Numerical Analysis of Printed Circuit Board with Thermal Vias: Heat Transfer Characteristics under Nonisothermal Boundary Conditions

A thermal via has been used to enhance the heat transfer through the printed circuit board (PCB). Because the thermal
conductivity of a dielectric material is very low, the array of metal vias is placed to make thermal paths in the PCB.
This paper describes the numerical analysis of the PCB having metal vias and focuses on the heat transfer characteristics
under the nonisothermal boundary conditions. The mathematical model of the PCB has the metal vias between two
metal sheets. Under 2nd and 3rd kinds of boundary conditions, the temperature distribution is obtained numerically by
changing the design parameters. The discussion is also made on the effective thermal conductivity of the PCB. In industry,
the use of effective thermal conductivity is convenient for thermal engineers because it simplifies the calculation
process, that is, the composite board can be modeled as a homogeneous medium. From the numerical results, it is confirmed
that the placement of metal sheets and the population of metal vias are important factors to dominate the heat
transfer characteristics of the PCB. It is also shown that although the nonisothermal boundary conditions are applied at
the boundary surface, the temperature difference between the heated and the cooled section is almost uniform when the
metal vias are populated densely with the metal sheets. In this case, the effective thermal conductivity of the PCB is
found to be the same irrespective of the boundary conditions, that is, whether the isothermal or the nonisothermal
boundary conditions are applied.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Koito, Y. , Kubo, Y. and Tomimura, T. (2013) Numerical Analysis of Printed Circuit Board with Thermal Vias: Heat Transfer Characteristics under Nonisothermal Boundary Conditions. Journal of Electronics Cooling and Thermal Control, 3, 136-143. doi: 10.4236/jectc.2013.34015.

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