Clamping and Heat Dissipation Mechanism

L3 Technologies (L3) is a world leader in electronics and communications solutions for defense and military markets. Currently, in one of L3’s communications systems, the company uses a wedge-lock to secure circuit board modules while dissipating heat to a chassis. The wedge-locks tend to bind up, which decreases the longevity of the product. The need for an improved design to increase the heat transfer and durability of the mechanism, while maintaining the clamping force, is needed to improve the efficiency of the electrical components.

The wedge-lock has undergone many renditions over the years. Most modifications involved changing the material to decrease the thermal resistance. Our approach was to increase the surface area. The wedge-lock had several gaps in the surface area. These gaps increase the thermal resistance which decreases the efficiency of the electrical components. Our design is a single wedge which maximizes the surface contact which decreases the thermal resistance. Our design decreased the thermal resistance by 16% and increases the uses to failure from 5-10 to 55-70.

Our design helps L3 increase the capacity of their electronics in their communications systems, as well as decrease the number of times the clamp needs to be replaced which also saves time and money. This is also the preliminary research to really make a breakthrough in increasing the capacity of the electrical components by simply using conduction to cool the circuits.

School Year (term): 
Team Name: 
L3 Technologies
Terri Bateman
Team Members: 
Taylor Cowley, Eric Kuykendall, Joshua Agulia Rodriguez, Cory Robinson, Zachary Vigil

Brigham Young University - Provo | Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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