Considering the number of advantages of ceramic PCBs, the disadvantages are not so many. This is why ceramic boards are the best choice amongst any other typical boards. Before buying it, you can compare it to different types of printed circuit boards and find out which one would be great for use. But when it comes to quality, don’t hesitate to buy ceramic-based boards.
Best Ceramic PCB Manufacturer: A Guideline to Purchasing Ceramic PCB
Conventional PCBs come with organic lamination to use as the substrate. Since electrical and electronics are advancing leaps and bounds, these PCBs are reaching high-precision and superior reliability. In this regard, ceramic PCB has become the central attraction to miniaturization experts for different electronic products.
Similarly, many ceramic PCB manufacturers have developed highly reliable, accurate, and thick ceramic PCBs. These printed circuit boards are versatile and resist chemical erosion. So, their application is soaring higher with each passing day.
Thus, SFX PCB aims to bring the best ceramic PCBs of different kinds to the market for users. We have the widest range of ceramic PCBs at our disposal for various applications.
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Ceramic PCB Manufacturer Guideline and Benefit of SFX PCB
Make no mistake that metal PCBs are remarkable and works fine for most electronics devices. For instance, aluminum PCBis preferred for its electrical conductivity by many experts. On the contrary, some experts use copper PCB thanks to its flexibility and superior conductivity too.
Therefore, SFX PCB built an array of ceramic printed circuit boards including standard ceramic PCB, ALN ceramic PCB, etc.
So, what does SFX ceramic PCB set apart? The following discussion might help you get the answer.
- Ceramic has a remarkable thermal conductivity
- Professionals can quickly use high-density tracing with the ceramic PCBs
- It has a highresistance to chemical erosion
- These are usable with high-quality CTE components at ease
- It has a remarkable mechanical intensity
Due to such benefits, ceramic PCBs are being more popular day by day. More manufacturers are using them in high-intensity electronic devices. However, you have to understand conventional PCB using difficulties to understand ceramic PCB benefits.
We rigorously test our ceramics condition and make sure we got the best ceramic plates to work on for the electronics industry.
SFX PCB Working Process for Ceramic PCB
In general, we use aluminum oxide or nitride to manufacture the ceramic printed circuit boards. We follow a standard manufacturing procedure for these PCBs. We make sure our ceramic circuit boards are mechanical and CTE compatible to work in extreme conditions for the most advanced technologies.
Furthermore, we check the chemical resistance of the ceramic boards for the extended service before delivering them to the customers. Also, we keep the manufacturing cost of ceramic PCB as low as possible. It is vital since these boards are infamous for being costly.
Also, due to the high demand in the market, ceramic PCBs are quite challenging to obtain from the market. Thus, you are guaranteed to receive the ordered ceramic PCBs from us in a relatively short time.
Problems with standard PCB manufacturers:
These PCBs use fabricated processes during the manufacturing steps. These PCBs are in the market since the early 1950s and use epoxy or polystyrene as the primary substrate materials. Thus, the standard circuit assembly has been largely dependent on these boards.
Nonetheless, semiconductors are improving leaps and bounds. Also, SMT technology and complex circuit integration haveopened up new challenges for the traditional printed circuit boards. So, ceramic PCBs have emerged as a crucial component.
The benefit of using FX PCB made ceramic PCBs is that we offer you an excellent after-sales service. Furthermore, we are ready to make any customized printed circuit boards for your necessity.
Problems in Heat Dissipation:
SMT and VLSI technology has developed tremendously during the last two decades. Thus, standard printed circuit boards such as double-layer PCB and copper coin PCB have faced issues with even heat dissipation.
These PCBs have low thermal conductivity. But ceramic PCB has 90X better thermal conductivity than the standard epoxy glass fiber. Thus, it leads to a remarkable cooling facility with a higher heat dissipation capacity. Also, it has a lower junction temperature which is another benefit of using ceramic printed circuit boards over the ordinary PCBs.
Problems with CTE Compatibility
Surface Mounting Technology or SMT has developed first in the early 1980s. And it has an impact on the entire electronics circuit assembly industry including mobile devices. SMT uses the direct soldering process to connect the PCBs with the electronic components. Thus, SMT is more reliable and less costly than the standard PCBs.
Also, direct soldering permits you to apply the automation process more accurately with the circuit boards. Lastly, ceramic PCBs help to reduce the actual circuit board size up to 5/6 times. So, it helps in reducing the component sizes.
Leadless Chip Career or LLC is also widely used in the SMT industry. Yet, it fails to withstand the thermal cycle challenges. So, professionals doubt its interconnecting capacity with the packaging dependability.
It happens because of the PCB and LCC connectivity incompatibility with the CTE components. Thus, professionals and industry experts now use ceramic printed circuit boards instead of the standard PCBs with their high-thermal cycle.
Furthermore, ceramic PCBs also feature greater stability and durability compared to regular circuit boards.
