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Thermal modeling of electrical contacts in switches and relays

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3 Author(s)
C. H. Leung ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron., GM R&D Centre, Warren, MI, USA ; A. Lee ; Bor-Jenq Wang

A thermal modeling procedure has been developed to calculate the temperature distribution of components in complex three-dimensional (3-D) switches and relays. The methods developed for dissecting the components, treating of thermal interaction among the components, and calculating of interface thermal resistance are reported. In particular, the knowledge of electrical “a-spot” is used to estimate solid-solid contact area and void area. The void areas do not contribute to electrical conductivity but do contribute to thermal conductivity. The method is used to more accurately estimate the interface thermal resistance which is very important in any thermal analysis program. Actual switches and relays were modeled using finite difference thermal analysis, and the results matched well with measured temperatures

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology: Part A  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 3 )