Aluminum PCB

An Introduction to Aluminum PCB and Its Benefits

Aluminum PCB is perhaps the most common among all the printed circuit boards along with the metal based PCB. It contains an aluminum core as the base of the board and combines with the thermal clad. Thus, it dissipates heat highly efficiently. It enables the circuits in any component to get a reduced temperature and a boost in the overall performance.

Due to such great performance and efficiency, Aluminum PCB is widely used in electronic equipment, audio devices, automobiles, computers, etc.

In this article, we will discuss what is aluminum PCB, what is its key structure, advantages, and wide range of applications. Also, you will get to know why FX PCB is able to manufacture the best aluminum PCBs at the most affordable pricing.

Table of Contents

What Is Aluminum PCB and Its Structures

The most standard printed circuit board will use the FR4 as its base. But the aluminum PCB is unique in the sense as it uses aluminum core as its substrate. Aluminum is known for its high thermal dissipation ability. PCB manufacturers such as FX PCB take advantage of such high conductivity of aluminum to build printed circuit boards.

Since aluminum has great thermal dissipation capacity and even higher-resistance, it comes in handy to cool off the devices where it is used. It means the devices will remain atan optimal temperature which enhances their overall performance.

Over the years, aluminum PCBs have become the apple of the eye to many electronic, audio, computer, and medical equipment manufacturers due to its such impressive benefits. However, you might be keen to know the exact structure of aluminum PCB.

So, here we go-

Likewise, every PCB, aluminum circuit boards also have three layers of structures. Firstly, the circuit layer sits at the top, then the insulating layer at the middle, and finally, the aluminum substrate. These three layers combine for the best performances of the installed devices.

Circuit Layer (Copper):

The circuit layer is made of copper and is responsible to transmit the signals electronically over the entire board. As it transmits signals digitally, the copper particles have to move constantly. It generates serious heat to these particles.

The circuit layer thus transfers the heat to the aluminum substrate where the heat is dissipated evenly. Thus, the circuit layer cools off quickly.

Insulation or Dielectric Layer:

In between the circuit layer and the substrate, lies the insulation layer. At times you will see people referring it to as the dielectric layer for the way it works and is structured. The layer is made of materials with poor electric conductivity. It means the dielectric layers actually prevent the electricity generated in the copper layer to get dissipated in the aluminum substrate.

Thus, there’s no loss to the electric signals. However, the dielectric layer absorbs the heat generated on the circuit layer and then, transfers it to the aluminum base.

The Substrate Layer:

This is the part from which the aluminum PCB gets its name from actually. Aluminum is used as the base of the circuit board instead of the standard FR4. Also, the substrate works as the foundation of the entire printed circuit board.

Manufacturers use different materials as the circuit board base to vary its heat-dissipating performance and overall effectiveness. In this case, the base is aluminum. The most common base is the standard aluminum plate. It keeps the cost low and boosts performance.

Some common aluminum plates used as the base are 5052, 6061, 1060, etc.

Aluminum PCB Advantages and Benefits

  1. Aluminum is non-toxic and is easily recyclable. Hence, it is an eco-friendly element. Furthermore, assembling aluminum substrate in the circuit board is easier than other metals and ceramics. So, it preserves energy which is too friendly for the environment.
  2. Different high-end devices need to transmit signals in a high amount. Thus, these devices run the risk of burning down the circuit board due to overheating. Aluminum with its even and fast heat dissipation helps to keep the devices cool off soon. Thus, it prolongs the device lifespan and boosts its performance as well.
  3. Aluminum is immensely flexible yet rigid. Thus, it comes with the durability that a ceramic or fiberglass circuit board base can’t offer to you. Its durability means the circuit board will enjoy an enhanced lifespan.
  4. Since aluminum has the perfect combination of flexibility and sturdiness, its manufacturing is easier too. It reduces the chance of breakage and damage during manufacturing and everyday use in the device. Thus, manufacturers of various devices find it a promising circuit board investment.
  5. Aluminum is exceedingly lightweight compared to its durability and rugged feature. Thus, the aluminum circuit board adds strength and resilience to the device while keeping its weight in a minimal state. Also, lightweight means, carrying a bulk amount of aluminum PCB is actually less costly.
  6. Aluminum is more affordable than copper and ceramic materials. Thus, the real costing to manufacture these printed circuit boards is much less compared to the other meal base PCBs in the market.

Aluminum PCB Applications

We have already described that aluminum has highly thermal dissipation ability. Also, it has a rare and useful combination of optimal flexibility and sturdiness. These features of the element that has helped manufacturers use aluminum PCBs in various applications.

  • In audio devices: You will see aluminum PCB mostly in input and output amplifier, pre-amplifier, soundbars, etc.
  • Computer components: Computer manufacturers use the aluminum printed circuit board in power supply components, floppy disk, CPU boards, and so on.
  • Power modules: Power modules such as rectifier bridges, and inverters use these circuit boards due to their durability.
  • Power supply: AC and DC converts, switching regulator, SW switches, and other power supply equipment use aluminum PCBs.
  • Communication equipment: Modern-day devices consist of aluminum PCB-made transmitter circuits, filtering appliances, etc.
  • Lamps and lightings: The modern-day lamps and lights have aluminum PCB bases LEDs as a means of cost-cutting efficiency and power-saving fixation.

FX PCB Manufactures High-Quality Aluminum PCB

FX PCB is one of the leading printed circuit board (PCB) developers and manufacturers in China and worldwide. We have over 10+ years of experience and are committed to meet the needs of modern-day and advanced device manufacturers.

We manufacture one of the finest and best aluminum PCBs in the market. We bring an extra layer of thermal cladding to improve the performance of our aluminum PCBs. Also, we recheck each production slot before delivering to our customers to ensure the highest- possible quality.

Whether you need circuit boards for prototyping or in the bulk amount, our flexible budget plans will surely serve your purpose. Also, we produce various types of printed circuit boards to cater to all your needs for versatile PCBs in the industry.

Also, we work with different aluminum plates such as 5052, 6061, 1060, etc. to meet your requirements for different types of aluminum PCBs. It enables us to produce varied layers of performance and costing for different PCBs.

Final Words

Aluminum PCB without any doubt is one of the most used printed circuit boards in the industry at present.  Its high-performing and durable features have made it the favorite of all electric device and gear manufacturers.

We understand the growing need for better aluminum PCB without sky-rocketing the price. Hence, we are committed to delivering you the best aluminum PCBs at a reasonable price. Also, our circuit board manufacturing experience is a thing to count on always.

Peter Gong
Peter Gong

Author

Multilayer Alu PCB

Multilayer Alu PCB: An Introductory Discussion

The world of electronics and electricity has a core dependency on the PCBs these days. Consequently, many types of PCBs have been developed to fulfill different electronics function. The latest and ardent edition in the long line of PCBs is the multilayer Alu PCB.

These days the multilayer aluminum PCB is used widely in the advanced power supply modules. Besides, it brings tons of benefits for consumers.

However, a majority of people have little idea about the aluminum-made multilayer PCB. Henceforth, we are going to discuss the manufacturing process, manufacturing difficulty, and use of a multilayer aluminum printed circuit board along with its advantages and disadvantages in the electronics and electrical field.

So, shall we begin?

Table of Contents

What is Multilayer Alu PCB?

Multilayer aluminum PCBs are, as you might guess, printed circuit boards with multiple layers of thin aluminum sandwiched between a copper foil layer. It has an aluminum base membrane and also another layer of dielectric conductive material.

The single-layer aluminum PCBs were initially developed during the early 1970s. Soon after, it saw a booming application ranging from amplifiers to integrated hybrid circuits. Following the extraordinary success of single-layer aluminum printed circuit boards, soon manufacturers turned their focus on building multiple layer-based aluminum PCBs.

It didn’t take much time, and from then on, it has been serving the electronics market with great success and usefulness.

Aluminum PCB Manufacturing Process

The aluminum-based printed circuit boards (PCBs) are aluminum-based Copper Clad Laminates (CCLs). CCLs are materials that manufacturers use mostly for PCBs. The structure of the multilayer PCBs are similar to flame-resistant and popular FR4 printed circuit boards.

The aluminum PCB manufacturer has four underlying layers. These are copper foil, aluminum base membrane, conductive dielectric material layer, and lastly, an aluminum layer.

Now we are going to describe these layers in brief.

Copper Foil:

  • Copper foils are much thicker than the regular CCLs. For instance, if CCLs weight is around one ounce, then copper foils will be of ten-ounce weight.
  • You need to understand that thickness for copper foil refers to its electric conduciveness or current-carrying capacity.

Dielectric Layer:

  • The dielectric material layer is brought with thermally conductive materials.
  • It has a thickness of 50-200 micrometers (μm).
  • The dielectric layers have low thermal conductivity.

Aluminum Base:

  • The third and most important base is a layered aluminum base.
  • The aluminum base has a high and beneficial thermal conductivity.
  • Multilayer aluminum PCBs have multiple aluminum bases.

Aluminum Membrane Base:

  • The aluminum base protects the main multiple aluminum layers from unwanted corrosion and scratches.
  • Some manufacturers use the aluminum base as an alternative only.

Aluminum PCB Classification

  • Likewise, the widespread copper core PCB, aluminum PCB also has several types. The classification depends on its thermal and electric conduciveness and application. These are:

    • Universal Aluminum PCB: Manufacturers use pre-preg made of epoxy fiberglass as the dielectric material for this universal aluminum-based PCB.
    • High-thermal Conducive Aluminum PCB: Manufacturers use epoxy resin instead of epoxy fiberglass as the dielectric material for this aluminum PCBs. The epoxy resin has exceptionally high thermal conduciveness.
    • High-frequency Aluminum PCB: The dielectric material here is used for pre-preg epoxy fiberglass made polyimide or polyolefin.

Benefits of Multilayer Aluminum PCB

Aluminum backed PCB brings several benefits in the practical field of electronics. These are described in the following section.

1. High Capacity:

Multiple layers of aluminum PCB increases the conduciveness capacity and functioning of the boards. It does so by laminating the layers together. As the number of layers increases, more wiring and circuitry perfectly fit into the multiple layers of the printed board.

2. Rigidity or Flexibility:

Aluminum printed circuit boards are available in two forms. These are rigid aluminum PCB and flexible aluminum PCB. So, it gives you freedom in work. However, flexibility decreases with the growing number of aluminum layers.

3. Smaller Size:

As multiple layers are combined in a small space, the numerous layers increase the functionality. It is an excellent benefit for manufacturing small electronic devices.

4. Lightweight Design:

Since manufacturers can use a multilayer PCB made of aluminum within a small space, it frees them from the complexity of connecting several PCBs. So, the overall weight is reduced significantly and makes the design straightforward.

5. Longer Lifespan:

Aluminum PCBs have an extended operational life compared to ceramic, copper, or fiberglass made PCBs. Henceforth, devices made with aluminum PCB enjoy a longer lifespan too.

Multilayer Aluminum PCB Application

  • Aluminum PCBs are used widely to build amplifiers in the musical and electronics industry. You will see them mostly in input, output, and acoustic amplifying devices.
  • Manufacturers use them in power supply modules. As such, aluminum PCB is seen at the circuit construction of analog to digital converters and regulating switches.
  • Manufacturers use it for building rectifiers, inverters, and relays.
  • Aluminum PCBs with multilayers are also used in light-emitting diodes.
  • Manufacturers use it even in PC motherboard and floppy disks.

Aluminum PCB Manufacturing Difficulty

Although multiple layered Aluminum PCBs bring excellent benefits for consumers, the manufacturing has two main difficulties. These are:

Copper Itching:

Aluminum PCBs use comparatively thicker copper foils. However, the ideal copper foil thickness is 3 oz. If it becomes denser than the 3 oz, then the PCBs need width compensation. Thus, the etching procedure may exceed the tolerance level for tracing width.

Thus, the copper foil thickness requires to be maintained properly for a correct etching.

Solder Mask Printing:

The thicker copper foil also makes the solder mask printing challenging. So, manufacturers use two-times solder mask printing along with quality solder mask oil. They also perform the resin filling before the soldering.

Conclusion

So, this is all about multilayer Alu PCB. We hope you now have a clear idea about how the multilayered aluminum PCBs are made and what benefits it brings in electronics manufacturing. If you have further queries on aluminum printed circuit boards, feel free to contact us.

Peter Gong
Peter Gong

Author