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Electronic sensor system evaluates tactile contact pressures in real-time

Posted: 15 Oct 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:heatsink? sensor products? cisco systems? tactilus? electronic sensor system?

Key to any successful heatsink design is a reliable mounting mechanism that can self-correct its pressure during assembly, after rework, and throughout the product service life, said Sensor Products Inc. Predicting solder column joint performance due to over-tightening of mounting screws and resultant deformation of ASIC solder columns in Ceramic Column Grid Array assemblies is an evolving process, the company added.

H. S. Liang, thermal and platform engineer at Cisco Systems, is part of a team tasked with the design and production of CAT6K and 4K series heatsinks. Liang stated, "Our mounting mechanism screws cannot exceed a maximum compressive stress load of 35 PSI. Tactilus was able to accurately show that our overall pressure gradients were usually within 11 to 23 PSI. With Tactilus, we now had a way to consistently measure the compressive load on the ASIC solder columns."

Tactilus is an electronic sensor system from Sensor Products that evaluates tactile contact pressures in real-time. According to a press release from Sensor Products, it detects a wide range of interfacial pressures and has great advantages in both adaptability and customization.

Densely packed with thousands of sensor points that are as close as 1mm apart, the Tactilus sensor element collects data as rapidly as 65,000 points per second. Its spatial resolution is fine enough to expose minute surface defects and fatigue marks. And unlike other tactile pressure sensors, Sensor Products added, Tactilus also easily conforms to curvaceous surfaces. Lasting for thousands of uses with consistent repeatability, it is also highly resistant to electromagnetic noise as well as temperature and humidity fluctuations.

Specific analysis capabilities include 2D, 3D, 360, isobar and region-of-interest image viewing. Graphical displays of data can be analyzed in bar charts, line scans and histograms. Vital statistical data like average/minimum/maximum pressures, total force over any selected area, and pressure vs. time is also easily generated. Tactilus test data also exports to third-party software such as Excel, Access, ASCII, Corel and PowerPoint.

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