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
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
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