Ask the Expert – Joule Heating Simulation Using Two-way SIwave-ANSYS Icepak Connectivity
Many electronics boards have metal layers which can carry a relatively large current, thus increasing the local maximum temperature in the board and damaging it. For a successful design, it is important to ensure that the maximum temperature due to Joule heating is within the allowable range. Thermal analysis of electronics boards provide the insights of the temperature distribution needed to prevent any damage due to overheating. ANSYS offers two-way SIwave-ANSYS Icepak connectivity to accurately calculate the DC electric current density in the metal traces of PCBs and Joule heat power dissipation. A detailed Joule heat power map can be transferred from ANSYS SIwave to ANSYS Icepak. Similarly, a detailed temperature map can be transferred from ANSYS Icepak to SIwave that updates the temperature dependent electrical conductivity. The ANSYS Icepak-SIwave two-way coupling allows identification of failure due to overheating and enables the user to develop a design with the correct electrical biasing of the PCBs and components.