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TotalTemp Technologies, Inc. is a manufacturer of temperature cycling and conditioning
San Diego, California – Why are
Thermal Platforms a good alternative to traditional convection
There are many reasons thermal testing on products is required.
Primarily to verify that the product will work properly in the environment (thermal
and otherwise) that it is intended to perform. Sometimes, also to discover end-of-life
issues for products, maximize performance or to weed out early failures that might
result in product failures
For reasons primarily of simplicity and ease of use, the most widely employed
method of forcing products to temperatures for thermal testing is a (convection
based) temperature chamber.
According to laws of Thermodynamics, heat transfer (in and out of a product)
is accomplished through one or more of the three following methods. Conduction,
convection and radiation.
Convection, as in a standard temperature chamber, while considerably less effective
is often used exclusively for the testing of thermal environmental testing. Technically
speaking the heat transfer method is described as forced-convection or Advection
(see equations there) where heat is transferred by circulating air past the source
of heat and subsequently past the device under test. Employing a temperature controller
sensing the air temperature with a setpoint of the desired temperature, temperature
stability at various points can be achieved.
For completeness, Radiation should be mentioned as well. For most environmental
testing applications other than thermal vacuum where convection or physical contact
is not possible radiation is not the best choice. Temperature control by radiation
is not as easily managed.
The typical scheme of thermal test by convection
works well enough for many applications but some of the limitations of chambers
are as follows:
- Additional instrumentation is required to sense the product temperature if you
really want to be sure if-and-when the device reached the required temperature.
- Heat transfer via convection is much slower than heat transfer by conduction
(see equations there) resulting in extended test times to assure actual device temperature.
- Active loads are less readily managed with convection, again resulting in uncertainty
of actual device temperatures
- Benchtop chambers are often larger than needed for the specific application
resulting in cascading inefficiencies of time, lab space, and utilities.
Thermal Platforms as an alternative to chambers brings fast test times and efficiency
of lab provisions (space, HVAC load, maintenance, electricity, cryogenic fluids
when required). Platforms with advanced temperature algorithms can achieve temperatures
quickly and efficiently by monitoring both the platform and device temperatures.
Thermal platforms have issues to be considered as well. First of all, for the
promised great improvement in heat transfer, good thermal contact is required. Many
electronic devices either already have a flat conductive surface or can be readily
fixtured to provide a good thermal path to the device. If that is not the case,
a traditional convection temperature chamber or
Hybrid Benchtop Chamber; that is one that combines the benefits
of convection and convection to achieve greater performance may be in order.
Please visit the TotalTemp Technologies website to read the rest of this article.
TotalTemp is happy help you find the best solution for your thermal testing requirements
with helpful knowledgeable support staff.
About TotalTemp Technologies
The primary goal for TotalTemp is to maximize the combined 40 years experience we
have in this highly specialized field and create a new, alternative, "Next Generation"
Thermal Platforms and Temperature Testing equipment. Our Mission is to offer thermal
testing equipment that best suits or customers’ requirements. For several decades
there were only two real manufacturers for thermal platforms. It was no secret that
the market demanded a new alternative with better service and lower costs. We heard
you loud and clear and TotalTemp is here to fill that need.
3630 Hancock Street A
San Diego, CA 92110
Posted February 7, 2020