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General introduction of Aluminum PCB

General introduction of Aluminum PCB

Among all Metal core PCBs, Aluminum PCB is the most common type. The base material consists of an aluminum core and standard FR4. It features a thermal clad layer that dissipates heat in a highly efficient manner while cooling components and increasing the overall performance of the products. Currently, Aluminum Backed PCB is regarded as the solution to high power and tight tolerance applications.

Advantages of Aluminum PCB

1.Environmentally Friendly: Aluminum is non-toxic and recyclable. Manufacturing with aluminum is also conducive to conserving energy due to its ease of assembly. For printed circuit board suppliers, using this metal helps maintain the health of our planet.

2.Heat dissipation: High temperatures can cause severe damage to electronics, so it is wise to use a material that can help dissipate heat. Aluminum can actually transfer heat away from vital components, thus minimizing the harmful effect it could have on the circuit board.

3.Higher durability: Aluminum provides strength and durability to a product that ceramic or fiberglass bases cannot. Aluminum is a sturdy base material that can reduce accidental breakage during manufacturing, handling, and everyday use.

4.Lightweight: For its incredible durability, aluminum is a surprisingly lightweight metal. Aluminum adds strength and resilience without adding on any additional weight.

Structure of Aluminum PCB

Circuit Copper Layer

The circuit copper layer (usually using electrolytic copper foil) is etched to form a printed circuit, which is used to realize the assembly and connection of the device. Compared with the traditional FR-4, with the same thickness and the same line width, the aluminum substrate can carry a higher current.

Insulating Layer

The insulating layer is the core technology of the aluminum substrate, which mainly plays the functions of bonding, insulation and heat conduction. The aluminum substrate insulating layer is the largest thermal barrier in the power module structure. The better the thermal conductivity of the insulating layer, the more favorable it is to spread the heat generated during the operation of the device, and the lower the operating temperature of the device, so as to increase the power load of the module, reduce the volume, extend the life-span, and increase the power output .

Metal substrate

What kind of metal is used for the insulating metal substrate depends on the comprehensive consideration of the thermal expansion coefficient, thermal conductivity, strength, hardness, weight, surface state and cost of the metal substrate.

In general, considering the conditions such as cost and technical performance, aluminum plate is an ideal choice. Available aluminum plates are 6061, 5052, 1060 and so on. If there are higher requirements for thermal conductivity, mechanical properties, electrical properties and other special properties, copper plates, stainless steel plates, iron plates and silicon steel plates can also be used.

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Application of Aluminum PCB

1. Audio device: Input, output amplifier, balanced amplifier, audio amplifier, pre-amplifier, power amplifier.

2. Power Supply: Switching regulator, DC / AC converter, SW regulator, etc.

3. Communication electronic equipment: High-frequency amplifier, filtering appliances, the transmitter circuit

4. Office automation equipment: Motor drive, etc.

5. Automobile: Electronic regulator, ignition, power supply controller, etc.

6. Computer: CPU board, floppy disk drive, power supply devices, etc.

7. Power Modules: Inverter, solid-state relays, rectifier bridges.

8. Lamps and lighting: As the advocated promotion of energy-saving lamps, a variety of colorful energy-saving LED lights are well received by the market, and aluminum PCB used in LED lights also begin large-scale applications.

Storage conditions

Aluminum PCBs are generally stored in a dark, dry environment. Most aluminum PCBs are prone to moisture, yellowing, and blackening. Generally, they should be used within 48 hours after opening the vacuum package.

Aluminium layer thickness

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2 layers aluminum PCB substrate, copper thickness 1oz, aluminum base on the bottom of the laminate is probably like this for reference. The above parameters are basically unchanged. The thickness of the aluminum base is the thickness of the plate selected by the customer minus the thicknesses above.

Single Layer MCPCB

A simple layer single sided MCPCB consists of a metal base (usually aluminum, or copper alloy), Dielectric (non-conducting) Layer, Copper Circuit Layer, IC components and solder mask.

The prepreg dielectric provides excellent heat transfer from the foil and components to the base plate, while maintaining excellent electrical isolation. The base aluminum/copper plate gives the single-sided substrate mechanical integrity, and distributes and transfers the heat to a heat sink, mounting surface or directly to the ambient air.

The Single-Layer MCPCB can be used with surface mount and chip & wire components, and provides much lower thermal resistance than FR4 PWB. The metal core provides lower cost than ceramic substrates, and allows much larger areas than ceramic substrates.

Structure

single-layer-mcpcb-s.png

Two (Double) Layers More Core PCB

Two (Double) layers MCPCB is consisting of two layers of copper conductor, put them on same side of metal core (usually aluminum, copper or iron alloy). The metal base is on the bottom of whole MCPCB, which is different from double sided MCPCB (the two copper layers were put on the each side of metal core respectively), and you can only populate SMD on top side.

Different with Single layer MCPCB, 2 layers MCPCB requires an additional pressing step to laminate the imaged thermal conductive laminate and metal core (also known as metal base) together.

Compared with normal FR4, this sturcture need more technology and experience on laminating of two layers together with metal core.

The processing steps of the MCPCB with the metal base embedded in the PCB are comparatively complex as hole plugging is required after primary drilling on the metal base in order to isolate it from the circuitry.

Structure of 2L MCPCB

2-layer-mcpcb-s1.png2-layer-mcpcb-s-2.png2-layer-mcpcb-s.png

Double-sided mixed-press aluminum-based plug-in hole process: double-sided FR-4+ aluminum base:

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Double Sided More Core PCB

It also has same two layers of copper conductor like Double layers MCPCB, but the metal core is in the middle of two conductor, so there're conductors (trace) on both sides of metal core, and were connected to each other by Vias. So we named it "Double sided MCPCB", and you can populated SMD on both top and bottom.

Different with Single layer MCPCB, double sided MCPCB also requires an additional pressing step to laminate the imaged thermal conductive laminate and metal core (also known as metal base) together. But sometimes, some raw Metal Clad material vendor will supply board material which already laminated.

Compared with normal FR4, this sturcture need more technology and experience on laminating of two layers together with metal core.

Structure of Double Sided MCPCB

Double-Sided-More-Core-PCB.png

COB Metal Core PCB>>


Check PCBWay Aluminum core PCB manufacturing capabilities in the following table:

FeatureCapability
MaterialAluminum core (Domestic 1060), Copper core, FR4 covering
Thermal conductivity

1.0W/(m⋅K) 1.5W/(m⋅K) 2.0W/(m⋅K) 3.0W/(m⋅K)

Min. Track/Spacing4mil
Min. Hole Size1layer(0.8mm) 2layers (0.2mm)


Board Thickness0.4-3.2mm
Surface Finishing

Immersion gold, OSP, Hard Gold,Immersion SIlver,Enepig

Finsih Cooper1-4oz
Solder MaskGreen, Red, Yellow, Blue, White, Black, Purple, Matte Black, Matte green
SilkscreenWhite, Black
Via ProcessTenting Vias,Plugged Vias,Vias not covered
Testing

Fly Probe Testing (Free) and A.O.I. testing

Build time2-3 days
lead time3-4 days

by the way:

If we place an order for the wireless circuit of single-sided aluminum substrate, it is best to note whether or not to add thermal conductive glue, otherwise PCBWay will confirm with you whether thermal conductive glue is needed. The thermal conductive glue is milky white. The white part in the picture.

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More information check here:

Aluminum PCB Instant Quote


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