Thermal management is an important aspect when it comes to any engineering process. Plus, medical devices contain a lot of electronic components. This makes it necessary to devise ways to deal with the heat produced. That’s why you need to consult with a thermal management expert before undertaking any engineering process. Remember, thermal management challenges can be overwhelming. But they don’t have to pin you down. Along these lines, here are top thermal management tips you can employ and keep all heat production-related issues at bay.
The first step towards an effective thermal management process is consulting an expert. This should be done as soon as you purchase your device. With this strategy, you will devise an effective cooling strategy. So, collaboration is key when designing an effective thermal management strategy.
Another effective way for thermal management is to prepare. For instance, if you don’t know the amount of heat that can be produced by the electronic component in your machine, consider purchasing a modeling software. With modeling software, you have the power to predict what will happen in the future as far as heat production is concerned. The software will predict things like thermal needs before the actual prototype building. Also, you can consider partnering with the design engineers of a thermal management company. They have the skills, expertise, and necessary software to predict the thermal needs of any machine. They use specialized software that can effectively analyze all the machine components—determining the actual thermal needs of your machine. Plus, it will be able to determine the optimal working temperature of the machine. This way, you will avoid issues like overheating and accidents.
Choose a Simple Cooling Solution
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to choosing a cooling solution. So, stay simple. Choose a simple solution. Remember, a component that dissipates a lot of heat doesn’t necessarily require a complicated cooling or thermal management solution. For instance, you can choose a simple heat sink to handle components that dissipate as high as 200°C.
Cross-contamination—when it comes to temperature—can lead to overheating. For instance, 65°C and 200°C rated components might not need a heat sink. However, when these two components are incorporated in the same printing wiring board, the board might conduct heat from the 200°C to 65°C rated component. Consequently, this can cause the lower-rated component to overheat. Similarly, the 200°C rated component might upstream the 65°C rated component until it is unable to operate at 65°C. So, the point here is to avoid cross-contamination. It is an effective thermal management strategy that you should be keen to use.
If you have decided to collaborate with an engineering expert in thermal management matters, be specific with the details. Don’t generalize things. Tell him/her the specs as they are. This will help draw an elaborate thermal management strategy for your system. From wattage to heat dissipation, being specific is only going to make things easier to plan and execute.
Select the Most Appropriate Materials
The material you choose can break or make your thermal management strategy. So, choose the most appropriate materials. Select the best material for your device. For instance, you cannot use copper heat pipes as thermal solutions for surgical instruments. This is because they directly interact with human bodies. They are toxic in nature. So, it depends on the setting. Even more, copper can corrode. Choose appropriate materials like gold plated heat pipes—they are effective at retaining the conductivity while eliminating the possibilities of corrosion. Plus, they won’t harm patients in case you decide to use them in the healthcare setting.
Consider Analyzing the Sterilization Needs
Of course, not all surgical devices aren’t the same. Some are for one-time use only while others must be cleaned on a regular basis. So, it’s better to evaluate the stringent sterilization requirements of the devices first. Take into consideration medical applications such as radiation, heat, and chemicals.
What about the Regulatory Requirements?
Understand the regulatory requirements first. Remember, operating rooms, as well as medical service rooms, are tightly regulated. Thus, understand all federal regulations first. For instance, you might be required to purchase heat exchangers that are rated NEMA 12. These heat exchangers are designed to prevent things like dust and electrodes.
Your Explicit Power Needs
What are your power needs? Remember, air alone can cool certain devices. So, it’s important to evaluate your power needs before choosing a certain thermal management strategy. Depending on your power requirement, you can either go for a fan or a heat exchanger. Talk to an expert to help you determine the power requirements.
When it comes to thermal management, flexibility takes center stage. Don’t be rigid with any strategy. Embrace flexibility. For instance, if a prototype fails due to things that are beyond your control, consider changing other components as far as the assembly is concerned. The bottom line is to spend more time in the prototyping. It will help you save a lot of money when designing the best thermal management solution for your home or plant.
Thermal Management: Top Enclosure Cooling Tips To Use
Heat can negatively affect the life expectancy of a unit in an enclosure. Units like PLC, HMI, as well as AC Drives can immensely suffer from high heat. So, you need to cool things down. Plus, excessive heat can lead to faults and interfere with your unit’s overall performance. Thus, if you have delicate enclosures in any production line, consider using the following thermal management cooling tips:
- Use natural convection cooling techniques
- Use forced convection cooling methods
- Consider using closed-loop cooling techniques
Don’t let thermal management related issues overwhelm you. You can employ innovative tips and manage all the heat produced from a production engineering process. The above tips will help you manage any thermal process. From collaboration to determining your power needs—these are the tips you need and manage heat effectively.