Conductive Thermal Interface Materials Based on Epoxy Matrix

Dr. Yueping Fu, Sr Scientist • ADA Technologies, Inc.


Thermal interface materials (TIMs) play a more and more play an important role in thermal management ofin modern electronics. One such specialized application is in area of aerospace and satellite electronics, which require. It demands TIMs with wide temperature range, high reliability, and low outgassing.  TIMs that based on thermoset epoxy resins may have provide advantages over those based on traditional thermoplastics and silicones, and can meet these aforementioned critical application requirements. In this study, two processes have been developed to make synthesize high thermally conductive TIM pads based on thermoset epoxy resin matricesix. One approach is to directly disperse thermally conductive additives into an epoxy matrix to achieve random dispersion., and tThe other is to align thermally conductive fiber into an epoxy matrix to achieve orderly dispersion.  Here, we will present process steps, thermal properties, and potential device application will be presented.

Coating and Encapsulation of Pyrolytic Graphite: From metallization to ceramic coatings, new technologies for cutting edge applications

11:30 am CST

Dr. Glenn Whitener, Director – Technical Engineering Pyrogenics Group • Minteq International


From established use in applications from forges, aerospace, and motorsports the unique properties of pyrolytic graphite help to enable technologies designed for the most demanding environments. Nonetheless, the very advantages inherent to the material can also serve as detriments to its adoption in certain industries. The Pyrogenics group has worked to develop a set of coating and encapsulation techniques which we believe will serve to further enable its use in new applications.

Our recent development activity has allowed us to offer a wide assortment of technologies aimed at providing surfaces suitable for a variety of soldering schemes, as well as ceramic coatings to prevent the generation and shedding of graphitic particles. This talk presents an overview of the basic properties of pyrolytic graphite and the technologies that have been developed for the coating and encapsulation of the various kinds of pyrolytic graphite which we produce. We present data on the nature of these coatings, the effect on thermal conductivity, and an analysis of the adhesion of the different coatings.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST

Lunch Break

Day 1 PM - Advances in Testing, Characterization, & Thermal Simulation

1pm - 4:00 pm CST

1:00 pm CST

Components Failure Prediction due to Acoustic Pressure generated from Cooling Fans in an Electronic Enclosure

Yuya Ando, Country Manager, CFD Business • MSC Software


To dissipate such high volume of heat from components that are densely packed in an electronics case, engineers are striving to meet such a cooling need while minimizing the noise and vibration from fans.   

Recently, there are several reports and manufactures voices indicating that components, especially, Hard Disc Drives (HDD), in those servers perform poorly or break at the worst scenarios due to aero acoustic noise from fans which excite HDD and its components.

In this presentation, Computational Aero Acoustic (CAA) simulation using scFLOW and Actran on electronics device including cooling fans will be presented.  It will include the general procedures and guidelines for a successful CAA simulation followed by a case study analyzing the results using predicted frequency response graphs at different locations to predict a potential damage or adverse effect to a component.

1:45 pm CST

An Effective Thermal Conductivity Test Method for Testing Thermal Interface Materials

Linda Engelbrecht, Research Engineer, PhD • PMIC

A customization of ASTM Standard D5470-17 was used to measure the thermal resistance and conductivity of various thermal paste and cured epoxy Thermal Interface Materials (TIM). The thin bond lines of TIM material pose a difficulty for creating uniform, measurable sample thicknesses and reproducible specimens.

Learn how specimen units were constructed with the TIM sandwiched between two nickel-coated copper plates and the specimens tested had bond line thicknesses of 30 µm up to 300 µm. Also tested were thermal interface pads approximately 0.4 mm and 0.5 mm thick.  Borosilicate glass beads of appropriate diameter were used to ensure uniform thicknesses for the pastes and epoxies.  Meter bars made of reference material with high thermal conductivity were used to balance their thermal resistance against the small specimen thicknesses and the relatively low thermal conductivity of the TIMs.  To check the effect of aging on the materials, some of the specimens were re-tested after being aged for periods between 260 h and 2000 h. 


In general, the thermal conductivity of the specimen was calculated from its measured thermal gradient but the calculated thermal resistance included the contact resistance of the sample against the nickel-coated copper plates.  The effect of contact resistance was investigated when multiple thickness samples occurred although TIMs are typically used with this contact resistance present.  It was found that the creation of a unit test assembly was effective for maintaining uniform dimensions and reproducible testing of TIMs.

2:30 pm CST

Troubleshooting PCB & Electronic Systems Design with Thermal Imaging

Jerry Beeney, Global Business Development Manager • FLIR

Finding and fixing thermal anomalies during product design and testing is becoming increasingly difficult using traditional thermal modeling and measurement techniques.  Luckily thermal imaging gives engineers and test technicians the ability to visualize thermal patterns and more easily identify potential failure areas, allowing for improved thermal management and greater advances in circuit board and electronic systems design.


During the presentation, we will compare traditional temperature measurement devices with thermal imaging and use real-world infrared images and examples to detail how infrared thermography can speed up the product development cycle by providing a complete thermal picture of the entire system.  We will also discuss how the use of close-up and microscope lenses allow thermal cameras to make accurate temperature measurements on components less than 25 micron in size and even image targets as small as 3.5 microns.

3:00 pm CST

Thermal Simulation for the Physical Reliability of Electronics

Speaker: John Wilson, Electronics Business Development Manager • Mentor Graphics, a Siemens Business


Coauthors: Travis Mikjaniec, Thermal Engineer - Juniper Networks

Wendy Luiten, DfSS Master Black Belt and Consultant

Historically, the primary motivation of thermal simulation was to assess performance subject to a variety of design strategies.  Thermal simulation based design performed today generally does not incorporate the notion of variability. Many products today are designed based on the anticipated worst case scenario rather than incorporating variability.  With today’s computational resources, simulation is now used to drive design decisions beyond predicting zero-hour nominal performance, but also considers reliability due to variability.  Simulation based thermal analysis driven systematically, combined with statistics, can be used for reliability assessment.  Appropriate use of statistics enables the solution space to be explored efficiently to optimize the design choice, and verify the occurrence of failures are suitably low.

This presentation introduces the concept of driving design through simulation based reliability assessment.  Examples will consider scenarios with a variability of inputs, Design of Experiments and statistical methods, and subsequent variability of outputs. Examples shown will include Simcenter Flotherm with HEEDS with the Sherpa algorithm and Simcenter Flotherm with an alternative statistics tool.

3:30 pm CST

The Role of Cloud-based CFD Simulation in Thermal Management

Alexander Fischer, Product Manager • SimScale

Facilitated by the emergence of cloud computing, computer-aided engineering (CAE) technology is now being delivered by different providers as software as a service (SaaS) solutions, which increases its accessibility and ease of use. Online fluid flow (CFD) simulation and thermal analysis are used in addressing thermal management and cooling problems, allowing engineers to accurately predict the temperature and heat flux distribution in and around an electronic system, guiding them towards smarter design decisions.The technology is applied in virtual testing of PCBs, chips or other components’ designs, comparing passive and active cooling strategies, optimizing fans and heat sinks layouts and deciding on design improvements.


This paper illustrates how engineering simulation is used to investigate thermal performance and visualize heat flow to develop the best cooling strategy for a device. The investigation is supported by case study examples of thermal simulations of different electronic designs.

4:00 pm CST - Day 1 Sessions Complete

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