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The term "thermal relief" describes circuit board modifications which are made to impede heat flow from copper pads during soldering. While thermal relief can improve manufacturability, there can be a negative impact on components which use the circuit board to dissipate heat. The topic is explored in Impact Of Thermal Relief On The Cooling Of A SOT-223 Device from Thermal Solutions Technical Support.

Noted LED technology expert, and Sauna user, Dr. M. Nisa Khan has released the book Understanding LED Illumination. It is a very useful reference, please see our review of Understanding LED Illumination.

It has always been a challenge to optimize dimensions for a fan-cooled heat sink because of the complex flow and heat transfer calculations. The paper Optimum fin spacing for fan-cooled heat sinks presents a clear analysis of this problem. The paper concludes that the optimum fin spacing is primarily a function of the flow length of the heat sink. An expensive heat sink with closely spaced fins was found to provide excellent performance. However, if the fin spacing is less than the optimal value, there can be disastrous results. This paper was written by Thermal Solutions Technical Support.

To learn about the differences between vertical baseplate and horizontal baseplate heat sinks for natural cooling, please read Comparing naturally cooled horizontal baseplate heat sinks with vertical baseplate heat sinks. This paper, which was written by Thermal Solutions Technical Support, explains that horizontal baseplate heat sinks perform nearly as well as the more common "vertical baseplate/vertical fin channel" geometry. The paper also describes the performance of "vertical baseplate/horizontal fin channel" heat sinks. This is an interesting and useful paper for all design engineers and heat transfer analysts. The paper has proven to be quite popular, with hundreds of downloads each month.

Sauna was featured in the September 14, 2006 issue of Machine Design magazine. See Sauna software review on the Machine Design website.

For a case study on the use of Sauna to design a power amplifier, please read Thermal Design Techniques Improve Solid State Power Amplifier Performance. This article was published in Base Station/Earth Station magazine in the July 2003 issue. Note that the discussion of Sauna occurs in the second half of the article.

If you would like to comment on these papers, please send an email to Technical Support.

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