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From Model                                                                                      simulation specialists, but does not
                                                                                                overwhelm the user. The app described
                                           to App                                               here allows the user to examine
                                                                                                maximum junction temperature and
                                                                                                junction-to-case thermal resistance
                                                                                                as a function of the materials of the
                                                                                                components, thickness of the solder
                                                                                                layer, and dissipated thermal power.
                                                                                                The app user can modify parameters
                                                                                                and view the output quickly, con rming
                                                                                                or contradicting predictions to make
                                                                                                informed design decisions.

FIGURE 4. The Surface-Mount Device Thermal Model app, created with the Application              ð IMPROVING ENGINEERING
Builder available in COMSOL Multiphysics® software. The user can change factors such as the     COMMUNICATION
solder thickness, operating conditions, and materials in order to analyze the thermal behavior
of different SMD designs.                                                                       In our experience of creating simulation
                                                                                                apps, clients have been pleased to be
proper functioning of the SMD. In our      created with the functionality available             provided with an interactive tool with
test simulation run, the heat source is    in the COMSOL Application Builder.                   which they can investigate their system.
15 W, the initial frame temperature is
set to 25°C, and the remaining parts are      As the application user progresses                   Previously, after providing clients with
thermally insulated.                       through the steps of the simulation,                 the outputs of simulations, there would
                                           graphical output is displayed: rst                   be requests for further computational
   With COMSOL Multiphysics, it is         the geometry of the SMD, then its                    modeling with different parameters.
straightforward to model heat transfer     mesh, and nally the computed                         Now, it is possible for the simulation
through the device, as all modeling        temperature distribution. Thus, the                  expert to deploy a custom application
steps are carried out in the same          interactive, dynamic nature of the                   with which the client can investigate all
environment. We were able to quickly       model is preserved in the app. When                  of their remaining uncertainties. This is
build the geometry; add materials;         the app user modi es a parameter, all                optimal for the simulation expert as well
use the Heat Transfer in Solids physics    visualizations are easily regenerated.               as clients — the time spent on repeating
interface to set up boundary conditions;                                                        simulations with different parameters is
mesh; solve; and postprocess the results      The nal result is a clear and                     better spent adding complexity to the
with the expressions we de ned, such as    easy-to-use application that relies on               simulation and app.
the junction-to-case thermal resistance.   the accuracy and predictive power of
                                           the mathematical model de ned by                        Now, with simulation apps, upon
                                                                                                receiving a request for parametric
                                                                                                simulations, we can say, “Let us provide
                                                                                                you with a COMSOL custom application,
                                                                                                and you will be able to inspect your

                                                                                                product yourself.” v

ð BUILDING A CUSTOM                        “ In simulation consulting, apps are the next
NUMERICAL MODEL                             step in engineering communication: They're a
                                           streamlined way to communicate and work
Once the COMSOL Multiphysics model         with clients.”
is complete (see Figures 2 and 3), it can
be wrapped in a user-friendly interface                                      ABOUT THE GUEST AUTHOR
with the Application Builder tool. As
the experts in the physics at hand, we                                               Giuseppe Petrone is a cofounder and the sole administrator of
consider both our mathematical model                                                 BE CAE & Test, a COMSOL Certified Consultant. He received his
and our client's speci cations in order                                              master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of
to choose the parameters that the app                                                Catania in Italy and later earned his PhD in energetic and process
user can access and modify within an                                                 engineering from the Université Paris-Est in France. Before starting
acceptable range (see Figure 4).                                                     BE CAE & Test, Petrone devoted his time to academic research
                                                                                     ventures, which included exploiting numerical methods in fluid
   The app user can see the geometry                                                 dynamics and thermal analyses. He has been a user of the
of the SMD, adjust the solder thickness,                                             COMSOL Multiphysics® software since 2005.
generate a mesh, launch the simulation,
return to default settings, and generate
a report. These features are easily

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