When a thermal or thermal-stress analysis is needed for design of electronics PCB or packaging, it is important to consider the impact of copper traces. Historically, traces have been modeled using Effective Material Properties or Mapped Material Properties (Trace Mapping). The most recent and most accurate technique is Trace Reinforcement Modeling used in both Ansys Sherlock (electronics reliability prediction software) and Ansys Mechanical (finite element analysis) software tools.
The Trace Reinforcement Modeling procedure begins by loading ECAD (e.g. ODB++) into Sherlock, then exporting to an Ansys Workbench project (transfering components, materials, etc). Traces are exported from Sherlock using the .STEP file format and imported to the same Workbench project, where assignments are added for thickness and materials.
Using this simple and straightforward technique we can perform detailed and accurate Structural/Thermal/Dynamic/ Thermal-Stress analysis of the electronics assembly. We can calculate temperature, deformation, and stress distributions for the PCB, components and traces.
To learn more on how to perform this analysis, please watch this video.