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All You Need To Know About Aluminum PCB

2020-08-17

Basic Information About Aluminum PCB

Though the layout of aluminum PCB is similar to other PCBs but it is the most commonly used PCB among PCBs with all Metal cores. An aluminum PCB contains layers of copper and solder mask along with aluminum with a layer of silkscreen to cover them all. In these PCBs, a metal substrate is used instead of plastic or fiberglass. Various types of aluminum PCBs are manufactured in an ALUMINUM PCB FACTORY including single-sided aluminum PCB, double-sided aluminum PCB, and multilayer aluminum PCB.

Uses of Aluminum PCBs

Aluminum PCBs are commonly used in power converting electronics and LEDs. The aluminum layer in the PCB takes away the heat produced by the intense light of the LEDs. In this way, an aluminum PCB can provide more stability and long life to the devices using LED.

Aluminum substrates are also used in stop lights, household lights, and street lights as they help I regulating the electronics by changing the currents of power converters.

They are also useful for many other industries still, they are not popularly by most of them.

Reasons to Use Aluminum in PCBs

The main reason for using aluminum in PCBs is that it removes the heat away and reduces its harmful effect from the important elements in a PCB. Moreover, aluminum can provide more durability and strength to the PCB than fiberglass or ceramic substrate.

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Pros and Cons of Aluminum PCB

Pros

Environment friendly: Aluminum is friendly to the environment as it is a recyclable and non-toxic metal. Moreover, it can be assembled easily due to its properties of helping in conversing energy. Thus the use of this metal in PCBs can keep your planet healthy.

Low cost: Aluminum metal can be mined and refined in various climatic conditions. It keeps its cost lower than other metals. In this way, the use of aluminum in PCB can reduce the cost of production for an aluminum PCB factory.

Highly durable: Aluminum is a more durable and stronger substrate than fiberglass or ceramic. It can reduce the breakage caused by accidents while manufacturing, and handling in routine because of the sturdiness of this base material.

Dissolution of heat: Aluminum can help in dissipating the heat that can damage electronics severely as it transfers away from the heat from the important elements in an electronic device.

Lightweight: Aluminum is very light in weight as compared to other metals with similar resilience and strength.

Cons

  • As compared to other substrates used in PCBs the cost of aluminum is higher.
  • It is not easy to manufacture double-sided and multilayered PCBs. So at present only single-sided aluminum PCBs are in use.

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Organization of Aluminum PCB

In aluminum PCBs, CCLs made of aluminum are used to make them similar to FR4 PCBs in looks. There are four layers in the basic structure of an aluminum PCB including the layers of copper foil, a dielectric, aluminum base, and aluminum base membrane.

The layer of copper foil: A thicker copper foil used in aluminum PCBs as compared to the CCLs normally used in other PCBs. It helps in carrying a larger amount of current.

The layer of dielectric: The Dielectric a thermally conductive material. Its nearly 50μm to 200μm thick layer can make aluminum PCB suitable for their applications as it lowers their thermal resistance.

The layer of aluminum base: This layer of aluminum works as a substrate due to its high conductivity of heat.

The layer of the aluminum base membrane: Being selective aluminum base membrane helps in protecting the surface of aluminum PCBs from unwanted etching and scraping. Two types of aluminum base membranes are used including less than 120 degrees and nearly 250 degrees.

Problems Faced While Manufacturing Aluminum PCBs

An aluminum PCB factory normally faces a few common difficulties while manufacturing them like:

Solder mask printing: The solder mask printing of aluminum PCB becomes difficult due to the thick layer of copper foil. It becomes difficult to print an etched image because there is a large difference between the base board and the trace surface due to the thickness of the copper foil layer. For this reason, solder mask printing is used twice on aluminum PCBs. In some cases, before using solder mask a resin is filled and the oil of high quality should be used for solder mask printing.aluminum-pcb-factory-03

Etching of copper foil: Etching on the copper foil becomes difficult because of its thicker layer used in Aluminum PCBs. The thickness of the copper foil is not as required for etching. If the copper foil is more than 3oz then after etching its width may lose tolerance. For this reason, there should be accurate designing of the width of the trace. While manufacturing aluminum PCBs you will have to control etching effectively.

Process of mechanical manufacturing: The internal via of the aluminum PCBs is manufactured by using mechanical methods like molding, v-scoring, and drilling, etc. to reduce their electrical strength. For this reason, while manufacturing aluminum PCBs in low volume professional milling cutters and electrical milling have to be used. In order to prevent the generation of burr, the parameter of drilling should be adjusted during the mechanical manufacturing process.

Applications of Aluminum PCB

Aluminum PCBs are used in various applications because of the thermal dissipation property of the aluminum base used in them. They can be used in the following applications including:

  • Power supply equipment like conditioners, stabilizers, and DC-AC adapter, etc.
  • Audio equipment including balanced amplifiers, input and output amplifiers, power amplifiers, audio amplifiers, and preamplifiers, etc.
  •  Office automatic equipment like motor driver etc.
  • Electronic communication equipment like electric circuit filter and high-frequency amplifiers, etc.
  • Power modules like rectifier bridges, inverters, and solid relays, etc.
  • Computers like a floppy disk drive, motherboard, and power supply device, etc.
  • Microwave switches like semiconductor devices, radiator, motor controller and thermal insulation, etc.
  • Electronic control devices like circuit components, relays, and transistor base, etc.
  • Lighting like energy-saving lamps used for promotional banners and LED lights used in various applications in large-scale.
  • Industrial vehicles like voltage regulators, ignition, lighting conversion system, and automatic safety control system, etc.
  • LED Displays as a source of light and LED display.

Thus aluminum PCBs manufactured in an aluminum PCB factory can be used in a wide range of applications.

If you want more information, please contact us.

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