The metal core of the thermal PCB can be aluminum PCB (aluminum core PCB), copper (copper core PCB or a heavy copper PCB) or a mixture of special alloys. The most common is an aluminum core PCB. The thickness of metal cores in PCB base plates is typically 30 mil – 125 mil, but thicker and thinner plates are possible. Metal Core PCB copper foil thickness can be 1 – 10 oz. The manufacturing process and design rules are similar to conventional PCBs.
Metal Core PCB can be advantageous to use for their ability to integrate a dielectric polymer layer with a high thermal conductivity for a lower thermal resistance. Metal core PCBs transfer heat 8 to 9 times faster than FR4 PCBs. MCPCB laminates dissipate heat, keeping heat generating components cooler which results in increased performance and life.
Applications that generate a large amount of heat often cannot be adequately cooled using just traditional fans. Conductive cooling through metal core PCBs are an ideal production option. MCPCBs are most widely found in LED technologies, as they reduce the number of LEDs required to produce a specific illumination. Light emitting diodes release a great amount of heat in applications such as:
- Back light unit applications
- Street safety applications (streetlights, lighting, etc.)
- General lighting applications
- System automotive LED applications
- Power converters: telecom, industrial, high voltage regulator, power supplies
- Hybrid/electric motor control applications
Using a metal core PCB in these LED products and applications help to greatly reduce the heat emitted. Other applications that are ideal for MCPCB integration are solar panels and motion control applications.
Hitech Circuits, as the leading China PCB manufacturer, provides metal core PCB prototype fabrication, Bergquist Aluminium pcb, Ceramic board and MCPCB production quantities for both aluminum core and heavy copper PCBs. Thermal management PCBs or MCPCBs are processed with standard SMT assembly equipment in the PCB manufacturing process.