Types of Ceramic PCBs We Produce:
Ceramic printed boards are classified depending on their fabrication process. There are three types of ceramic PCBs available in the market. These types are-
The HTCC stands for high temperature co-fired ceramic. It is much like the conventional PCBs. Usually, manufacturers use adhesive, aluminum oxide, solvent, and lubricant along with the plasticizer to build the HTCC PCBs. It helps in achieving the raw ceramic.
Then, it has several coating and rolling and finally, the circuit board tracing implementation. The tracing integration is done on molybdenum or tungsten mostly. These are known as refractory metals. After that, our professionals will bake them for 48 to 60 hours in 1600°C-1800°C.
Before the boards enter the baking oven, producers will cut and laminate these boards according to their needs. It permits the users to get tailored HTCC PCB shortly. Also, our professionals focus on manufacturing the highest-quality printed circuit boards for you. You will see the application of HTCC PCBs in-
- Carrier circuits
- Small scale circuit boards
- Derived boards
LTCC PCBs seat at the opposite end of the HTCC PCBs as it is referred to as low-temperature co-fired ceramic circuit boards. Manufacturers use adhesive, non-glass material, glass composite, and finally, crystal glass to make these boards.
Once these materials are mixed properly, they will use the gold paste to implement the necessary circuit tracing on the board. It also has high thermal and electrical conductivity. Then, it is cut and laminated to meet the project needs.
Finally, it enters into the baking oven at 900° temperature with oxidizing gas inside the oven. It improves the overall quality of the LTCC PCBs with higher shrinking tolerance and precision in the circuit tracing.
Thick Film PCB:
It uses both dielectric paste and thick gold paste in a repeated manner right over the printed circuit boards. Then, these boards are baked in an oxidized oven at 1000°C for the next 36-48 hours. The thick film ceramic PCBs are used widely in manufacturing large scale boards for industrial applications.
Nonetheless, its manufacturing is limited despite having huge demand due to the expensive gold-plating on the board. Thus, manufacturers produce multi-layer thick copper PCBs as an alternative to these ceramic PCBs.
Manufacturers bake the copper PCBs in nitrogen gas to avoid oxidization of the copper. It is also used in multi-layer connections.
Why You Should Choose SFX PCB?
FX PCB has been in the printed circuit board marker for quite a long time now. We have hands-on experience in developing different circuit boards for wide applications in the electronics and communication world.
- SFX PCB team boasts of experienced professionals in the industry.
- We always double-check our ceramic plates on which we actually develop the circuit boards
- We have the widest range of ceramic and other metal PCBs in the market for multipurpose use
- For bulk purchasing, we have the opportunity to work in close contact with you. You can even send us requirements and negotiate on the budget.
- Our ceramic PCBs have the least errors and are developed for the most complex works.
These benefits are only the tip of the iceberg we offer to our customers. When you will contact us, we will disclose our tailored packages for your business. Also, SFX PCB manufacturers several other regular printed circuit boards.
Thus, with an engaging team and expert professionals, SFX PCB is always on its toes to provide you all the different types of ceramic PCBs.
Ceramic PCB has seen immense popularity due to the advancement of miniaturization technology in the electronics industry. Thus, ceramic PCB manufacturershave developed several types of these boards for versatile applications.
Furthermore, our ceramic boards are more reliable with high thermal and electrical conductivity. It comes with high-precision and high-durability too. So, it is no wonder why more and more manufacturers are opting for ceramic printed circuit boards in their use from us and we hope you join the league soon.
What is Ceramic PCB
Hello Readers, What is ceramic PCB? SFX PCB works with ceramic PCB and varieties of PCB products. So, we have decided to share the definition and its uses with our readers. Ceramic PCB is a circuit board made with a ceramic base material. PCB is a short form of the printed circuit board.
It is made of electronic ceramics that can be changed into many different shapes and sizes. For having high-temperature resistance and high electrical insulation performance, it is used vastly in various fields that need better circuit boards. Some extra feature of it can be:
- High thermal conductivity
- Low dielectric constant and dielectric loss
- Good chemical stability
- The good thermal expansion coefficient of the component
Before knowing what ceramic, PCB is, you need to have a good understanding of PCB.
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What is Ceramic PCB? – Differences Between PCB & Ceramic PCB
PCB or printed circuit boards are made by printing conductive pathways into a board that connects transistors, resistors, and integrated circuits.
In the case of Ceramic printed circuit boards, the conductive pathways are printed in ceramic baseboards. This essentially improves the performance quality of such circuit boards.
The ceramic used in this case is not the typical ones that are utilized in floors; instead, it is a special kind of material called ‘fine ceramic.’ It is engineered with different chemical substances for specific uses.
A ceramic printed circuit board is made of metal cores. Aluminum nitride boards are suitable for high thermal conductivity. The main drawback of it is the cost. Aluminum nitride boards cost a lot. For less cost, many use aluminum oxide boards, which provide less thermal conductivity comparing to the previous one.
In this case, one can increase the conductivity by using silver traces covered with glass. The glass is primarily used for protection. For using in delicate devices, silver corrosion can become a problem, and for this issue, some use gold plating.
Ceramic PCB is comparatively more pricey than other PCB. But if we think deeply, it is actually a cheaper option because it requires less maintenance for being a high-quality product. This is why many tech industries are switching to Ceramic to provide their customers with better and safer products. SFX PCB Supplies good quality PCB products.
Uses of Ceramic PCB
The ceramic PCB made on ceramic is considered a type of metal core PCB. While other circuit boards such as FR4 or Aluminum can be used for electrical equipment, Ceramic circuit boards provide extra safety. The PCB also keeps the devices risk-free. Typically, Ceramic board is used in the followings:
- Spotlights and high-current LEDs
- Exchange converters
- Power controllers
- Variable optical systems
- Power regulators for cars
- Industrial power equipment
- Semiconductor refrigeration devices
- IC arrays
- Audio amplifiers
- Solar cell substrates
- High power transistors and transistor arrays
- Power applications
Ceramic board’s high electrical insulation and high-temperature resistance performance refrain electrical devices from having any kind of damages. The rapid increase of Ceramic usage in lessening the complexity of circuit boards and increasing the performance. Consider using Ceramic if you need to use your devices in:
- High pressure
- High insulation
- High frequency
- High temperature
Ceramic circuit boards serve the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries as they require high-quality materials for using in their devices. Industries that need higher heat-resistance should switch to ceramic PCB even though it’s a costly solution. We think what is ceramic PCB is clear to you all. If you have any confusion please let us know.
How to Find Best Ceramic PCB
Ceramic printed circuit boards (PCB) or ceramic PCB are getting more popular amongst circuit boards for their great performance. When you are looking for the best type of ceramic PCBs, you need to be aware of some essential information. By measuring all the details and comparing it to other products, you can come to a decision that will help you with purchasing. In this article, you will find a thorough discussion about ceramic circuit boards and all the essential details. By knowing every small information, you can choose which type of Ceramic board is the best choice for you. Before finding the best ceramic PCB we need to have clear idea about what is ceramic PCB?
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Definition of PCB and Ceramic PCB
Circuit boards are the most essential part of a device. The definition of typical circuit boards and Ceramic boards differ due to their different materials.
Printed circuit boards are the result of putting conductive pathways into a board that connects transistors, resistors, and integrated circuits. They are often used in multilayer by putting a non-conductive substrate in between. Before printed circuit boards, wire wrap and point-to-point construction systems were used but now they are hardly seen. The manufacturing and assembly of printed circuit boards are pretty easy and can be done automated. Laying out the circuit is hard and needs expert hands.
Ceramic PCBs are printed circuit boards with a ceramic base. In this case, conductive pathways are printed on Ceramic-based materials. It is better than metalcore or FR4 circuit boards for its higher conductivity and many other great features that make Ceramic-based circuits the best. Ceramic boards were made for fitting compact spaces while not having problems due to heat dissipation or the coefficient of thermal expansion. They are superior to traditional circuit boards in many ways which will be discussed below.
Ceramic boards are made of high-quality materials. These are not the ceramic that your floor has. Ceramic boards consist of metal cores. The metal cores are made of Aluminum Nitride, Beryllium oxide or Aluminum oxide. 96% to 98% of these materials are present in the circuit. Aluminum nitride and Beryllium oxide give the best performance but when you have a lower budget, the Aluminum oxide can be chosen. Aluminum nitride circuit boards’ conductivity ranges from 150-170W/mK while Aluminum oxide’s conductivity is 29W/mK which is much inferior to Alumina-based circuit boards. As a result, for more conductivity, you should choose Alumina-based printed circuit boards.
The conductor materials differ in different cases. For thick or thin-film technology, materials such as silver palladium (AgPd) or gold palladium (AuPd) are used. Direct Copper Bonded (DCB) conductors use only copper. The gold conductor is far better from silver for not having silver-corrosion problem but the conductivity can be increased by using silver traces covered with glass. While using delicate pieces of machinery, gold is a better choice.
Types of Ceramic PCBs
There are mainly three basic types of Ceramic-based printed circuit boards. These are differentiated according to the versatility of manufacturing methods. The three types are:
1. Thick Film Ceramic Board
Thick film ceramic boards have a conductor layer that exceeds 10 microns. The thickness is less than FR4 or DCB board. Using thick-film will allow us to utilize:
- Electric capacity
- Interchangeable conductor
2. Thin Film Ceramic PCB
Thick film ceramic boards have a conductor layer that is less than 10 micron. These boards are smaller in size and much more expensive. It is mostly suitable for microwave circuits.
3. DCB Ceramic PCB
Direct Copper Bonded (DCB) circuit boards where the aluminum nitride or aluminum-oxide is directly bonded with the copper foil under high temperature. Being very thin, it is good for:
- High-quality electrical isolation
- Fine solderability and high bonding strength
- High thermal conductivity
Like FR4 PCB, it can be etched into different layouts.
Uses of Ceramic PCBs
For their high-quality thermal and mechanical advantages, Ceramic PCBs are used in various fields. The board’s unique feature and high thermal conductivity have enabled it to be used in devices big and small.
All RAM requires high-quality ceramic-based boards. Ceramic board is used in DDR SDRAM and other parts that are related to memory. As the memory module needs to be well-made and should have the ability to endure extreme usage, Ceramic-based boards are used.
Multilayer Interconnect Board
Ceramic allows more components than traditional PCBs on the same surface. Ceramic’s capacity for facing weight is very high. This is why ceramic-based PCBs are better than conventional boards when used as multilayer interconnected boards.
Receiving & Transmission Modules
Transmission and receiving modules were first created using Ceramic PCB by American firm Westinghouse. Since radars need to be highly accurate, the board used in them should have compatible CTE and high thermal conductivity. Ceramic boards are very useful for receiving and transmission modules.
This may sound like using circuit boards to make circuit boards. LTCC or low-temperature ceramic circuits have been used by different computing firms that assisted them in making supreme-quality analog and digital boards with excellent circuit tracing. By creating a host of lightweight circuits, personal computers have become lightweight.
HTCCs (High-temperature ceramic circuits) and LTCCs (Low-temperature ceramic circuits) are used in solar panels and many photovoltaic panels. To ensure high-quality thermal conductivity and longevity, PV panels use multilayer ceramic boards.
Electric Power Transmitter
Wireless chargers are getting more popular. These wireless transmitters have been made possible by using Ceramic printed circuit boards. Their high-quality thermal properties make them perfect for electric power transmitter. By creating an electromagnetic field, Ceramic boards can transfer electrical energy. Sometimes, the receiver is also made from Ceramic-based circuit boards.
High Power LED
Ceramic circuit boards are mostly used in this field. Thick-film ceramic boards have superior thermal efficiency. Since LED lights produce a lot of heat (70%), it is essential for a system to have high-quality material that can withstand the heat. Ceramic boards do not have any adverse effects due to the immense heat and that’s why it is perfect for high power LED.
Using the micro-fabrication method, semiconductor chips have superior tracing with high integration and tracing. A modern-day semiconductor chip needs Ceramic circuit boards to function well. This is mostly because it needs to be fitted into tight space and traditional PCBs fail to do that.
Advantages of Ceramic PCBs
There are some great features of ceramic printed circuit boards that are not available in other PCBs. Such features have made it unique and usable in conditions that traditional PCBs can’t withstand. There can be a lot of advantages that can be mentioned but the following ones are the most well-known. Know that the following are not specified to a specific type of Ceramic board but apply to general ceramic-based circuit boards.
1. High-quality thermal conductivity
Thermal conductivity is a term that means the ability to transfer heat energy. The thermal conductivity of the Ceramic circuit board is higher than any other PCBs. This high thermal conductivity allows it to be used in high temperature as it can withstand it very well and don’t get damaged at all. For high durability of electrical devices and great performance, many use ceramic boards as it gives good temperature control. Traditional PCBs can get easily damaged by excessive heat and that’s why high-powered LED lights use Ceramic PCB. The thermal conductivity values are:
- 24W~28W/m-K for aluminum oxide
- 150W~240W/m-K for aluminum nitrite
- 220~250W/m-K for Beryllium oxide
2. Easy multi-layering
Ceramic can allow easy multi-layering for having high mechanical strength. It can easily support the weight of other components which lets anyone have multiple layers. More layer of such circuit boards means it the device can do more complex works. This results in increased performance for devices.
3. Superior insulation
Having good insulation leaves a board unaffected from any type of voltage issues. Typically printed circuit boards face a lot of problems for voltage-related issues. In the case of Ceramic printed circuit boards, such issues don’t occur since Ceramic has very high-quality insulation. Such insulation lets Ceramic-based PCBs insulate the electrical resistance effectively. It also gives extra safety with its ability to withstand the inconsistency of voltage. By using a ceramic-based PCB, an electrical device has better protection against voltage problems which results in safer and more durable products.
4. Low dielectric constant
Ceramic-based boards have low dielectric constant. What it does is allowing the board to work perfectly even in high temperature and high humidity environment. As a result, in extreme conditions, a Ceramic board is more likely to be able to work without any problems than traditional PCBs. It does not only adds to the safety of an electric device but also increases the quality.
5. Low thermal expansion
We know that metal expands when it gets the touch of heat. It causes a lot of issues in a Circuit board and sometimes they get heavily damaged. To keep the thermal expansion at a minimum level, you should use the Ceramic PCB. Ceramic has a very high heat capacity and will not expand in contact with heat. This is another criteria where Ceramic boards take the win.
6. High cosmic ray resistance
Ceramic boards are used in aerospace. Its high cosmic ray resistance makes it suitable for such a field. Space has a very high quantity of cosmic rays and radiation. Such radiation can damage anything including boards. General PCBs can get damaged over time with the contact of radiation. This is why ceramic PCBs are used in aerospace.
One thing that developers have always wanted is circuit boards to be smaller and fit compact spaces. Thanks to Ceramic boards that now complex works can be done in a small space. That is why we have smaller devices that can work great.
Ceramic boards are very durable as they can withstand extreme heat and pressure. They work well because of Ceramic’s high-quality weight and heat withstand capacity. They last longer than traditional circuit boards and this is why they’re a better choice.
