Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a British postgraduate public research university specialising in science, engineering, design, technology and management. Cranfield was founded as the College of Aeronautics in 1946.

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Physics of Failure (PoF) Based Lifetime Prediction of Power Electronics at the Printed Circuit Board Level

Sep 15, 2021 | Andrew Wileman, Suresh Perinpanayagam and Sohaib Aslam

This paper presents the use of physics of failure (PoF) methodology to infer fast and accurate lifetime predictions for power electronics at the printed circuit board (PCB) level in early design stages. It is shown that the ability to accurately model silicon–metal layers, semiconductor packaging, printed circuit boards (PCBs), and assemblies allows, for instance, the prediction of solder fatigue failure due to thermal, mechanical, and manufacturing conditions. The technique allows a lifecycle prognosis of the PCB, taking into account the environmental stresses it will encounter during the period of operation. Primarily, it involves converting an electronic computer aided design (eCAD) circuit layout into computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) models with accurate geometries. From this, stressors, such as thermal cycling, mechanical shock, natural frequency, and harmonic and random vibrations, are applied to understand PCB degradation, and semiconductor and capacitor wear, and accordingly provide a method for high-fidelity power PCB modelling, which can be subsequently used to facilitate virtual testing and digital twinning for aircraft systems and sub-systems....

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