Power Electronics

Surface Thermography Liquid Crystals Reveal Hot Spots

The TLC-100 Kit from Advanced Thermal Solutions features spray-on thermochromic liquid crystals which change color at different temperatures to reveal heat issues on chips and other electronic components. By applying these liquid crystals, engineers can visually find hotspots and temperature fields.

TLC-100 liquid crystals are designed for heat transfer studies and mapping heat fields on electronic components or boards. The crystals change color at a specified temperature starting at red, changing to green then blue. For electronics cooling applications, this provides the user accurate information about the location of hot spots on a device, their temperature and temperature gradient.

To map the temperature profile of a component or board, black ink is airbrushed on to the specimen. Then TLCs, with a temperature range depending on the application, are sprayed onto the measurement surface. Once the device is turned on, and the components are brought to activation temperature, the liquid crystals begin turning red, then into different colors, representing the temperature distribution of the component or board.

Thermochromic liquid crystals are available in a variety of temperature ranges from 12°C to 120°C, each one has a particular bandwidth from 1°C to 20°C. Hotspot locations can be confirmed and changing temperatures can be seen at various current output levels. The TLC-100 crystals can show thermal patterns, not just at the chip but on the surrounding hardware.

ATS thermal engineers can provide application and interpretation guidance for TLC-100 studies.

The TLC-100 Thermochromic Liquid Crystal kit is priced at $761.87.

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