Journal of Electronic Materials

, Volume 44, Issue 11, pp 4589–4594 | Cite as

Protection of Electronics from Environmental Temperature Spikes by Phase Change Materials



Protection of electronics from high-temperature environments is desirable in applications such as harsh-environment industrial sensor networks for continuous monitoring and probing. In this paper, the use of phase change material (PCM) encapsulation of electronics is proposed as protection from environment-induced, probing-induced or electronic power burst-induced temperature spikes. An outline of the encapsulation method is given and a heat flow analysis is performed. A lumped element model is introduced and a numerical simulator is implemented. An encapsulation setup is fabricated and tested, allowing an experimental validation of the proposed method and model. The numerical simulation model is then used to study particular temperature spike scenarios. The results demonstrate that at reasonable encapsulation sizes and for commercially available phase change and insulation materials, short-term protection from large temperature spikes can be provided by the proposed method. As an indicative example, for a typical sensor node normally operating at a 20°C environment, PCM encapsulation may provide protection for 28 s of exposure to 1000°C per PCM gram.


Phase change materials harsh environment electronics transient 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    R. Kandasamy, X.-Q. Wang, and A.S. Mujumdar, Appl. Therm. Eng. 27, 2822 (2007).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. Kandasamy, X.-Q. Wang, and A.S. Mujumdar, Appl. Therm. Eng. 28, 1047 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. Baby and C. Balaji, Int. J. Therm. Sci. 79, 240 (2014).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    S.C. Fok, W. Shen, and F.L. Tan, Int. J. Therm. Sci. 49, 109 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    A. Hasan, S.J. McCormack, M.J. Huang, and B. Norton, Sol. Energy 84, 1601 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Leland, G. Recktenwald, in Proceedings of the 19th Annual IEEE Semiconductor Thermal Measurement and Management Symposium, (2003), p. 351.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. Alrashdan, A.T. Mayyas, and S. Al-Hallaj, J. Mater. Process. Tech. 210, 174 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    X. Duan and G.F. Naterer, Int. J. Heat Mass Tran. 53, 5176 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Z. Rao and S. Wang, Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev. 15, 4554 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Z. Ling, Z. Zhang, G. Shi, X. Fang, L. Wang, X. Gao, Y. Fang, T. Xu, S. Wang, and X. Liu, Renew. Sust. Energ Rev. 31, 427 (2014).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    M.K. Rathod and J. Banerjee, Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev. 18, 246 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    D. Smith, Texas Instruments Technical White Paper (2013),
  13. 13.
    PlusICE, PCM Products Limited (2014),
  14. 14.
    M.E. Kiziroglou, A. Elefsiniotis, S.W. Wright, T.T. Toh, P.D. Mitcheson, Th Becker, and E.M. Yeatman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 103, 193902 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    S. Mahmoud, R. Al-Dadah, D.K. Aspinwall, S.L. Soo, and H. Hemida, Appl. Therm. Eng. 31, 627 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    A. Sinha and Y. Joshi, in Proceedings of the 12th IEEE Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems (ITherm), (2010), pp. 1–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical and Electronic Engineering DepartmentImperial College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations