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Sensors 2007, 7(11), 2997-3011; doi:10.3390/s7112997
Article

Effect of Electrical Contact on the Contact Residual Stress of a Microrelay Switch

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Received: 12 October 2007 / Accepted: 14 November 2007 / Published: 26 November 2007
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering)
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Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of electrical contact on the thermal contactstress of a microrelay switch. A three-dimensional elastic-plastic finite element model withcontact elements is used to simulate the contact behavior between the microcantilever beamand the electrode. A model with thermal-electrical coupling and thermal-stress coupling isused in the finite element analysis. The effects of contact gap, plating film thickness andnumber of switching cycles on the contact residual stress, contact force, plastic deformation,and temperature rise of the microrelay switch are explored. The numerical results indicatethat the residual stress increases with increasing contact gap or decreasing plating filmthickness. The results also show that the residual stress increases as the number of switchingcycles increases. A large residual stress inside the microcantilever beam can decrease thelifecycle of the microrelay.
Keywords: Microrelay; electrical contact; thermal-electrical coupling; thermal-stress coupling; elastic-plastic finite element model. Microrelay; electrical contact; thermal-electrical coupling; thermal-stress coupling; elastic-plastic finite element model.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chen, Y.-C.; Tsai, H.-H.; Lu, W.-H.; Chen, L.-W. Effect of Electrical Contact on the Contact Residual Stress of a Microrelay Switch. Sensors 2007, 7, 2997-3011.

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