Thermal Simulation to Model Airflow and Heat Dissipation for Vehicle ECUs

Kelly Cordell-Morris, QA/Test Engineer
Mentor Graphics

Electronic control units (ECUs) are a vital part of vehicle operation, controlling engine functions – fuel injection, ignition timing and idle speed control. The ECU is part of a feedback loop in which data from sensors around the engine is monitored and used to optimize the control outputs. The ECU must be highly reliable in a harsh environment. Components can be exposed to extreme temperatures, and the push for minimal footprint designs increases the thermal issues. It must take into consideration environmental implications and maintenance-free operation, as well as suitability for high volume manufacturing. MORE

New Class of Graphite TIMs Provide Performance and Reliability

Alex Augoustidis, GrafTech International

Thermal interface materials (TIMs) are a necessary evil in today’s high power density inverter designs. Until now engineers have had to compromise between thermal performance, maximum operating temperature, reliability, cost, and ease of installation. That was then, with the breakthrough of compressible graphite thermal pads the compromises can be replaced with assurance of reliability at bond line temperatures over 130°C with a simple assembly process. MORE

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