PCB Aluminium: A Complete Guide2020-08-18
What You Need to Know About PCB Aluminium
The PCB aluminium is high performance printed circuit boards that come at affordable prices. Aluminum PCB consists of a copper circuit bonded layer and a dielectric base to create a superb heat transfer mechanism. This way, it helps cool components and eliminates certain problems associated with fragile ceramics.
Aluminum PCB comes handy when it is about consumer expectations. Aluminum powered PCBs tend to increase reliability and long-term durability of a product. Aluminum designs deliver lower thermal expansion and better mechanical stability compared to other materials. Continue reading the article to discover more about these amazing materials.
What is PCB Aluminium?
A PCB aluminium has the same layout as that of other PCBs. It consists of a single layer or few layers of copper along with a soldered mask and silkscreen layer over it. However, in place of a plastic substrate or fiberglass, aluminum PCB has a metal substrate.
The base is mainly a combination of aluminum. In general, you can find that aluminum PCBs are single-sided, but they can be double-sided as well. As of now, multilayer aluminum PCBs are yet to be developed and manufactured. These kinds of circuit boards are mainly used in power converting electronics and LEDs.
The light produced by the LEDs tends to produce higher levels of heat, which aluminum can dissipate conveniently. The aluminum circuit boards extend the lifespan of the LED device to provide more durability. Aluminum substrates are present in household lighting, stop lights, and street lights.
The aluminum circuit boards allow the power converters to regulate electronics and alter currents. Developers and creators from other industries find these boards useful, but they don’t implement these boards often.
Why is Aluminum Used?
Aluminum is used in the circuit boards because it has the capability to transfer heat away from important components. This way, it minimizes the harmful effects it may have on the printed circuit boards. Also, because of the durability of aluminum, it provides stability and strength to a product that fiberglass or ceramic couldn’t provide.
Structure of PCB Aluminum:
In general, PCB aluminium is nothing but aluminum-based CCLs, which is a base material used in PCBs. Aluminum PCBs are pretty much similar to the FR4 PCBs. The aluminum PCB consists of a structure of four-layers. It has a layer of copper, a dielectric layer, an aluminum base, and a base membrane.
Copper layer – A thick layer of copper implies a more current carrying capacity. This layer is quite thicker than the ordinary CCLs that have thickness around 1oz to 10oz.
Dielectric layer – It is a thermally conductive layer, which has a thickness of about 50 to 200. The layer consist of low thermal resistance.
Aluminum base – This is the third layer in the structure of PCB aluminum. The base has good thermal conductivity. It is made with an aluminum substrate.
Aluminum membrane base layer – This layer is quite selective. This layer acts as a protective surface by keeping it safe from unwanted etching and scraping. It has two different types, around 250 degrees, and lower than 120 degrees.
PCB Aluminum and Its Performance:
Thermal dissipation – Ordinary printed circuit board substrates such as CEM3 and FR4 are bad conductors of thermal. When the heat of any kind of electronic equipment isn’t distributed on time, it may result in extremely high temperatures. As such, the electric components cease to function. The aluminum substrate present in these circuit boards solves the thermal dissipation issue.
Thermal expansion – As said, PCB aluminum can efficiently solve the issue of thermal dissipation. In this way, the contraction problem and thermal expansion on the PCBs can be alleviated. This improves the reliability and durability of the electronic components and the entire machine. In short, the aluminum substrate can put an end to the contraction issues because of thermal expansion.
Dimensional stability – Printed circuit boards with aluminum substrate have higher stability compared to the insulating material on ordinary circuit boards. When the heat is around 30 degrees Celsius to 150 degrees Celsius, the aluminum substrate has a dimensional change of 2.5% to 3%.
Other functions – Aluminum substrate has a great shielding effect, and it can be the best alternative to brittle ceramic substrate. It helps in improving the heat resistance along with other physical properties. Also, it reduces labor and other production costs.
PCB Aluminium: Advantages and Disadvantages
Aluminum circuit boards are the most favored PCB options. They are capable of keeping the heat in control, durable, and boasts other crucial advantages. Also, they are more niche based than standard boards.
- Aluminum is a kind of metal that can be found in any kind of climate. Also, it is pretty easy to mine and refine them. Hence, the costs are significantly lower compared to other metals. As such, manufacturing products with this metal would be less expensive.
- Aluminum is recyclable and non-toxic in nature. Producing aluminum is conducive to preserving energy because of its ease of assembly. For PCB suppliers, using this metal helps to maintain the ecosystem.
- High temperatures can lead to serious damage to various electrical appliances. Hence, it is wise to make use of materials that helps to dissipate heat. Aluminum transfers heat away from the important parts of an electronic device and minimizes the risk of causing a harmful effect on the circuit boards.
- Aluminum provides durability and strength to a product in comparison to fiberglass and ceramic bases. Aluminum is the best base material that reduces the chances of accidental breakage during the manufacturing process, handling, and everyday usage.
- Because aluminum is well-known for its durability, it is a lightweight material too. This material can add strength and resilience without the need to add extra weight.
- The recent developments are the single-sided PCBs, and it is quite difficult to create double-sided PCB aluminum.
- Aluminum is naïve to rapid attacks by the halide ions, and chloride is encountered frequently.
- The process of making aluminum circuit boards are costly.
It is certain that you can improve the performance and durability of the product by using PCB aluminium on them. The low thermal impedance and simple designs of these printed circuit boards are way better than normal PCBs used for high temperature operating components.
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