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What is Aluminum PCB and its Applications and Advantages?

Aluminum PCBs

You use electronics every day, such as your smartphone, TVs, LED lamps or computer. An essential component that makes these things work is the so-called printed circuit boards (PCBs). PCBs play an important role in the electronics industry, earning a specialized field. PCBs are multiple copper conductors with insulation layers that serve as electrical connectors between components.

Your smartphone or tablet can squeeze so many functionalities into a small space with the help of PCBs, which compress all these functions while keeping it light. It provides the needed electrical interconnections that allow semiconductors or electrical components to talk to each other while making it tightly packed.

Definition of Aluminum PCB

Different types of materials can be used to build PCBs. In most cases, the applications to which you will use the circuit board determine the material it will be made of. Among these materials, aluminum is one of the most popular for circuit boards.

Aluminum PCB refers to a circuit board mainly constituted of aluminum metal, which makes it different from the regular PCBs made of FR4 material. Generally, aluminum PCBs are composed of aluminum, copper, and insulators.

Although mainly built of aluminum, aluminum PCBs still have copper, which helps conduct electricity and is the primary composition of the board’s mass. Meanwhile, aluminum fastens the insulator to the copper, which allows the current to flow along the board. Installing insulators helps deter and prevent the board from encountering short circuits.

Aluminum PCB for LEDs

Usage of Aluminum PCB

Aluminum PCBs are the most common and widely used circuit boards because manufacturers can utilize them for numerous applications. Here are some of those applications:

  • Electronic components in vehicles

Many of the electronic components used in automobiles have PCBs made of aluminum. Vehicle manufacturers of aluminum PCBs for car parts must weather vibrations or extreme temperatures. For example, vehicle components that combine entertainment and navigation systems depend on aluminum PCBs. It is also integral in making more advanced automobile sensors, such as sensors that warn drivers of objects close by or keep an eye on blind spots. PCBs are essential in making components for self-driving cars, which is the future of the automobile industry.

  • Healthcare devices

The growing number of advanced medical devices and new healthcare technologies also heavily rely on aluminum PCBs in some components. Reliability is a must in producing medical devices since medical professionals are dealing with the health of their patients. Aluminum PCBs make sure that medical devices are reliable.

PCBs also play a significant role in making the boards for implants. Nowadays, implants need comparatively small boards; aluminum PCBs are compact and lightweight, making them ideal for implant boards.

Imaging systems in the healthcare industry, such as CT and CAT scans, rely on aluminum PCBs and computers that collate and analyze medical images. Medical devices that monitor blood pressure and blood glucose use electronic components containing aluminum PCBs for more accurate readings.

  • Consumer products

Nowadays, people can only live with their smartphones or tablets by their sides. Smartphones have evolved from communication tools to multi-function gadgets. Do you know that your smartphones and tablets contain aluminum PCBs? You have heard smartphones and other everyday electronic products rely on aluminum PCBs for circuit boards. Aluminum PCBs are lightweight and durable, which allows manufacturers to squeeze as many functionalities into your smartphones and tablets without increasing their weight.

Aside from smartphones, aluminum PCBs can be found in entertainment products people use in their homes, such as stereo and smart televisions. It is also present in kitchen appliances such as microwave ovens, coffee makers, and refrigerators.

  • Aircraft components

Another industry wherein manufacturers find aluminum PCBs useful is the aerospace industry. Aircraft face harsh atmospheric conditions, making them dependent on the durability of aluminum PCBs. Planes are exposed to extreme conditions as they fly higher in the atmosphere, which can compromise the capabilities of their equipment. Using aluminum PCBs in its equipment, planes and spacecraft can overcome these challenges. For example, aluminum PCBs are installed on the power supplies of aircraft and satellites since they can withstand extreme temperatures and pressure in the upper atmosphere.

Aerospace manufacturers also put aluminum PCBs in accelerometers, sensors that track pressure in planes, and communication equipment used by airplanes and control towers to talk to each other.

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Advantages of Aluminum PCB

Many industries depend on aluminum PCBs to make electrical component boards because they can be applied to more niches than standard PCBs. Here are some of the benefits of using aluminum PCBs:

  • Higher heat resistance

Aluminum PCBs are more heat resistant and more durable than FR4 PCBs. It is very suitable for applications that need boards with higher heat resistance.

Aluminum PCBs can dissipate heat, which is why they can withstand high temperatures. Intense temperatures can damage electronic components, which is why many manufacturers use aluminum PCBs on their boards.

  • Lightweight

Weight is crucial in making circuit boards since many electronic devices need to be compact and lighter. Aluminum PCBs are suitable for modern electronic components since they are incredibly lightweight. Because of their function, PCBs made of fiberglass or ceramic are good choices, but these materials are pretty heavy. This is where aluminum PCBs have a significant advantage against other materials. It is very lightweight, but it is also more durable.

Moreover, shipping large quantities of aluminum PCBs is less expensive because they are lightweight.

  • Cost-effective

Since aluminum material is one of the most cost-effective metals with excellent electrical properties, the aluminum PCB cost is much cheaper than other thermal materials, such as copper base material or ceramic materials.

  • Environment-friendly

Aside from being durable, aluminum PCBs are environment-friendly materials. It is non-toxic and easy to recycle, which does not contribute to the degradation of the environment. Aluminum PCBs are among the best PCB materials in terms of environmental protection.

Conclusion

Most people know aluminum as cans that contain their favorite soda drinks. They need to be made aware that aluminum has excellent usage in many industries, some of which are critical to people’s lives, such as healthcare, in making electronic components in various devices.

Being durable, lightweight, and heat resistant are good qualities that make aluminum an excellent material for making key components for medical devices and vehicle parts. Its adaptability makes it a great choice for the circuit boards of numerous applications.

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