Main flaws of Ceramic PCBs
There are only a few disadvantages that can be found in ceramic PCBs. If considering all the advantages and flaws, Ceramic PCB surely takes the win amongst all other boards. Some of the main disadvantages are stated below.
There is a reason why Ceramic-based circuit boards are mostly used in aerospace and complex machinery. They are more expensive compared to other printed circuit boards. For this reason, such PCBs are hardly found in household electrical devices. But one thing to consider in this case is the after cost. Other printed circuit boards might get damaged and for repairing or replacing, you might have to spend an extra amount. On the other hand, Ceramic boards are very durable and you won’t have to worry about repair costs.
Handling Ceramic-based boards can be very complex as the material is fragile and small. If any problems occur with the board, it will take some effort to fix it. As Ceramic PCBs are made for tight spaces, they are very small and this makes them even harder to handle.
Ceramic printed circuit boards are scarce. The scarcity of these boards makes them more expensive. Unlike other circuit boards, Ceramic-based boards have low availability. This makes them hard to find. You might have to spend some time until you find your preferred circuit board. There are some online selling services that provide high-quality Ceramic boards but there is no exception to the high price. Ceramic PCBs are also made in smaller quantities which adds to the scarcity.
Difference between Ceramic boards and other PCBs
Many factors make Ceramic printed circuit board different from other PCBs. Some of the main factors are:
Ceramic circuit boards have high-quality materials such as aluminum nitride or aluminum oxide. Such materials are generally better than the materials used in other PCBs as they can withstand a high amount of heat and have higher conductivity.
2. Multilayer ability
Making a circuit board multilayer enables it for heavy-duty works. Ceramic has a high-quality weight lifting capacity. For that, it has a high multilayer ability than other boards. Multilayer PCBs serve by giving an increased performance than a single PCB. Another factor is, traditional PCBs take up a lot of space while being in Multilayer while Ceramic-based printed circuit boards take up small space.
Ceramic circuit boards are used in devices that need to be able to withstand high temperatures and voltage. Typical household items generally have traditional PCBs installed. Devices that have high heat emission or need extreme precision used ceramic PCB. For example, high powered LEDs that emit extreme heat. In this case, using traditional PCB is not a good idea.
Looks don’t matter but it is worth mentioning. Ceramic circuit boards look stronger and have an aesthetic value to it. Traditional PCBs don’t have much good look and one can easily differentiate both of them by just looking.
Ceramic boards are very compact. They are not big in size which makes them a great choice for small devices. On the other hand, all other circuit boards are bigger and take up much space. Being smaller, it is harder to handle.
Ceramic-based circuit boards are typically higher in price compared to general PCBs. Prices can differ according to the quality and the materials of aboard. Ceramic PCBs can cost as low as 0.15 to 0.40 USD per piece but you have to be sure of the quality. Single-sided and double-sided boards differ in prices. Consider having a higher budget for better products. If you buy Alumina-based boards, it might cost you a little more because it is a high-quality material. For lower budgets, you can choose, aluminum oxide. In the case of tracing, you can choose silver or copper if you have a lower budget but gold is the best amongst all tracing materials but it costs a lot more.
Things to consider when buying Ceramic PCBs
For making a worthy purchase, always consider a few important factors before buying Ceramic PCBs. All little factors can play a huge role in electronic devices and that’s why they have to be known well. Some of the most important factors are:
As we have mentioned previously, Ceramic boards are made of Aluminum Nitride, Beryllium oxide or Aluminum oxide. If you want to have high-quality circuit boards, conditions buying boards that have Aluminum nitride, or Beryllium oxide. For a lower budget, you can consider buying ones with Aluminum oxide. You need to understand which one is used in which cases so that you can decide easily. Alumina-based boards have higher conductivity and used for complex devices.
When you’re buying a thin-film board, consider choosing gold plated ones since gold is much better than silver. Gold is also much more expensive than silver and for a lower budget, you can consider having silver. Silver traces might get damaged for silver corrosion issues while gold traces have hardly any issues.
For professional usage and utilization in complex pieces of machinery, use thin-plate Ceramic PCBs as they fit into compact spaces very well. If you want your board to be etched into different layouts, you can buy Direct Copper Bonded (DCB), circuit boards.
Using a Ceramic-based circuit board for simple devices is a bad idea. It will bring loss to a manufacturer. Only use Ceramic boards when the device is delicate and needs extra durability and functionality. If you need Ceramic boards for LED applications, choose Aluminum oxide as a base material as they are cheaper in price compared to Alumina-based circuit boards. Aluminum oxide is also suitable for sensor modules. For high powered LEDs that emit a high amount of heat, you need to use alumina-based ceramic boards. Such boards are also suitable for sensors and testing components as well as ICs.
Frequently asked Questions
1. What is the bending strength of Alumina Ceramic Substrate?
Alumina (Al2O3) Ceramic Substrate has a bending strength of 400 Mpa. The material is slightly fragile and needs care to be handled.
