Everything you need to know about copper printed circuit board

Everything you need to know about copper printed circuit board

Table of Contents

Printed circuit board (PCB) is now a standard component in almost all contemporary technological fields. PCBs are used in everything from cell phones to 3D printers, and their role in daily life will only grow. Copper is considered to be the most significant of all the PCB materials. A thin coating of conducting material is “printed” or deposition onto the surface of an insulating board, known as the substrate, to create the circuits.

Copper Base PCB

This article covers everything you need to know about a copper printed circuit board.

What is copper PCB?

copper PCB

A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is a board made of one or more layers of insulating material, with conductive tracks etched into them. A PCB facilitates the electrical connection of electronic components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate.

A Copper printed circuit board is a board made of copper clad. It has a thin layer of conducting material deposited on the surface of an insulating board. The substrate is used to support the circuits. The soldered surface of the copper printed circuit board is coated with a solder mask that protects it from oxidation. Copper is the most popular material used in PCBs. It has many advantages over other materials.

Why is copper used for printed circuit boards?

The number one benefit of copper is that it is highly conductive. It can readily transport instructions without sacrificing energy along the route. Additionally, producers won’t need to employ massive amounts of copper. The task may be completed with even a modest quantity. One complete square foot of the PCB substrate may be covered with an ounce of metal, which can be reduced to 35 micrometres, or 1.4 thousandths of an inch thick, in the most typical arrangement. Copper is also readily available and not very expensive.

What type of copper is used in PCB?

There are two types of copper that are used in printed circuit boards:

  1. Electrodeposited (ED)
  2. Rolled-annealed (RA)

ED copper is used in the majority of PCBs. It is less costly than RA copper and can be laminated to the substrate more easily. RA copper, on the other hand, has superior surface qualities.

How do you make a copper printed circuit board?

The three basic methods to make a copper printed circuit board are:

  1. Iron on Glossy paper method
  2. Circuit by hand on PCB
  3. Laser cutting edge etching

How to select PCB copper thickness?

A key component of the overall reliability of the copper printed circuit board is choosing the best heavy copper thickness to use for the plated through hole (PTH). There are two important factors when deciding on the ideal PCB copper thickness. The first is the barrel’s current output for a modest heat increase. The other is mechanical toughness, which is governed by the thickness of the copper, the size of the holes, and whether or not there are supporting vias.

The general rule of thumb for the minimum copper thickness on a plated through hole is to be at least three times the diameter of the hole. This will ensure that there is adequate copper to carry the current and dissipate heat without damaging the board or components.

How to clean copper PCB before and after soldering?

There are two standard methods for PCB cleaning: manual and ultrasonic.

Manual cleaning: As the name suggests, manual cleaning is performed entirely by hand instead of using a specific cleaning tool. Put PCB in an acetone solution and let it sit there for around 10 minutes to clean it physically. After it is soaked, thoroughly brush off impurities in an ethanol solution with a handrail or similar brush.

manual cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaning: In the ultrasonic treatment process, acetone solution is employed. The PCB board is first submerged for 10 minutes in acetone solution. The circuit board is then immersed in a quartz container for 100% ethyl alcohol. After inserting the quartz containers into the ultrasonic cleaning tanks, ultrasonic cleaning is carried out. After five minutes of 240W of ultrasonic cleaning, the quartz container is removed with a basket, and the ultrasonic cleaning switch is turned off.

How is copper recovered from printed circuit boards?

There are many methods to recover copper from a copper printed circuit board. Below we have listed the most used:

Removing Copper from Edge Trims

Removing copper from edge trims: Large copper particles are found in a plastic resin that makes up the PCB edge trim. The trim is crushed and shredded to get rid of the plastic resin. A cyclone separator subsequently separates the copper metal particles from the plastic resin.

Removing Copper from Etching Solutions

Removing copper from etching solutions: This technique involves treating the solution to lessen its acidic nature. This makes it possible for the copper ions to leave the solution as copper hydroxide. The hydroxide is changed using a filtering procedure akin to sludge recycling. Copper sulphate may also be produced from the hydroxide. The hydroxide is first dissolved in sulfuric acid to achieve this. Allowing the copper to cool and crystallize is done. After that, it goes through centrifugation and drying.

How to preserve copper PCB?

Surface treatment is the best way to preserve boards between manufacturing and assembly. Applying a conformal coating to exposed copper regions can effectively prevent corrosion. Solder masks, epoxy coatings, and aerosol spray coatings are all reliable defences against oxidation and corrosion. Any coating utilized should withstand any thermal demands placed on it by a circuit board operating at a high temperature. It takes practice to decide where to apply coatings. Sometimes you don’t see which parts of a circuit board are susceptible to corrosion until it’s too late.


A Copper Printed Circuit Board is one of the most important materials in the field of electronics. They are used to make electrical connections between electronic components. Copper is highly conductive, resistant to corrosion, and can be soldered easily, which make it the metal of choice for PCBs.

Hope this post can make you have a better understanding to copper printed circuit board. If you want to have a deeper knowledge about PCB, please click here check more posts in our website.

Sign up for newsletter

Get latest news and update

Newsletter BG