The thermal performance of an electronic device is heavily dependent on the properties of the printed circuit board (PCB) to which it is attached. However, even small variations in the process used to fabricate a PCB can have drastic effects on its thermal properties. Therefore, it is necessary to experimentally verify that each stage in the manufacturing process is producing the desired result. Steady state thermal resistance measurements, taken with a comparative cut bar apparatus based on ASTM D 5470-06, were used to compare PCBs manufactured from the same design by different vendors and the effects of vias filled with epoxy versus unfilled vias on the thermal resistance of a PCB. It was found that the thermal resistance of the PCBs varied by as much as 30% between vendors and that the PCBs with epoxy filled vias had a higher thermal resistance than those with unfilled vias, possibly due to the order in which the manufacturing steps were taken.

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