Thermal Expansion of Electronic Components

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Electronic components are used in the automotive, communication, aerospace, and other industries. Miniaturization, higher package density, and accelerated development processes have a great impact on the reliability of electronic components.

Rapid changes of ambient temperature or internal production of heat may occur during operation. This may create high thermal stresses due to the mismatch of the thermal expansion coefficients of the different materials in electronic components.

The electronic components used in cars are exposed to high stress due to vibrations and extreme temperature changes. If a car is started, the temperature of the electronic cards might pass a value of below 0°C to a value beyond 140°C in a few minutes. Today, a significant amount of automotive manufacturer recalls are due to electronic malfunctions.

The thermal expansion is very important for the durability of electronic components. Joining of different materials exposed to variations of temperature generates the strain mismatch which can be strong locally. These strains might cause cracks which initiate malfunctions.

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