The revolution in the electronic world has asked for dynamic inventions that lead to the emergence of copper base PCBs. It has high thermal and electric conductivity that has enabled them to be used in the smallest and most advanced electronic devices.
Yet, the majority of people have little or no idea about the copper core PCB. The unawareness ranges from its manufacturing process to functionality as well as advantages and disadvantages.
So, we will be shedding light on these topics along with a brief discussion of the differences between aluminum PCB and copper PCB.
So, do you fill thrilled to get all the information in a single article?
The Basics of Copper Base PCB
The copper core PCB is known with various titles. You may see the names such as copper-based PCB, copper-clad PCB, and even as copper substrate PCB. Whichever name you see, the function and work they do remain the same.
It has multiple layers that include a copper substrate or base, an insulating layer, and lastly, the copper circuit layer. A copper-based PCB is mainly divided into two categories, depending on its performance capacity and functioning.
- Embedded copper coin PCB
- Buried copper coin PCB
You should know that the standard copper-based PCB uses copper as the base instead of the commonly used FR4 as its base. The use of copper brings several benefits for users.
Metal Core PCB Design Guidelines:
The MCPCB or metal core PCBs are manufactured around epoxy resin due to its adhesive capacity. On each side, the PCB has copper substrate or foil, and the middle is sandwiched of a copper circuit board for high thermal and electric conductivity. These are also known as metal-clad PCBs since the copper is one of the most used metals.
If the copper core manufacturer is developing a multilayer copper PCB, it will use two to three copper layers in the middle part to increase the conductivity. The multilayer PCBs of copper are often embedded, which improves its performance and reliability.
Sometimes, manufacturers use a heavy-copper base for the PCB. These thick copper PCBs remain functional in the most extreme conditions. Hence, electronic device producers use it for a variety of usage, such as UPS systems, nuclear power centers, renewable energies, and so on.
Advantages of Copper Backed PCB
- In a copper core PCB, the interconnections are performed using a copper track between the various components. It makes the entire unit small enough to fit in a tiny device.
- In case any part of the PCB is damaged, with transparent labeling on it, you can quickly replace the damaged parts instead of the whole component. Also, the clear label makes the installation convenient.
- The printed copper circuit board takes much less time to assemble compared to the conventional wire-based component connections.
- Copper PCB is connected correctly with the use of solder flux. Thus, the entire board is held together tightly. It prevents their movement even if the board moves on the surface.
- A copper PCB also eliminates the chance of short circuit or loose connections thanks to its tight attachment.
- A correctly laid out copper printed circuit board reduces the noise quite significantly. The reduced electronic noise enhances device performance.
- Copper PCBs are highly reliable and cost-effective too. Thus, it reduces the cost of electronic devices significantly and turns them affordable enough for general people.
Disadvantages of Copper Backed PCB
- Copper PCBs can carry less current due it its small size. Hence, its use is limited to small components only.
- Its soldering needs extreme attention since the tiny size often leads to over-heating issues. The over-heating can damage the entire component.
Guidelines for Metal Core PCB Prototyping Sheet Safety
When it comes to metal core PCB, its prototyping sheet needs to have premium protection. It is essential since unprotected PCB prototyping sheets can cause some serious concerns to the electronic devices.
So, you should ensure the protection of all the metal PCBs such as aluminum PCB or copper PCB. You can protect them with the following easy steps:
- MCPCB sheets come with two layers of plastic films, top film, and bottom film.
- When you start manufacturing the PCB, at first, cut through the top film and separate the two sections.
- As you cut through the top film, it removes the copper side.
- Now use a sponge to clean the copper side to make it look bright and shiny.
- When the copper side shines, you should clean it with acetone. You can drip a rug in the acetone for the cleaning purpose.
Once you can perform the steps with success, the metal-clad PCB should be safe and ready for extreme use.
Differences Between Aluminum PCB and Copper PCB
It is probably safe to prominently say that both copper and aluminum PCBs are a breakthrough revolution in the electronics industry. Both works exceedingly well in their respective areas. Nonetheless, both have specific distinctions that make them ideal for a variety of functions.
For manufacturing quality electronic devices, you need to understand the differences between the two metal PCBs. These are:
- Copper PCBs have 2X thermal conductivity compared to aluminum PCBs. Therefore, copper backed PCBs have better thermal conductivity and heat dissipation as well.
- You can process the copper PCBs into a dedicated metalized hole. However, the same can’t be done with aluminum PCBs.
- The copper core PCBs have smaller shrinkage and warp age compared to the aluminum ones.
Copper base PCBs have transformed the world of electronics and electrics forever. Their excellence has made it possible to manufacture the most advanced devices, which even a decade or two ago, was thought to be impossible.
Similarly, the aluminum PCBs have stepped into the pathway.
I sincerely hope that you have a clear idea on both PCBs and can make the right decision in which metal-clad PCB is essential for which purpose. However, for more queries, we welcome your emails or contract with us.