Introduction of the derating curves based on the terminal part temperature
Recently, the miniaturization, high power density and high temperature
of the usage environment for the automotive devices have advanced. And
requests for resistors to conform the high temperature is increasing.
Figure 1 is the derating curve based on the terminal part temperature
and this is introduced to realize these requests for the surface mount
The derating curves based on the terminal part temperature is already
used in the metal plate type ultra-low resistance value resistors for
current sensing (PSB, PSE etc…). It is because these resistors are used
in sensing of large currents such as inverters and converters which the
terminal part temperature rise irrelevantly from the ambient
temperature because of the generated heat from the nearby switching
elements or the large current applied to the copper pattern.
This point of view was deployed to the general resistors as well.
Overview of the establishment of the derating curves based on ambient temperature
The idea of the traditional derating curve based on the ambient
temperature defined in the JIS and IEC standard was established in the
vacuum tube era, far back from the appearance of the surface mount
resistors. There were no printed boards in those days and the cylindrical
shaped resistors with lead wires were wired in the air to lug terminals
as shown in Figure 2.
The Joule heat that is generated in the resistor is dissipated in three
pathways regardless of the shape of the resistor. The first path is
conduction to the connected parts such as the terminal. The second path
is convection including the heat transfer to the atmosphere by natural
convection and airflow. The third path is radiation by infrared.
The larger the area connected to the resistor becomes, the larger the
heat conduction will be. And the larger the surface area of the resistor
becomes, larger the convection and radiation will be.
When the cylindrical shape resistor with lead wire is mounted on the lug
terminal, the lead wire which is the heat path by conduction is thin and
long so the heat resistance is large and the heat dissipation will be small.
In the contrast, the heat dissipation ratio of the convection and radiation
becomes large since the area will be large. It is determined in the
simulation that 80% to 90% of the heat of the cylindrical shape resistor
with lead wire is dissipated directly into the ambient air. The
temperature of the resistor can be calculated by adding the ambient
temperature and the temperature rise caused by the self-heating, so the
ambient temperature will be most sufficient for the usage environment
temperature standard of the resistors. This is why the derating curve
based on ambient temperature was provided to the customers as the
index of design.
Heat dissipation of surface mount resistors
The Figure3 shows the main heat path of the present surface mount
resistors. The surface mount resistors have only small surface area so
the convection and radiation will be small. On the other hand, they are
connected to the print board patterns in a large area so the ratio by
conduction will be very large. In estimation, the ratio by conduction
through the terminal to the board takes over 90% even when the
convection and radiation is presumed at the maximum level. Therefore,
the control point of the surface mount resistor should be the
temperature of the terminal part which is the connection point of the
board and the main heat path.
Derating curve suitable for the surface mount resistor
The temperature of the resistor will increase the same ΔT from the
standard terminal part temperature regardless of the ambient
temperature when the same power is applied as shown in Figure 4. This
is because there is hardly any heat dissipation from the resistor surface
to the ambient air.
Even when the same power is applied to the surface mount resistor
under the same ambient temperature, the temperature will not be the
same if the printed board which the resistor is mounted is different. It is
because the terminal part temperature changes. There is a possibility
that the temperature of the resistors becomes higher than the endurance
test of ambient temperature 70℃ which is defined in the JIS and IEC
standard and implemented at our site when they are mounted closely to
each other or there are other heat generating devices mounted on the
board as shown in Figure 5.
The traditional derating curve based on the ambient temperature is
established from the endurance test of ambient temperature 70℃.
There will be no problem if the resistors are used with electrically and
thermally sufficient margins, but it is inferable that the recent requests
for miniaturization, high power density and high temperature usage
environment would lead to reducing the margins at the device designing
Using the derating curve based on the terminal part temperature will be
a rational method to reduce the margin. We will provide the derating
curve suitable for the surface mount resistors based on the tests
implemented under the conditions that the terminal part temperature
becomes the rated terminal part temperature (refer to Terms and
How to use the derating curve based on the terminal part temperature
Some examples of rational method to reduce the margins or reduce the
number of resistors or replace with a smaller size will be shown.
The prior conditions will be the following.
(1) Ambient temperature of the board: 100℃
(2) Terminal part temperature of the surface mount resistor: 120℃
(3) Actual load power: 0.05W
(4) Margins defined by the customer internal regulations: 50%
The necessary rated power for the resistor will be calculated from the
conditions (1), (3), (4) using the derating curve based on the ambient
temperature. The result is shown in Figure 6. For the RK73B products,
one piece of 2B size, or two pieces of 1J size will be necessary.
However, when the resistor is selected from the conditions (2), (3), (4)
using the derating curve based on the terminal part temperature, 1 piece
of 1J size will be sufficient.
As seen above, the number of resistors and the mounting area can be
reasonably reduced by using the derating curve based on the terminal
part temperature and this will lead to cost saving.