PCB Trace Thermal Analysis and Effective Conductivity

[+] Author and Article Information
T. F. Lemczyk, B. L. Mack, J. R. Culham, M. M. Yovanovich

Microelectronics Heat Transfer Laboratory, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

J. Electron. Packag 114(4), 413-419 (Dec 01, 1992) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2905474 History: Received January 29, 1991; Revised September 09, 1992; Online April 28, 2008


The electrical current carrying capability of a surface or buried trace located within a fiberglass printed circuit board (PCB), is of important interest in the microelectronics industry. The maximum allowable trace power, hence local integrity and maximum allowable operating temperature, will depend on several parameters including the circuit board thermal conductivity, thickness, trace size and location. A two-dimensional, steady-state thermal conduction analysis is made on a finite, plane homogeneous medium (PCB), to examine the trace behavior. The trace is modeled as a zero-thickness, strip heat source with specified uniform temperature, and it’s position in the medium is varied. A two-dimensional thermal analysis is also performed on a multilayered cell model with finite heat source, to establish an accurate, effective thermal conductivity for a typical PCB. Results are tabulated and presented graphically for both the two-dimensional trace and effective conductivity models.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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