Aluminum PCB Definition
The layout of an aluminum PCB is the same as that of any other PCB. Over it are one or more layers of copper, solder mask, and silkscreen. However, an aluminum circuit board has a metal substrate rather than a fiberglass or plastic one. Aluminum is the major component of this foundation. The metal core may be made completely of metal or may include a fiberglass and aluminum composite. Although they can be double sided, aluminum PCBs are mainly single sided. Manufacturing multilayer aluminum PCBs is quite challenging.
The majority of LED and power converter circuits use aluminum boards. Aluminum transfers heat away from components as a result of the strong light that LEDs produce. An aluminum PCB increases the stability and longevity of an LED gadget. Aluminum substrates are used in domestic illumination, stop lights, and street lighting. They enable electronic regulation and current switching in power converters. Aluminum circuit boards are also useful to creators in many other sectors, but they aren’t used as frequently.
Why Aluminum PCB is popular?
Since aluminum can really transmit heat away from critical parts, the damage it may otherwise do to the circuit board is reduced. Greater durability: Unlike ceramic or fiberglass bases, aluminum gives a product strength and durability.
One of the most thermally conductive PCB alternatives is aluminum. To guarantee minimal circuit damage, they keep as much heat away from critical components as they can. They can withstand higher density circuits and higher power levels due to their excellent heat tolerance. Aluminum alloy-made materials offer a high level of physical toughness, which reduces the possibility of fracture. Aluminum is less harmful to the environment than other metals and is also more affordable.
However, compared to conventional boards, like FR4 PCB, aluminum PCBs often have more specialized functions. They are more expensive than regular PCBs without such components, although being less expensive than adding conductors to a copper PCB. If your application does not demand high temperatures, investing in an aluminum core might not be worthwhile. An aluminum flex PCB can only bend into its starting position if you want to build a flex circuit. Although it can bend to fit into smaller devices, it cannot tolerate vibrational stress.
Benefits of Using Aluminum PCB
Aluminum is an incredibly lightweight metal considering its amazing toughness. Without adding any additional weight, aluminum increases strength and resilience.
Ceramic or fiberglass bases are unable to provide a product the strength and longevity that aluminum can. Aluminum is a reliable foundation material that can lessen unintentional damage during production, handling, and regular usage.
It is advisable to use a material that can assist in heat dissipation because high temperatures can seriously harm electronics. Since aluminum can really transmit heat away from critical parts, the damage it may otherwise do to the circuit board is reduced.
Aluminum is both recyclable and non-toxic. Because aluminum is simple to assemble, manufacturing using metal is also energy-efficient. The use of this metal by printed circuit board manufacturers contributes to the preservation of the environment.
It is simple to mine and purify aluminum since it may be found in a range of climates. As a result, compared to other metals, the costs are much cheaper. In turn, this implies that it costs less to produce goods using these metals.
Layer of Aluminum PCB
Aluminum PCBs are CCLs with an aluminum foundation (CCL is a type of base material of PCBs). Aluminum PCBs and FR4 PCBs are actually fairly comparable. Four layers make up the fundamental structure of aluminum PCBs. It is made up of an aluminum base layer, an aluminum base membrane, a dielectric layer, and a layer of copper foil.
Layer of Aluminum Base Membrane: The aluminum base membrane is picky. By preventing undesirable etching and scraping from the metal surface, it serves a protective function. It comes in two varieties: less than 120 degrees and about 250 degrees.
Aluminum Base: This layer is made up of an aluminum substrate and is known as the aluminum base. High heat conductivity characterizes it.
Dielectric Layer: The layer ranges in thickness from 50 to 200 m, is thermally conductive. It was appropriate for its use and had a low heat resistance.
Copper Foil Layer: Compared to standard CCLs, the copper layer employed here is rather thicker ( 1oz-10oz). A thicker copper layer has a greater ability to transport current.
Excellent performance of Aluminum PCB
tenfold more effective in transferring heat than a traditional rigid PCB.
It is possible to utilize less copper than what the IPC heat-rise charts recommend.
The ability to dissipate heat is vastly improved over conventional FR-4 structures.
The utilized dielectrics are generally 5 to 10 times more thermally conductive and a tenth of the thickness of ordinary epoxy-glass.
When fabricate the Aluminum PCB, you should pay pay attention to below problem:
Mechanical drilling, molding, and v-scoring are all part of the mechanical manufacturing process and are done on internal vias. Electrical strength tends to weaken as a result. For low-volume product manufacture, the electric milling and professional milling cutter should be used. To avoid burr generation, the drilling settings should be changed. Your mechanical manufacturing will benefit from this.
Aluminum PCB solder mask printing is tough because of the thick copper foil. This is because printing solder masks will be challenging if the trace copper is too thick and the etched picture has a significant variation between the trace surface and base board. As a result, the solder mask is printed twice. The solder mask oil that is used should be of high quality, and sometimes resin filling is carried out prior to applying the solder mask.
In comparison, the copper foil used in aluminum PCBs is thicker. However, if the copper foil weighs more than 3 oz, width correction is needed for the etching. After etching, the trace width will be outside of tolerance if it does not meet the design requirements. Therefore, it is important to precisely construct the trace width compensation. Controlling the etching elements throughout the production process is necessary.
Aluminum PCB Application
- LED Lighting,
- LED Displays,
- Industrial vehicles,
- Electronic control devices
- Power modules
- automatic equipment
- Communication equipment
- Audio equipment
- Power supply equipment
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