Perspectives on Miniaturization

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By W. John Bilski

Thermacore works with OEMs who build medical devices to create efficient, reliable instruments and testing equipment. If not properly managed, the heat that is generated from the electronics in these devices can ultimately compromise patient safety.

The biggest challenge we have faced was with a customer whose device was not working properly because an integrated circuit (IC) was overheating. The printed wiring board was located in the middle of the case, with other components above and below it.

To overcome this challenge, we designed and built a heat pipe assembly to remove the heat. The assembly included a heat pipe with a plate in the middle and two blocks on either end of the pipe. The heat pipe was partially flattened and bent to meet the required space constraints. The IC input its heat to the plate in the middle of the heat pipe assembly. The heat pipe then maneuvered around components on either side of the IC to reach two spots on the case where it could dissipate the heat.

Heat pipe assemblies, which do not consume any power or contain any moving parts, are an ideal solution for managing heat in medical devices. After our solution was installed, the device immediately began to perform as expected.


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