Copper Clad PCB-Everything You Need to Know

Copper clad PCB – everything you need to know

Table of Contents

We can find different kinds of PCBs in market. Copper clad PCBs are the ones cladded with copper on the base. They are a special type of PCBs that are used for high conductivity and used to provide strength to the circuits where they are used. The copper clad PCB is used for mechanical supports to the circuits and can be found in modern devices TV, radio and different appliances.

What is copper clad PCB?

Copper Clad PCB

Copper clad PCB is a type of PCB in which a copper material is used in the base of the board to provide strength. It is laminated with copper clad on one side and gets glass fiber as a reinforcing material. It is finalized after being soaked in resin. It is especially used in providing mechanic support to the components and applicable in different materials to provide such kind of support.

Here, PCB fabricator usually takes help of prepreg which is a reinforcing material that is impregnated with a resin. It contains a pure proper curing agent. And , then it is selected on the basis different aspects like size, appearance, and physical performance. Copper clad PCB are widely operated for electro-mechanical operations.

What are copper clad boards used for?

Their main uses are:

  • It has a high conductivity thus, can be used in embedded systems development projects.
  • They are used in appliances as they are highly durable and contain high strength.
  • Used in electronic devices like: TV, radio, and other appliances.

What are the main classifications of copper clad PCB?

Classifications of Copper Clad PCBs

The main classifications of copper clad PCB are as:

1. On the basis of copper clad laminates rigidity, we can categorize on different basis as:

  • Rigid CCL
  • Flex CCL

Rigid PCB primarily much depends on rigid CCLs, and similarly flex PCB mainly rests on flex CCLs.

2. On the basis of insulation material and structures, we have:

  • Organic resin CCL
  • Metal-base CCL
  • Ceramic-base CCL, etc.
3. On the basis of the thickness of copper clad laminate, it can be categorized as:
  • Thick CCL
  • Thin CCL

The thickness CCL may require minimum 0.5mm and the other can be thinner than 0.5mm.
The copper foil thickness isn’t included here.

4. On the basis of reinforcing material types, we may find the glass fiber cloth based CCL.

  • Paper base CCL
  • Compound CCL
  • Glass fiber cloth base CCL
  • Paper base CCL (XPC)
  • Compound CCL

How copper clad PCB is made?

How copper clad PCB is made

Copper clad PCB boards are usually made up of resin and glass fiber. They consist of basic laminates. Copper clad PCB is usually prepared with the glass fiber or wood pulp paper which acts as a reinforcing material to the boards.

Prepreg is a kind of reinforcing material, made using glass fiber that is baked later and is also called bonding sheet. It is composed up of epoxy resin, glass fiber cloth, DMG and acetone. Its high quality is beneficial to CCLs and can create such components with high quality. Therefore, testing and controlling of it is usually necessary to maintain quality in terms of resin content, the fluidity and then, volatile content, finally dicynadimide crystallization process.

Resin are of different types like phenolic resin, epoxy resin, polymide resin, PTFE or TEFLON resin and Bismaleimide resins. A prepreg is fiberglass and is usually impregnated with a resin. The resin is dried at first stage. It is made sure that it is not hardened.

Then, when it gets heated and starts to flow and sticks to the surface of the board. It is a fiberglass actually which is strengthened by the help of an adhesive layer. They are usually made with the help of copper clad laminate, which are called cores.

The phenolic plastic sheet immersed in a resin is used and then, a glass fiber mixture or any other reinforcing material is applied to clad it with the help of copper on either sides or the both sides. The thickness of phenolic sheet is 1/16 or 18.

The commonly available paper based copper clad boards are as follows:

  • FR-1
  • FR-2
  • FR-3(acts as a flame retardant)
  • XPC

For making of copper clad PCBs, the designers can choose different kinds of substances such as substrates and components and material choosing is dependent with the requirements of applications for making of Copper clad PCB.

The different material choices will give circuits varying qualities which helps in facilitating the performances. They select as per the electrical performances, which leads to higher speed applications and mechanical and thermal survivability. Then good quality copper clad PCB are designed.

What is copper foil?

Copper Foil

Copper foil is a type of negative electrolytic material that is usually deposited on base layer of PCB and forms continuous metal foil and it is also referred as the conductor of PCB. Bonded with the insulating layer, it has the ability of being printed with a protective layer and then forms a circuit pattern after being etched. The main benefit of it is that it consists of low rate of oxygen and it can be attached to different kind of substrates.

What is a CCL wire?

CCL Wire

The copper clad laminate wire is a special kind of wire used for copper clad PCB making. The wire is available in ring and can be able to laminate the surface. And is is golden color usually manufactured for making copper clads that finally creates copper cladding in PCB CCL. They are available in two forms aluminium CCA and steel CCS.

What is the difference between copper-clad and copper-bonded steel?

The difference between copper-clad and copper-bonded steel are:

Copper bonded steelCopper clad steel
i. Manufactured through continuous electro-plating procedure using oresi.   Manufactured by the installation of copper strips (two in number) over steel core.
ii. This Technique helps development of homogenous layer of copper on the steel.ii. This helps to form a metallurgical bond at end
iv. It is used to make ground rods, solid wires similarly solid conductors.iii. It is a used in making of stranded and solid conductors.

How is copper attached to PCB?

How is copper attached to PCB

We can use suitable epoxy resin  to bond copper to PCB board.  We may have to press and heat the substrate and foil to laminate them. We must press the foil firmly, then anneal it for an hour at about 120 degree centigrade.

Copper epoxy builds very strong bonds between metal sheets and different substrates including PCB boards. It may be little bit expensive but very durable. It provides excellent continuity and electromagnetic shielding too. Copper is usually a conductor that completes the circuit.


Thus, Copper clad PCB is very essential for provision of support to the printed circuit boards. The cladding is a basic type of process and CCL laminate is very vital base material for the printed circuit boards. Their performance depends upon the appearance, size, electrical performance and chemical as well as environmental performance.

We hope this blog has increased your knowledge about copper clad PCB. For further queries and information you wish to gain, you can check out IBE Electronics. We specialize in the Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBA).

IBE is known for providing high-quality manufacturing service to assist customers in their electronics assembly needs. We have developed cost-saving solutions that is oriented to customers with tight budget and strict lead times.

You can visit IBE website to purchase high quality PCB or PCBA products.

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