What is metal core PCB and why is it necessary for PCB circuit boards
Metal core PCB is a type of PCB circuit board with surface mount technology (SMT), which is used in electronic and electrical devices to increase their accuracy, reliability, durability and performance. A metal core is a material substrate with a core made of copper, aluminium and plated through holes in each printed layer to connect the network with other electrical components.
In short, it costs less and has better functionality than its FR4 based counterparts. There are many benefits, such as better efficiency in terms of power consumption value. Moreover, it can get a good heat dissipation system with it.
The majority of industries currently employ it as a PCB circuit board material. To increase production efficiency and improve the performance and quality of PCB circuit board manufacturing, numerous new varieties of PCB are now being created. One of the simplest ways to assemble a PCB is using a metal core PCB.
What is metal core PCB?
Metal Core PCB is a type of PCB that uses a metal core to provide mechanical strength and conductivity. It’s made of aluminium, copper alloy and other conductive metals. It is used in high-temperature applications like power LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) that are used in lighting circuits and fluorescent lamps.
It is mainly used in power supplies, computer motherboards and other electronic components. The best part is that it can have up to 500 volts or more applied across its surface which makes it good at dissipating heat from electrical devices so they run cooler and last longer than their air-filled counterparts.
Metal core PCB is also used in high-frequency circuits because they require less time to heat up than regular boards do. The reason behind this is that when you have metal on your circuit board, there are no traces at all; so instead of having lots of wires going through them like we’d see on a normal circuit board with copper traces running through it all over, only one wire goes through each hole which makes them smaller than what we might find on more traditional types such as FR4 epoxy boards or even printed circuits!
The benefits of metal core PCB
One of the PCB alternatives with a higher thermal conductivity is the metal core PCB.
★ It has a lower thermal resistance than a standard PCB, which means that it can dissipate heat more efficiently and help manage power consumption. This is important for applications where temperature can be a factor in performance and reliability, such as mobile devices or industrial equipment.
★ The dimensional stability is measured by its coefficient of variation (CV), which is the ratio between the greatest and smallest distances within a sample.
★ The enhanced strength is caused by its increased thickness compared with other PCB materials like FR4 laminates or single-sided PCB.
★ The increased thickness makes them more resistant to bending forces, allowing for greater structural stability in all directions.
★ Metal core PCB is also more rugged and durable than traditional PCBs, making them ideal for use in harsh environments. And because they don’t rely on insulating materials, they are less likely to be damaged by electromagnetic interference.
★ The most obvious benefit is their enhanced strength, which means that they can withstand higher stress levels and last longer. This also means that they are more stable in all directions.
★ Metal core PCB is also typically thinner and lighter than traditional PCBs, making them easier to work with and more versatile in a wide range of applications.PCB
The application of metal core PCB
Metal core PCB is used in high-frequency, high-speed and high-power circuits. They are also used in military, aerospace and automotive applications. These boards have a very small chip size so they can be easily manufactured using thin-film transistor technology (TFT).
It is a common choice for DC-DC converters because of their size constraints and watt-density requirements. They can be compatible with mechanical fasteners with a variety of thermal performances, including high-heat resistance, and high temperature. Also, it offers reliability.
Metal core PCBs are often used in high-powered applications such as LED lighting, power supplies, and automotive electronics. They are also well-suited for use in high-temperature environments.
Their superior attachment capabilities, excellent thermal performance and surface mount assembly make them an ideal choice for power conversion applications.
The metal core with 3-D features provides versatility for the substrate of your application by providing a wide range of surface mount components on one PCB board.
Plated through holes in metal core PCB
Plated through holes (PTHs) are used to connect the inner layers of the board, which is made up of copper foil and layers of conductive material. PTHs are created by drilling holes through the PCB and then filling them with a conductive material, usually copper. This process is known as plating. The copper is then polished to create a smooth surface that will allow for easy soldering and electrical connection.
For a metal-core PCB design, you should always avoid the use of plated through holes. This is because the metal core acts as a thermal insulator and doesn’t allow heat to be transmitted through it as easily as it would be with holes.
However, if you must use plated vias, they should only be used in small areas where large numbers of components are mounted and cannot be removed without disassembling the entire board. You can’t drill through these holes and expect to get the same performance as a single-layer MCPCB— PTHs are an important part of any MCPCB because they provide the necessary thermal and electrical connection between the different layers of the PCB. Without them, the MCPCB would not be able to function properly.
The process is similar to standard FR4 PCB but with more layers (4 vs 2) so more time is required for printing/etching/coating and then testing before assembly into final products
Metal bases used in metal core PCB
Aluminum MCPCBs are the most common type, however, copper MCPCBs are also available for applications requiring even better heat transfer capabilities. MCPCBs are typically more expensive than traditional FR4 PCBs, but the benefits they offer often justify the additional cost. Copper is the most common material used because it has good electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. Aluminium is also used as a base material to improve its thermal conductivity; however, it has disadvantages that make it unsuitable for use in some applications:
Metal bases used are;
● Copper (Cu)
● Aluminium (Al)
● Copper alloy
Metal core PCB materials and thickness
Metal core PCB materials and thickness; the PCB core is the part of the board that holds all of the electronic components.
★ Aluminium is the most commonly used metal for metal core PCBs, due to its good thermal conductivity and relatively low cost. It has good heat dissipation, corrosion resistance and anti-corrosion performance.
★ Copper core PCB has good temperature stability under high power supply surge current conditions due to its large heating capacity.
★ Other metals such as tin can also are used to form a metal core board by combining with other materials such as plastic or glass fibres to achieve superior electrical properties.
★ Metal core PCB is created using a dielectric material sandwiched between two conductive layers. The dielectric material can be either a solid or a liquid, and the conductive layers are typically made of copper. The thickness of the dielectric material and the conductive layers can vary, depending on the specific application.
☆ The copper is 30 mil and 125 mils thick and is frequently used to make base plates for it. Plates can be both thicker and thinner, though.
☆ 1 to 10 oz of copper foil can be used for MCPCBs.
The thermal management of metal core PCB
The thermal management of metal core PCB is really important because it can control the temperature of the circuit and make sure that it doesn’t get too hot or too cold. This is done by using copper layers between each layer of your PCB, as well as on top of them. Thermal management is an important part of designing PCBs, as it can help reduce heat stress and improve component reliability.
★ Copper is a great material for this because copper has a high thermal conductivity, which means it’s able to transfer heat quickly and efficiently. When you use copper in your PCB, you can benefit from two things:
★ Copper improves the thermal conductivity of the whole PCB. This helps reduce the working temperatures inside the component, which makes it more reliable and less likely to fail.
★ Copper reduces the risk of overheating inside your PCB by reducing heat stress within its components. Overheating can cause components to fail or degrade over time, so keeping your board cool helps ensure that it lasts as long as possible!
Metal core PCB is a thermal solution for the circuit board which is made of aluminium, copper alloy and other conductive metals. It has a large area to dissipate heat generated by components on it. This helps in reducing heat generation and thus reduces the power consumption of the circuit board. It’s used in high-power applications with large currents and voltages.
It is not just about heat dissipation because they can handle large amounts of current as well as dissipate heat effectively.