Metal Clad PCB

The metal clad printed circuit board is shortly known as MCPCB and insulated metal substrate (IMS). This technology was first designed in the 1960, mostly for high power applications. Since 1960 these PCBs are widely used in the LED industry. The benefits like reduced junction temperatures are seen after the use of this PCB. The materials used like FR4 and CEM are beneficial for the efficient heat removal. The dielectric insulating material used in the metal clad PCB has the superior thermal conductivity more than FR4 which ranges from 1W/m-K to 9W/m-K. This allows the heat to remove efficiently.

The metal clad PCB uses 3 main materials to fabricate which are; the base layer second dielectric layer and the third is the copper foil.

  • The base layer: Usually the base layer is aluminum, which is 1mm-3.2mm thick. As aluminum is the efficient conductor of heat it is perfect for applications that involve rapid heat transfer.
  • The dielectric: This layer is the most important part as it electrically isolates the base layer and the copper foil. Dielectric also lets the rapid heat transfer pass between the two layers. This determines the materials thermal properties and disperses the heat generated in the components to the heat sink very fast.
  • The copper foil: The copper foil is a layer which is processed into the electrical conductors according to their conventional powers. They generally range between 1 oz – 4 oz or greater.

With the progress in the PCB manufacturing it is accessible to perceive and develop a host of advanced applications. PCB design for LED lightings has a high growth potential. But the problems faced during the production are large quantity, quality and reliability.

Below shown is a metal clad PCB

The base material of the metal clad PCB is a metal and not the FR4 or CEM1-3. The sole reason for using metal clad PCBs for LED is that the LED PCB generates high degree of heat that makes the base unviable for application. Aluminum is mostly used in the LED PCBs due to its greater heat dissipating property. A single heat sink is mounted on the aluminum base which eliminates the extra usage for multiple heat sinks. Applications of LED PCBs can be used in numerous lighting applications due to their excellent energy efficiency, low cost, and maximum design flexibility. Examples include automobile headlights, street lighting, highway tunnel lighting, flood lighting, high-bay lighting, military field applications, solar powered LED lights, flashlights and lanterns, traffic and signal lighting, operation room lighting, factory or plant lighting, so on and so forth.

Aluminium PCB Construct:

  • Circuit layer
  • Insulating layer
  • Aluminum substrate
  • Intermediate level of circuit complexity.
  • Smaller board size.

Properties of a metal clad printed circuit board are:

  • Base material: Aluminum/Copper/Iron Alloy
  • Thermal Conductivity (dielectrial layer): 0.8, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0 W/m.K.up to 10 w/m.k
  • Board Thickness: 0.5mm~3.0mm(0.02″~0.12″)
  • Copper thickness: 0.5 OZ, 1.0 OZ, 2.0 OZ, 3.0 OZ, up to 10 OZ
  • Outline: Routing, punching, V-Cut
  • Soldermask: White/Black/Blue/Green/Red Oil
  • Legend/Silkscreen Color: Black/White
  • Surface finishing: Immersion Gold, HASL, OSP
  • Max Panel size: 600*1500mm(23.62″*59”)
  • Packing: Vacuum/Plastic bag
  • Samples L/T: 4~6 Days
  • MP L/T: 5~7 Days