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Help > Simulation Tutorials > Printed circuit board (PCB)

Printed circuit board (PCB)

This simulation tutorial will guide you through:

  • Importing a multipart assembly
  • Applying thermal power and convection boundary conditions
  • Viewing the temperature distribution in the simulation results.
  • Changing the viewing options from the Palette. 
  • Determining if the PCB is susceptible to melting or burning.

Import the CAD file

  1. In OnScale Solve, from the Projects tab of the dashboard, create a new project.
  2. In the ToolBar, click (+) and then Library. Within the OnScale Library, Select PCB.

Assign the materials

  1. Using the Model tree, select the following Parts of the PCB: Chip a, Chip b, Chip c, Chip d, and Main Chip.
  2. From the Material dropdown in the properties panel, assign Silicon to all five selected parts.
  3. Select the Heatsink of the PCB, and assign Aluminum to this part in the Material dropdown of the properties panel
  4. Select TIM and assign Thermal Grease to this part.
  5. Select the PCB and assign Glass to it.

Add the power sources

  1. Select the Physics tab.
  2. In the toolbar, ensure that the Mechanical Physics tab is toggled off, and enable Thermal Physics.
  3. Select the Thermal icon  ,  then select Power load.
  4. Select the following parts: Chip a, Chip b, and Chip c and apply a power load of 0.2 W in the properties panel, then click Done.
  5. Select the Thermal icon  ,  then select Power load.
  6. Select Chip d, apply a load of 0.05 W, and click Done.
  7. Select the Thermal icon  ,  then select Power load.
  8. Select the Main Chip, apply a load of 20 W , and click Done.

Add the convection coefficient

  1. Select the Thermal icon  ,  then select Convection constraint.
  2. Using the Model tree, click on the dropdown arrow within the Heatsink of the PCB.
  3. Hold down the Shift key, and select faces from Face 1 to Face 42 of the Heatsink.
  4. Enter 15 W/m^2 deg. C under the Convection Coefficient field of the properties panel. Then, select Done.

Run a simulation

  1. Select the simulator tab.
  2. Click on the Launcher to run the simulation
  3. Once the meshing and estimation is complete, Select Launch to run the simulation study.

Analyze the results

  1. Once the simulation has finished, select Load Results to open the results in the Results tab.
  2. Temperature will be the selected dataset for a Thermal simulation.
  3. Expand the Legend in the Properties Panel
  4. Select Plasma Inverted in the Palette select drop down.
  5. Expand the Settings option and toggle Show Mesh on.
  6. The maximum operational temperature on the PCB is 72.9 degrees Celsius. 
  7. The melting temperature of glass is 1400 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the board should not experience melting at the operational Power.