MCPCBs are most widely found in LED lighting technologies. Some of the popular applications are:
- LED – Backlight unit, general lighting
- Automotive – motor control for Electric/Hybrid cars
- Motor drives
- Solid-state relays
- Power supply devices – voltage regulators, switching regulators, DC-DC Converters
- Solar panels, Photovoltaic Cells
- Motion control
What are the advantages of metal core PCB？
These boards possess the ability to integrate a dielectric polymer layer with high thermal conductivity for lower thermal resistance.
- The higher the conductivity of the material, the faster the heat transfer.
- The metal boards can be etched to control heat flow away from components
- Boards with aluminum, tend to be lighter in weight than ceramics.
- Metal substrates are long-lasting and are more conductive than epoxy products.
- Metals are non-toxic and are recyclable.
- Implemented in high vibration applications. The components don’t fall off since the core reduces the vibration.
What are the types of metal bases utilized in metal core PCB？
Aluminum substrate – The aluminum printed circuit boards offer good heat dissipation and heat transferring ability. Since they are light in weight, the aluminum core PCBs find their purpose in LED lighting, audio frequency apparatus, and communication electronic equipment.
Here, the thickness of the core ranges between 40 mils and 120 mils, with 40 mils and 60 mils being the most commonly used. Characteristics of the MCPCB with Aluminum substrate are as given below:
- Aluminum thickness: 2mm to 8mm
- Thermal conductivity: 5W/(mK) to 2.0W/(mK) (Watts per meter Kelvin)
- Peeling strength: >9lb/in
- Solder resistance: SF: 288℃, >180 sec.
- Breakdown voltage: >3000V
- Dielectric loss angle: 0.03
- Flammability: UL 94V-0
- Panel size: 18” x 24”
Copper base (copper core or heavy copper) – The copper core boards feature better performance than aluminum. But customers generally choose aluminum since copper is relatively expensive. Also, copper cores are heavier and involve a tough machining process. Copper also corrodes easier than aluminum.
Plated through holes in MCPCB
A major factor to keep in mind during the design process of an MCPCB is to minimize the use of plated through-hole components. Instead, implement SMT components. Since the bottom layer is a metal, PTH or NPTH with conductive component leads inserted to it will lead to a short. If PTHs are implemented, then do remember to isolate the metal from the through-hole. To achieve this, the metal core is drilled approximately 40 mils to 50 mils larger than the plated through-hole. Later, these holes are filled with non-conductive epoxy filler and then pressed.
After pressing the metal core, the remaining filler compounds are removed from the surface. Following this, the boards are prepared for the lamination with the inner layer cores. Right after lamination, the plated through holes are drilled and the rest of the process follows as per the standard manufacturing protocol.