2. What is the dielectric constant?
For a substance, the ratio of permittivity and permittivity in space is known as a dielectric constant. With good dielectric content, a conductor is able to withstand a high amount of radiation and cosmic rays.
3. Which materials are the best for boards?
Aluminum nitride and beryllium oxide are the two best amongst Ceramic PCBs with high heat-resistance capacity and better durability. They have high conductivity and better performance than Aluminum oxide boards.
4. Which materials should I use for tracing?
You can use Gold, Silver or Copper. Gold is the best one amongst them with a very small probability of damage. Using silver might bring problems because of the silver corrosion issues. Copper is the cheapest one amongst all three.
5. What is the breakdown voltage of a Ceramic PCB?
The breakdown voltage of an alumina-based board is 34 KV/mm. Ceramic can withstand higher voltage compared to other circuit boards which makes it exceptional.
6. How good is Ceramic PCBs’ frequency performance?
Ceramic printed circuit boards have high-quality frequency performance than the traditional boards that range from low to mid.
7. What is the highest operating temperature of Ceramic PCBs?
Ceramic boards can function in temperature as high as 350° C. Its high thermal conductivity makes it the best material for using in high-temperature environments.
8. What does CTE mean?
CTE stands for the coefficient of thermal expansion that refers to the expansion of materials due to heat. Ceramic has very low thermal expansion and can stay still in extreme temperatures.
Ceramic PCBs are the answer to many great problems we had before with traditional circuit boards. With the utilization of Ceramic-based circuit boards, a company or brand can produce higher-quality devices that are able to withstand high temperatures. Using Ceramic is a milestone in the field of printed circuit boards and it is now used in great quantities. To be on the competition, a brand has to start utilizing these materials for providing better devices to clients. Ceramic boards are truly the future.
Rigid PCB vs Ceramic PCB
Rigid PCB vs Ceramic PCB, have you any idea which one is for you? Do not worry, we – SFX PCB will discuss this topic today.
One of the biggest dilemma consumers often faces while purchasing PCBs is choosing between a Rigid PCB and a Ceramic PCB. The main question which arises is which one is better? In order to come to the conclusion regarding the smart choice between the two, we need to compare both of them with similar parameters
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A Rigid PCB is an inflexible and a solid circuit board. In simpler words, a rigid PCB cannot be bent or disfigured. A Rigid PCB can be of three types – Single-Sided, Double-Sided or a Multilayer. After it has been made, a Rigid PCB cannot be folded into any other shape or size. The main components used in the manufacturing of a Rigid PCB is a solid substrate with copper tracks. The technology used for manufacturing is Wave Soldering, SMT (Surface Mountain Technology) and Hand Soldering.
- Used in Desktops and Laptops.
- Used in Satellites
- The Aerospace Industry is the most used sector of Rigid PCB
- Telecommunication Equipment
- One of the main factors which add to the popularity of the Rigid PCB is that more durable than Flexible Circuit Boards or FCB.
- Rigid PCBs are of high quality and density, which contributes to its demand.
- These are also widely used in a variety of electronic devices.
- One of the major disadvantages is that a Rigid PCB is extremely difficult to make an adjustment to after it is installed. In addition to the wastage of time, it also creates the risk of redoing the entire design just to make a small adjustment.
- Rigid PCBs are comparatively more expensive than the other types of PCBs, thus making it a less viable option if the budget is strict.
- Another problem that comes with a Rigid PCB is its reduced weight. If there is a barrier regarding weight, it is suggested to look for another option.
A Ceramic PCB has a base of Ceramic. It is usually used in areas subjected to high temperature and pressure. Ceramic PCBs provide suitable substrates for electronic circuits having a thermal conductivity which is fairly high and a low CTE (Low Expansion Coefficient). It can replace a traditional PCB with attractive improvements such as less complex design and better performance. It is used in a variety of industries such as Automotive Industries, Aerospace Industries, etc.
- Used in the manufacture of proximity sensors
- To make high-powered circuits
- For making Semiconductor coolers
- Used in making high insulation and high-pressure device
- The thermal conductivity outperforms the other PCBs by a tremendous margin
- Innovativeness is boosted because of the fact that the ceramic boards are quite compact.
- Ease of multi-layering for having high mechanical strength is also a plus point.
- The risk of inducing damage is fairly reduced because Ceramic PCBs have a lower dielectric constant.
- The materials used are quite expensive which in turn increases the cost of these PCBs which makes it a deal-breaker for most people.
- The scarcity of materials also leads to less production which in turn lays way to less availability.
- Ceramic PCBs are quite fragile and if not handled with care, they are bound to be deemed useless after falling and breaking.
Comparison: Rigid PCB vs Ceramic PCB
After comparing the characteristics of both the printed circuit boards, the only suitable conclusion that can be drawn is that Ceramic PCBs are better as compared to Rigid PCBs. This conclusion was made after carefully comparing each and every aspect. Firstly, thermal conductivity has been proven to be the best in Ceramic PCBs. The higher thermal conductivity facilitates in controlling the temperature which in turn helps in avoiding damage caused by temperature.
