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Measuring and modelling of humidity penetration in an electronic control unit
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. (Tillämpad Fysik)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
2000 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Real world modeling has become a very useful tool when new designs and applications are tested before they are introduced on the market. A field that recently has discovered the possible use of modeling is reliability prediction. The reliability and lifetime of a component has until recently been based on months and years of testing. In order to shorten the test time it is possible to simulate the environmental effect on the components. Another advantage of modeling is that changes of large systems where many different components work together can easily be studied. Without modeling the reliability has to be tested over and over again if the system is redesigned since it is impossible to know how the new change will affect the reliability.

Since electronic circuits are being made smaller and smaller with the increasing demand of faster technology the circuits are very vulnerable to corrosion. A trend in the automotive industry is also to move the electronic devices from the benign environment in the cab to the hash environment on the driveline or the chassi. The most common way to protect the electronics from the hash environment is to put it into a protective covering, also called Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Even though the ECU is sealed, water can still enter the ECU in several ways and cause serious damages by corrosion. The corrosion rate of a component is among others depending of the environmental humidity and temperature. Knowing the humidity and temperature are therefore very important to be able to eliminate corrosion problems. In order to achieve a better understanding of the physics behind the failure and to improve the reliability of the ECU a model of the temperature and humidity penetration is built in this thesis.

There are several components in the ECU which all responds differently to water vapour. By measuring the humidity penetration in the ECU while components were added one by one, the physical properties of the components could be determined. Some properties were also determined through additional solubility measurements. The humidity penetration of the ECU is then predicted by inserting these properties into mathematical models in SimulinkÓ.

The conclusion is that it is possible to model the humidity penetration and the temperature changes in the ECU. After the physical properties of the components were determined, the diffusion model agreed well with measurements. The numerical method used in this thesis has been found to be fast and stable. The length of the time-steps has been varied from a couple of minutes to more than an hour in the numerical model. A few physical properties has to be examined more in detailed and the model is then going to be a good foundation on which corrosion and other damaging processes can be modelled.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
Adsorption, adhesion, diffusion, humidity, simulation, measurements, water
National Category
Other Physics Topics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35150OAI: diva2:331887
Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics
Available from: 2010-07-27 Created: 2010-07-27 Last updated: 2010-07-27Bibliographically approved

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