Optimizing Thermal Testing on Hot/Cold Plates

Thermal Platforms are a great alternative to a temperature chamber for accessible benchtop thermal testing.  Keeping a few key points in mind will help make testing go as effectively as possible.

  • Good surface-to-surface contact.
  • Protect the component from air currents with a cover.
  • Since the temperature at the surface to optimize thermal performance and confirm low gradient results.
  • Use the best coolant for the application.

An economical thermal testing system, the thermal platform can be a great alternative to a chamber under many conditions.

Good surface contact is key, if your device does not have a flat thermally conductive surface, it may not be a good candidate for testing on a thermal platform.  Always make sure the surface contact is as intimate as possible without particles or gaps in between surfaces. mirror-smooth surfaces are best and thermal compounds always have some thermal resistance so a minimal amount of thermal compound is best to fill microscopic gaps in the contact surfaces.

Air currents can definitely cause thermal gradients to show up in testing.  A cover is always recommended to minimize gradients. Especially at extreme temperatures. The Hybrid benchtop chamber actively controls gradient with an independently controlled air zone above the platform but simple covers are often effective for reducing gradients.  An intermediate cost alternative is also our purge conditioner system with an internal heat exchanger that conditions the air before it enters the cover above the thermal platform.

Purge gas conditioning in / out shown top, center

Monitoring the temperature at the DUT or any specific point of interest verifies that the results are being achieved and also allows the use of advanced temperature control algorithms that can get the device to temperature more quickly and control overshoot in the process.

DUT temperature sensing block

Whether LN2, CO2, vortex tube, or mechanical refrigeration, for the available facilities resources, ramp rate, and range requirements TotalTemp can certainly help you make the right choice for your application. Call or Email us.

Temperature testing on a thermal platform can produce fast and convenient high-quality results with attention to these few details.  Automation features of the Synergy Nano temperature controller will also help you produce demonstratable results while meeting your thermal testing requirements.

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TotalTemp's Mission is to provide better functionality and support with affordable thermal testing systems.