Thermal Management
How to Optimize Carbon Nanotube Arrays
Posted in News, Thermal Management on Tuesday, 10 December 2013
When designing devices, engineers often must join together materials that expand and contract at different rates as temperatures change. Such thermal differences can cause problems if, for instance, a semiconductor chip is plugged into a socket that can’t expand and contract rapidly enough to maintain an unbroken contact over time.
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Thermally Optimized Medical Devices Improve Patient Outcomes
Posted in Features, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Features, Electronic Components, Electronics, Thermal Management on Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Today’s medical device and equipment designs are highly influenced by continuous technological advances that affect their size, power consumption, and communication capabilities. But patient safety and comfort are also critical considerations, forcing designers to balance the demands of new technology with the demands of new forms of patient care. From addressing industry-wide concerns over bioburden to adhering to strict noise limitations and biocompatibility needs, the list of requirements is becoming increasingly long. In order to provide the best possible solutions, medical device designers need a working knowledge of the thermal management technologies available to them. Armed with a thorough understanding of both passive and active thermal management systems, including their components, benefits, and applications, designers can more effectively address all the needs of the medical industry.
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Circuit Protection Critical to Safeguarding Both Medical Devices and Patients’ Health
Posted in Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Features, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Management, Thermal Management on Sunday, 01 September 2013
Agrowing array of electronic devices are available to healthcare providers, patients, and their families, including glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and many others. To ensure safe, reliable performance of these devices, their designers must factor in circuit protection requirements from the earliest stages of the circuit design process. For example, a seemingly minor electrostatic discharge could easily render a portable medical device useless if it’s not properly protected, exposing the patient to the danger of misleading (or no) readings and the device’s manufacturer to legal liability if inaccurate results lead to improper treatment.
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Tips for Selecting Insulating Materials for Medical Electronics
Posted in Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Features, Electronic Components, Electronics, Thermal Management on Thursday, 01 August 2013
Insulating and jacketing material options for wire and cable are innumerable, even if the field is narrowed to those with some qualification for use in medical electronics. Material selection for medical electronics is a complicated decision that begins with defining “qualification” and “medical”. Device manufacturers rely on a combination of inhouse experiences, cable suppliers, testing laboratories, consulting services, standards, guidance documents, and other publications. Their requirements for new devices may be defined strictly by the FDA, or may further incorporate application, market, or manufacturer preferences. For example, there are a great number of materials that will meet FDA requirements for surface contact patient monitoring cable materials, but a flexible and highly durable, silky-textured, cost competitive material may be preferred by the user. A specification may also call for a higher level of biocompatibility than is strictly required by the FDA. This may be the result of existing qualifications obtained with those materials, or it may be an over-specification that should be explored.
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Passive Thermal Management Options for EMS Devices
Posted in Electronics, Features, Power Management, Thermal Management on Monday, 01 April 2013
High-frequency pulsed electromagnetic stimulation (EMS) devices are more powerful and effective than ever before. These devices are finding applications in many areas, including as treatments for stress and depression, osteoporosis, and soft tissue injuries. Electromagnetic therapies stimulate tissue and cell mass to recuperate faster. The base technology for pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) is to input electrical energy into copper windings to create a series of electromagnetic waves. The waves offer a non-invasive anti-inflammatory and accelerated healing treatment option. In many cases, these devices have a large metal content and need to dissipate hundreds of watts of heat to effectively generate and deliver pulsed electromagnetic waves.
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High Power LED Chip Array Packaging
Posted in Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Features, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Thermal Management, LEDs on Thursday, 01 November 2012
The last few years have seen the development of larger, higher power, higher luminescence light-emitting diode (LED) chips. Prior to this, LEDs were typically 0.020" x 0.020", came in various colors and were used primarily as optical indicators. This new breed of LEDs come in various colors, including white and UV, are typically 0.040" x 0.040" and are designed to provide high intensity light for illumination applications. Individually packaged versions of these LEDs are being used in arrays and clusters to replace standard incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs and are much more efficient at converting electrical power into usable optical power.
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New Thermal Management Strategies for Medical Devices
Posted in Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Thermal Management on Sunday, 01 April 2012

Heat pipes and vapor chambers are being utilized to address challenging thermal management requirements.

In an increasing number of medical device applications, thermal issues limit the overall performance and reliability of the system. Basic thermal management strategies such as liquid cold plates, air cooled heat sinks, and thermal interface materials are becoming insufficient as stand-alone solutions. In many new medical applications, implementation of advanced thermal technologies such as heat pipes and vapor chambers are becoming an integral part of the thermal management solution. These technologies offer excellent heat transfer and heat spreading performance. Furthermore, they are passive (no energy, no moving parts), quiet, and reliable. Several medical devices, such as powered surgical forceps, skin/tissue contacting devices, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/thermocyclers already use these technologies, and more applications are emerging. A discussion of heat pipe and vapor chamber operation and selected medical device applications follows.
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