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Aluminum Board PCB

2020-03-23

Aluminum Board PCB

Since the 1970s, when aluminum was first produced, the application sectors of the circuit boards have significantly expanded, making them some of the most sought-after PCB boards. Despite being the most expensive among circuit boards, aluminum PCB is commonly used in electronics, especially those that involve the conversion of power. They are usually made with similar layout designs the other PCBs have. However, they have metal substrates instead of plastic or fiberglass, and their bases are made with aluminum metal. The core of these PCBs is also made with metal. But sometimes they can be made with a combination of fiberglass. The manufacturing process of an aluminum board PCB will depend on the type with the double-sided ones being more complicated to produce than single-sided ones. The layering of the board will also determine the complex nature of the manufacturing process.

Aluminum Board PCB

One of the reasons why aluminum boards are preferred in electronics is their ability to dissipate heat. LED components usually produce a lot of heat in the process of producing light. The heat can easily damage the components, but with aluminum boards, that heat is redirected away from the components, thereby ensuring their safety. By doing this, the boards also extend the lifespan of the LED and increase the stability of the components .thus enhancing performance capacity. For these reasons, aluminum is mostly found in household lighting features together with street lights and stoplights. The same attributes make the boards suitable for use in power converting systems that change currents or regulate electronics.

Aluminum board PCB structure

Copper layer

Unlike other circuit copper layers, the layer used in aluminum board PCB is thicker. The layer is etched to form a printed circuit that, in turn, makes connections and assembling of devices easier. The additional thickness is what sets the aluminum boards apart from others because it allows them to carry more current.

Dielectric layer

This is the core layer, and it consists of material that can conduct thermal energy properly. The layer is thick, between 50 to 250 micrometers, and has a low thermal resistance. This allows it to absorb heat that flows through the circuits before it transfers that heat to the aluminum layer to be dispersed.

Aluminum layer

This base layer is made of an aluminum substrate that ensures thermal conduction is done correctly. The layer is also responsible for bonding and insulation, which makes it the largest barrier in the boards. The substrate used needs to have high thermal conductivity capacity to spread the heat faster and ensure the temperature is always regulated adequately while the device operates. By doing this, the board increases the power output while also increasing the power load and reducing the volume to improve efficiency.

These bards can sometimes have a fourth layer, which is the base membrane layer. It is also made of the aluminum membrane and acts as a protective layer that prevents scraping of the board or unwanted etching.

LED Aluminum Board PCB

Aluminum PCB categories

Flexible aluminum PCB

Although this a relatively new type of aluminum board PCB, it has a lot of advantages ranging from superior thermal conductivity to more flexibility. The dielectric layers in these boards are made with polyimide resin, ceramic fillers, and flexible aluminum substrate that allows the circuit board to be shaped in different ways. This eliminates the need for connectors and cables, thus reducing the costs. Although the materials can be shaped variedly, once the shape is acquired, it stays that way. It does not regularly flex, which ensures that it still offers stability during use.

High thermal conductive aluminum PCB

This type of aluminum board PCB is made by fusing non-thermal materials to the aluminum base. The non-thermal material can be any of the materials used in other multilayered circuit boards, and once attached to the aluminum base, it becomes a heat shield and increases the stability of the board.

Through-hole aluminum PCB

This type of aluminum PCB involves drilling holes into the base then filling them with dielectric material before it is laminated. Thermal materials are also laminated on both sides of the board. After which the board is drilled through the same way multilayer PCBs are done. Plated through-holes are also used to gain electrical insulation.

Benefits of aluminum board PCB

Eco-friendliness

Unlike other materials, aluminum isn’t dangerous to the environment, and it can also be recycled, which reduces the amount of waste that goes back to the environment. Since it is easy to assemble, it reduces the amount of energy used during manufacturing, which is a huge positive factor for suppliers.

Durability

The strength of aluminum materials cannot be matched by other materials like fiberglass or even ceramic. This ensures they remain in great shape for a very long time because they cannot break easily like those other materials.

Lightweight nature

The strength of the material doesn’t affect its lightweight nature. It is still easy to carry around despite being resilient and very strong.

Thermal performance

This is the main benefit of aluminum since it ensures that the heat produced during the performance doesn’t damage the devices. Aluminum transfers the heat away from the components, thereby eliminating harmful effects that could damage them.

Manufacturing challenges of aluminum PCB

One of the common challenges during the manufacturing of aluminum board PCB is etching. Since thicker copper is used, trace width compensation becomes harder to control, which makes etching harder.

Solder mask printing can also become problematic because of the thick copper foil. The etched image can create a big difference between the trace surface and the base, thereby making solder mask printing more challenging, resulting in the need for two-time solder mask printing.

The mechanical aspects of the production process, such as drilling, v-scoring, and molding, among others, can also be difficult, leading to a reduction in electrical strength. A high level of professionalism, especially in electric milling, is therefore necessary.

Why choose us for your aluminum PCB

 

The above challenges show that a highly qualified professional with experience is essential in the production of the best aluminum board PCB. If the challenges are not dealt with properly, low-quality boards will be produced, and that will prevent you from experiencing all the benefits. With our company, high-quality aluminum boards are guaranteed because we have an extensive production process that deals with all the challenges and eliminates chances of errors that could affect the quality of the circuit boards. We produce aluminum boards for different applications ranging from electronic communication equipment and power modules to audio equipment and power supply equipment.