Secondly, It provides better performance as compared to Rigid PCB because of the fact that multi-layering is easily allowed. It also has high-quality insulation, allowing it to insulate electrical resistance properly. Ceramic boards also do not allow high thermal expansion and thus help in avoiding great damage. Another feather in the cap of Ceramic PCBs is that they have high resistance to the harmful cosmic rays.
With respect to all the proven points stated above, it is safe to say that the conclusion that Ceramic PCB is better than Rigid PCB is totally accurate and fairly sensible.
Flex PCB vs Ceramic PCB
Have you any idea of Flex PCB vs ceramic PCB? SFX PCB will discuss about this topic.
Flexible and ceramic PCB is very popular amongst buyers but which one is better? To know that we have to compare both of them. But before that, we need to know their definition and uses.
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Flex PCB and its Uses
Flexible PCB is also called flexible circuits. It is a kind of technology used for assembling electronic circuit by mounting electronic devices over flexible plastic layers or coverings. The coverings are either polyimide or PEEK. Besides flex circuits can be printed over silver screen made up of polyester. Flex circuits are manufactured using identical components of printed circuit boards (PCB), therefore they are called flex PCB. Ceramic PCB is used in the following technologies.
- Computer keyboards
- LCD fabrications.
- Organic light-emitting diodes.
- Used as connectors in various applications.
Advantages of Flex PCB
- Easy to replace multiple connectors.
- They are mainly single-sided circuits ideal for high flex applications such as LCD.
Disadvantages of flex PCB
- The higher the rigidity the more the pricing.
- Damaging risk increases during handling or use.
- Assembling the parts is difficult.
- Repairing becomes difficult due to complex mechanisms.
Ceramic PCB and its Uses
If a person wants to use PCB in higher pressure, higher insulation in higher temperature than the ceramic PCB would be the best choice apart from MCPCB. Many of the local users find the material used for the ceramic boards to be more reliable than any other board. This is just because they provide suitable layers for electronic circuits which usually have high thermal conductivity and low expansion coefficient.
The ceramic PCB is highly and can replace any other circuit board with an additional lesser complex design and increased performance. Ceramic PCB also works on very high temperatures such as up to 350-degree celsius. Using a ceramic PCB can result in overall lower system costs and can be very effective as compared to its cost.
The material used for making ceramic PCB is metal cores. Aluminum nitride is used for providing high thermal conductivity which is greater than 150w/mK. Aluminum oxide boards are used instead of aluminum nitride boards because they are less expensive. Since both the material provides almost the same thermal conductivity, oxide boards are preferred due to its lesser pricing.
Industries that Use Ceramic PCB
- Used in Automotive industries
- Used in Aerospace
- Heavy machinery
- Used in medical devices.
Advantages of Ceramic PCB
- It has high thermal conductivity.
- It allows easy multi-layering for having high mechanical strength.
- A lower dielectric constant which decreases the risk of damaging.
- Being compact the ceramic boards allow greater innovation.
Disadvantages of Ceramic PCB
- The costing is effectively high as the material used is expensive.
- Availability is less because the materials are not found easily.
- Ceramic boards are fragile and need to be handled with care.
Uses of Ceramic PCB
- Used in semiconductor coolers.
- Used in high power LEDs
- In voltage controlled oscillator.
- It is sed in high power semiconductor modules.
- Solar panel arrays is the sector where it is used.
- Used in electric power transmitting modules.
Let’s Discuss Flex PCB vs ceramic PCB
Ceramic boards are superior to flexible boards due to some reasons which can be exploited over certain application. One significant difference between them is the material used. The ceramic circuit boards are made up of either aluminum oxide or aluminum nitride which is of more superior quality than the material used in flexible circuits which are made up of polyimide or PEEK.
The flexible PCB has lesser thermal conductivity as compared to the materials used for ceramic boards. Aluminum oxide is comparatively 20 times more thermally conductive as FR4 along with aluminum nitride and silicon carbide which is comparatively 100 times more thermally conductive. Boron used In ceramic boards is so far of the highest conductivity.
Ceramic boards do not require metal planes, thermal vias on its inner layers and fans, unlike the flex PCB. It is commonly said that higher thermal conductivity tends to be a good electrical conductor. The electric conductivity of ceramic boards is somewhat low which is not such a big problem as it can be increased by doping.
The lower thermal conductivity of the Flexible boards often leads to the problem of having hot spots on the surface and it affects the layers of the inner circuit as well, which are not suitable for heat transport as it takes place throughout the process. The risk could be increased due to the mismatch in the expansion of materials due to heat between FR4 and copper resulting in stress created over the thermal process of these boards. The hot baking process becomes easy for multilayer PCBs as the material integrates directly into the inner layers of the ceramic PCB which is not possible in a PCB made up of FR4.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Multilayer PCBs
Before learning the Advantages and Disadvantages of Multilayer PCBs, It is better to learn some basic nature of the printed circuit boards. SFX PCB decides to share some basic knowledge of PCBs so that all the advantages and disadvantages will be clear to all. Let’s start…
In the development of printed circuit boards, it has been an important feature for PCBs to be smaller and more complex. This trend has resulted in many new circuit boards that fit into compact location and this factor allowed us to improve our devices. But there were following problems that traditional PCB had:
- Heat dissipation
- The complexion of the removal process
- Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)
Ceramic PCBs are the answer to solve these issues. Ceramic printed circuit board has a base of ceramic with gold or silver tracing. Even though these ceramic boards are newer products, they have gained a lot of popularity due to the high functionality. A ceramic-based board is a great improvement to older machines but it does have a few disadvantages. Know that there are different fabrication methods for multilayer ceramic boards and they differ in performance and quality.
