PCB Manufacturing

Understanding Copper Core PCBs: Benefits and Applications

Copper Core PCB

As each day goes by, we see some invention or application in the field of electronics. The demand for high speed, high power, and high density continues to rise. The electronics industry is ever-blooming. PCBs are made up of different materials depending on the requirements and specifications of the product. The material used for making the PCB is also called the substrate material. There are a variety of substrate materials available. They are FR-4, polyimide, metalcore, aluminium core, copper core, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), alumina, aluminium nitride, beryllium oxide, ceramic, polyimide, etc. The selected substrate will determine the mechanical, chemical, thermal, and electrical properties. The copper core PCB is one special kind used for high-power electronic devices. 

What is a Copper Core PCB?

Copper-core PCB is the printed circuit board produced by metal core instead of FR4 material which is normally used. In this type of copper core PCB, copper is used as the core material. The copper core PCB consists of many layers, like the copper base, the dielectric layer, and the conductive layer.  

Copper metal core PCBs find their use in applications where a high amount of heat is produced. High-heat dissipation products need copper metal core PCBs. High heat is generated in high-power environments, and that heat needs to be taken care of; otherwise, there are chances of component failure, and the superior thermal conductivity of copper core PCB dissipates heat properly. 

Using copper core substrate as a heat sink, all mounting components are mounted on the top side, because of this, the temperature remains low. There is no need to mount separate heat sinks. When copper substrate is used in high-speed and high-frequency applications, the copper substrate behaves as a ground. 

In single-layer copper core PCBs, drilled holes are not plated. In double-sided copper metal core PCBs, circuits and components are present on both sides, here, antipads are applied to show the via-hole region.

Copper Metal Core PCB

Properties of Copper Core PCBs

  • Electrical Properties: Copper is a good conductor of electricity, it offers low resistance to electric current. 
  • Thermal Properties: It can have good heat dissipation characteristics. So it often finds its use in high-power applications. It can act as a heat sink. It can sustain relatively high temperatures with minimum losses. It does not have a component overheating problem as it can dissipate easily and quickly.
  • Mechanical Properties: Copper has good mechanical strength in terms of rigidity and handles mechanical stress to a greater extent than other substrates. It has better durability. It does not corrode or rust easily. It offers better peel strength and tensile strength. Wear and tear are less compared to other substrates.
  • Chemical Properties: Copper has a relatively low moisture absorption rate. Due to its superior chemical properties. Copper metal core PCBs are resistant to many chemicals, making them practically more adaptable to extreme environments.

 

Benefits of Copper Core PCBs

  • Size Reduced: As copper is used as a substrate, it acts as the heat sink, so no extra heat sink is needed. An extra heat sink is not required, so the size is reduced and it can be used in wearable technology.
  • Interference Mitigated: As the copper core PCB acts as a large ground plane, the effects of noise, crosstalk, and interference can be mitigated.
  • Less Warpage: The elastic modulus of copper is higher( about 121,000 MPa) than that of aluminium (72000 MPa), so the warpage is less.
  • Enhances the Lifespan of the Device: Copper based PCB can easily and quickly dissipate heat, so component failure is less hence lifespan is more.
  • Better Sustainability: Copper metal core PCB can sustain better in terms of wear and tear under high temperatures and pressure.
  • Excellent Dimensional Stability: Shape and size do not change at high temperatures, or under mechanical stress as copper is less elastic than aluminium. The elastic modulus of copper is higher (110,000 MPa) than aluminium (70000 MPa).
  • Easily Available: Copper is an easily available metal.
  • Widely Used: They can be used in single-layer, double-layered, and multi-layered PCB.

 

Copper-core PCB

Applications of Copper Core PCBs

  • Lighting Applications
  • Telecommunication
  • Medical Applications
  • Used in High-power Applications
  • Automotive Industry
  • Satellite Application
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Radar Industry
  • Renewable Energy 
  • Electrical Vehicles

Conclusion

In summary, copper base PCBs are a great alternative to standard FR4 PCBs, With all the above advantages, copper base PCBs can rule the future of the PCB industry with their superior thermal and excellent heat dissipation characteristics. If cost is not a concern, then definitely copper metal core PCBs are a ready-to-go solution. Recycling copper metal core PCBs can also reduce their carbon footprint compared to their other polymer counterparts. If you are seeking a reliable copper core PCB manufacturer, please get in touch with us.

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