Potting Process Simulation of Electronic Devices

Project SOVEB (Simulation-supported Optimization of the Potting Process of Electronic Components)

By potting, electronic devices are completely surrounded by particle reinforced polyurethane resins to ensure their reliability. In the SOVEB project (Simulation-supported Optimization of the Potting Process of Electronic Components) we simulate this process using our FLUID software so that industrial enterprises are able to optimize their production steps. 

The rapid development of microelectronics has led to the fact that isolated electronic components increasingly are becoming highly integrated and modular component systems. This results, among other things, in a high heat production during operation. But also other requirements such as long-term stability and functional reliability increase with the complexity of the assemblies. To name one example: LEDs are sensitive electronic components and often require additional protection against mechanical damage, humidity and other environmental influences.

Particle Reinforced Resins for the Protection of Electronic Devices

In this case, polyurethane resins are a typical example of potting compounds for the complete surrounding of electronic components. They protect sensitive electronic components not only from shock, vibration, humidity, water, but also from overheating of embedded electronic devices.

The potting compounds achieve their high thermal conductivity by the adding of particles. The particles differ in shape, size and filler concentration. The potting compound of particle reinforced polyurethane resins resulting from this forms an extremely high-viscosity suspension, which is very challenging as far as simulations are concerned.

Development of Optimal Simulation Tools for Industrial Applications

In order to describe the dynamics of such suspensions correctly, we use suitable flow models and a numerical discretization adapted to this. After the identification of the viscosity parameter, we perform numerical studies using our software FLUID to predict the correct material distribution during mould filling. Through simulation studies in advance, we optimize the path and dynamics of the filling nozzle as well as the tool design.

Our findings (see figure below) are in strong agreement with the experimental data obtained at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM from Bremen.  Thus, the simulation tool developed is available to industry for design and optimization studies, but also as a software tool for calculating in advance the composition of potting compounds and their efficient industrial processing.

Partial potting of a printed circuit board
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Partial potting of a printed circuit board
Potting Process
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Potting process in an experiment at the Fraunhofer IFAM.
Potting Process Simulation with FLUID
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Potting Process Simulation with FLUID.

Video: Simulation with FLUID

Potting Process Simulation with FLUID.