Table of Contents
Fabrication Methods of Multilayer Ceramic PCB
Thick Film Ceramic Board
By printing gold and dielectric paste on a ceramic base, these boards are heated in temperature slightly lower than a thousand degrees (1000°). Copper or gold is used and utilization of nitrogen gas prevents oxidation resulting in higher durability and quality.
LTCC stands for low-temperature co-fired ceramic. For high thermal conductivity, the traces are made from gold. The boards are heated at 900°C. This type of PCB used co-firing which is done by combusting non-glass, glass components, or glass crystals simultaneously.
HTCC stands for high-temperature co-fired ceramic. It uses lubricator, adhesive, plasticizer, solvent, and aluminum-oxide. The tracing is made from molybdenum or tungsten which are very good for taking a lot of heat. The heating temperature is between 1600°C to 1700°C. These boards are usually smaller and better.
What are The Advantages of Multilayer PCBs
Ceramic multilayer PCBs come with a lot of features that are not present in traditional circuit boards. These advantages make it better than any other printed circuit board. The advantages mentioned are not specified to a specific kind of ceramic PCB. Instead, these are the general advantages that can be found in most multilayer circuit boards that have a ceramic base. Some of the advantages are:
Higher Thermal Conductivity
Thermal conductivity means the ability to transfer heat energy. Ceramic has very good thermal conductivity. Higher thermal conductivity allows the device to control temperature and not get damaged from excessive heat. High-quality products use ceramic on the circuit boards so that they have better durability and temperature control. This is the best feature of multilayer ceramic PCB and also the main reason for it being used in aerospace.
Ceramic can allow easy multi-layering for having high mechanical strength. It can easily support the weight of other components which lets anyone have multiple layers. More layer of such circuit boards means it the device can do more complex works. This results in increased performance for devices.
Typical circuit boards often face problems for inconsistencies in voltage amount. But ceramic-based circuit boards don’t have such issues. Ceramic has very high-quality insulation that allows it to insulate electrical resistance effectively. It has a high voltage withstand capacity for increased safety. When a ceramic PCB is used in any electrical device, it has better protection of voltage problems.
Low Dielectric Constant
In high temperature and high humidity environment, ceramic boards have good stability. This is due to the low dielectric constant that allows it to be undamaged in extreme conditions. It adds to the safety and the quality of any device.
Low Thermal Expansion is a Great Advantage of the Multilayer PCBs
Some materials can expand in touch with heat. This can’t be allowed in a circuit board as it may bring great damage to the device. This is why ceramic printed circuit boards have low thermal expansion. Ceramic can maintain its size at high temperatures.
High Cosmic Ray Resistance
Ceramic PCBs can resist cosmic rays greatly. This feature is very important for aerospace since space has a high amount of radiation and cosmic rays. General PCBs might get damaged over time for radiation as a result, ceramic-based PCBs are a better option.
Ceramic printed circuit boards are very small in size and that allows for greater innovation. Devices that were known as a computer years ago now are inside our mobile phones. This is why being compact is very important for circuit boards.
What are The Disadvantages of Multilayer PCBs
There are only a few disadvantages that can be found in ceramic PCBs. They are:
Ceramic boards cost more than traditional boards. There is a reason why it is mostly used in aerospace and high-tech products. This is, arguably, ceramics circuit boards’ main disadvantage. But consider its performance, the price is not too much. In fact, it will save you from future costs for repairs and will provide better customer satisfaction that will increase your brand’s reputation.
Ceramic boards are fragile. That means they are hard to be handled and need extra effort. As a result, it would take much time to fix it if it gets damaged. Another factor that comes into play is its size. Ceramic PCBs are very compact and made for tight spaces. But the effort of handling is worth it considering its service and quality.
Availability is the most disadvantage of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Multilayer PCBs
Compared to other circuit boards, ceramic-based circuit boards have low availability. It is not something you can easily find. There are some online selling services that offer ceramic boards but their quality needs to be checked. And when you’re looking for fine ceramic, the search can take some time to find the right board you want. The scarcity of it adds to the price.
Ceramic PCB has the performance of high temperature and high electrical insulation, and it has the advantages of low dielectric constant, low dielectric loss, high thermal conductivity, good chemical stability, and similar thermal expansion coefficients of components.
People used t ceramic PCB in the LED field, high power semiconductor modules, semiconductor coolers, electronic heaters, power control circuits, power mixing circuits, smart power components, high frequency switching power supplies, solid state relays, automotive electronics, communications, aerospace and military electronic components.