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How do metal core PCB manufacturers apply aluminum layers?

2020-09-29

Metal core pcb definition in simple word

For Metal core PCB manufacturers mcpb has a metal base that provides best heat resistance. It has high end manufacturing that repels heat. So, in simple word, preventing heat is the main task of mcpcb. And it provides high end performance too.

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Moreover, it also decreases the crucial areas like,

  • metallic core
  • or metal heatsink backing.

However, manufacturers also use these base metals as alternative to CEM3 boards or FR-4 in MCPCB. Actually, the abbreviation of Metal core PCB is MCPCB.

Furthermore, MCPCB contains special kind of,

  • high mechanical strength
  • magnetic conductivity
  • excellent heat dissipation.

Along with all the above characteristics MCPCB also have better processing performance. In fact, there are two kinds of materials for metal core base. These are,

  1. aluminum base material
  2. copper base materials.

Aluminum substrate is a special type of metal-based copper clad plate also with dissipation function and good heat transferring.

In addition, copper substrate has best performance in comparison to aluminum. But it is a fact that copper is comparatively more costly in comparison to aluminum. Moreover, most of the customers often order aluminum PCBs. Because aluminum PCBs are cost efficient.

How metal core PCBs are essential for LED lighting?

Nowadays LED based products are getting popularity with each passing day. These products actually make use of metal core printed circuit boards. In LED industry, heat dissipation problem was creating serious problems, especially in the field of LED lighting.

So, the metal core PCB manufacturers have provided this new way to resolve the heat dissipation of LED products. Hence, with the popularity of LED based products, metal core PCBs have also become essential part of this industry.

Furthermore, these PCBs are low cost. Basically, these metal core PCBs are 5 times less costly and extra efficient in comparison to normal incandescent units.

Brief Introduction of Layers of Metal Core PCBs

As you know that, there are many layers in the PCBs as well as in metal core PCBs. However, here we are describing you, facial characteristics of a single sided PCB. All the features of metal core PCBs are same as in single sided metal core PCB.

In fact, it contains the following composition like,

  • Base Layer of metal – it is generally an aluminum or a copper alloy.
  • Dielectric Layer – this layer is actually a non-Conducting layer
  • Solder Mask
  • Copper Circuit Layer (1-6oz. Generally, manufacturers use 1-2oz.)
  • Heat sink
  • IC Components.

Metal Core PCB thickness and Materials

Metal core PCB manufacturers most commonly use aluminum core PCBs in manufacturing most of electronic appliances. Normally the thickness of metal cores is 30 to 125 mil in the base plates of PCB. But there is possibility of thinner and thicker plates.

Furthermore, the thickness of MCPCB copper foil may be 1 – 10 oz.

How metal core PCB manufacturers use metal core PCBs in several applications?

Today electronic engineers are mostly using MCPCBs in LED technologies.

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But some of the famous uses of MCPCBs in modern devices are:

  • LED
  • Automotive
  • Backlight unit
  • Moto drives
  • Power converters
  • Solar panels
  • Solid-state relays
  • General lighting
  • Photovoltaic
  • Hybrid/Electric motor control
  • Motion control.

Types of Metal Bases which manufacturers use in MCPCBs

In fact, there are two metals which metal core PCB manufacturers use in MCPCB.

These are:

Aluminum substrate:

Aluminum PCBs provide better heat dissipation. Moreover, these PCBs also have ability of heat transferring. In fact, these aluminum PCBs are low weight.

Basically, the thickness of the core lies between 40-120 mils. Mostly manufacturers use

40-60 mils, where they most often use 40 to 60 mils.

you can check the parameters about aluminum PCB material which metal core PCB manufacturers use:

 

  • Aluminum thickness ranges from 2mm to 8mm
  • thermal conductivity ranges from 5W/(mK) and 2.0W/(mK)
  • Greater than 9lb/in peeling strength
  • breakdown voltage >3000V
  • flame ability is UL 94V-0
  • panel size is 18” x 24”
  • 03 dielectric loss angle
  • Solder resistance: SF: 288℃, >180 sec.

Copper base (heavy copper or copper core):

Basically, the boards with copper core give best performance in comparison to aluminum.

Furthermore, most of the consumers prefer aluminum because aluminum is low cost alloy. On the other hand, copper is more expansive than aluminum. Moreover, copper cores are also heavier and requires a very tough machining process.

Several different Base Metals and Their features

Metal base material Thermal expansion

(ppm/K)

Thermal conductivity

(W/mK)

Features

Al-Mg-Cr alloy

 

Copper C110

 

17

 

386

Pure Cu

Low CTE, more expensive in comparison to aluminum, high thermal conductivity,

Aluminum 6061 T6  

25

 

167

Al-Mg-Si-Cu alloy

best for V-cut scoring and CNC machining,

mid-price

Aluminum 5052 H32  

25

 

138

Al-Mg-Cr alloy

mechanical forming, greatly suitable for bending, low cost

 

6 advantages of MCPCB described by metal core PCB manufacturers

Metal core PCB manufacturers explain that, when electronic devices accumulate lot of heat in their PCBs, they get damage or malfunctioned.

Furthermore, electronic appliances which lead to generate too much heat, sometimes may not get cool by using standard fans.

So, conductive cooling process by using metal core PCB boards is always a perfect choice. In the process of conductive cooling, heat can be transferred from a hot part to the cooler part. And it will continue until heat moves to a cooler medium.

Moreover, according to metal core PCB manufacturers there are many advantages which MCPCBs have. Here we are describing some of them.

  • Aluminum PCB boards are light in weight in comparison to ceramic
  • As well as the conductivity of the material will be higher the heat transfer will be faster
  • These metals recyclable and non-toxic
  • In comparison to epoxy products, metal substrates are extra conductive and durable
  • In order to control the flow of heat away from components, the MCPCB can be etched
  • applied in high vibration devices or gadgets. The components never fall off because the core deducts the vibration.

So, all these advantages of MCPCBs force metal core PCB manufacturers to use them in high vibration applications. They are low-cost and reliable. Moreover, these PCBs are long-lasting and durable.

Conclusion:

It is a fact that today manufacturers are rapidly using metal core PCBs in LED lights. But you can see that they are also using the MCPCBs in several others devices and applications.

Moreover, their endless benefits force electronic engineers to use them in almost all complicated devices. These metal core PCBs are highly reliable and trustworthy because of their variety of thermal performances.

Metal core PCB manufacturers also can create substrate metals in a vast variety along with many different thicknesses and weights of copper foil. Hence, metal core PCBs are highly effective in LED lights and multifunction electronic appliances.