MCPCB – FIVE QUESTIONS YOU MUST KNOW

Introduction

In recent years LED technology has experienced rapid growth in its adoption and general application. Like any other electronic device, LEDs make use of electricity. However, they generate a rather massive amount of heat that would usually be harmful to the lifetime and integrity of the circuit board within it. Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) Technology is responsible for the ability of circuit boards to operate in high-temperature conditions. So, we are talking about technology MCPCB, what is it?

Table of Contents

Introduction……….1

Chapter 1 What Is MCPCB?……….1

1.2 Types of MCPCB……….3

1.1 MCPCB Material……….2

Chapter 2 What Are The Advantages Of MCPCB?………. 4

2.1 Heat Dissipation……….5

2.2 Thermal Expansion……….5

2.3 Dimensional Stability……….5

Chapter 3 MCPCB applicable to what areas?……….5

Chapter 4 What Is The Difference Between FR4 Boards & MCPCB?……….7

Chapter 5 Where Can You Get A Custom MCPCB?……….7

Our Quality……….7

Conclusion……….8

Chapter 1 What Is MCPCB?

The metal core printed circuit board as its name implies metal as its base (core) material.  The metallic core is a solution to the problem of regulating the internal heat of circuit boards. An MCPCB can successfully conduct and dissipate heat, away from its critical areas to less critical ones (like the heatsink).

A Metal Core PCB in production

MCPCB technology is widely accepted and utilized in various manufacturing industries. Electronic devices with military applications especially benefit from the unique attributes of MCPCB. High-temperature conditions are no longer a problem to worry about as the metallic base material effectively dissipates the excess heat.

1.1 MCPCB Material

Metal Core PCBs, as we know, have metal as their base material. This fact is chiefly responsible for its unique attributes and invaluable ability to effectively handle harsh thermal conditions that would otherwise destroy the circuit. The thermal capabilities make it a highly sought-after choice in several industries with circuit boards that generate lots of heat.

Three metals can serve as the base material for an MCPCB. They are in no particular order, aluminum, copper, and iron.

      I.        AluminumPCB

Aluminum is the most commonly used metal as the base material for an MCPCB. It is sturdy and reliable in handling adverse thermal conditions in the overall circuit board. It is also the most economical choice for an MCPCB because it is relatively cheap and gives much value. The aluminum PCB can be further broken down into three distinct parts That make up the whole PCB. These are:

  1. Circuit layer

It is the printed circuit copper foil layer. It comes in sizes between 1 oz up to 8 oz.

  • Dielectric (Insulated)
    layer

As the name implies, it carries the insulation material for the metal core PCB.

  • Substrate (metal) layer

It is the layer that holds the metallic (aluminum) substrate material for the MCPCB. The composition of the substrate layer determines the overall quality and characteristics of the MCPCB.

Benefits

Using aluminum as the base material for the MCPCB has distinct advantages for your circuit board design and production. Some of the benefits are;

  • Reduced board size
  • Increase in power density
  • A lower operating temperature that is safe for board components
  • Improved products mechanical and thermal performance
  • Reduces the number of interconnects needed
  • It enables efficient use of SMT surface Mount technology
  • It can easily replace fragile ceramic substrates while providing more excellent mechanical durability

    II.        Copper Core PCB

The copper core PCB is the combination of copper (circuit layer) + insulation (insulating layer) + a copper substrate. Copper has impressive heat dissipation abilities and is excellent for keeping the thermal conditions of your PCB under control.

Copper as a substrate material is more effective than an aluminum-based one. It effectively directs the heat generated to a heatsink and keeps temperature levels under control. Copper is more expensive than aluminum, but it offers more quality for the price.

A Copper core PCB prepped for Surface Mount Technology

   III.        Iron core PCB

Iron-core PCBs are the most expensive amongst MCPCB. The expense is well justified as iron performs excellently at dissipating heat away from critical board components to a heatsink. Iron as the base material also offers very stable temperature conditions that are invaluable to circuit boards which generate high amounts of power and heat.

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The Iron core PCB has all the benefits of having metal as a base material for an MCPCB. However, it additionally has the advantage of
adding/coupling machinery to its vacant space; such as its base. Its solid and stable structure means that it possesses high mechanical strength. This feature can allow the addition of other machinery parts.

PCB manufacturers are continually making improvements to iron core PCBs to achieve higher functional stability.

1.2 Types of MCPCB

There are five basic types according to the different locations of the metal core and trace layers of the PCB. The kinds of MCPCB are;

Single layer MCPCB

A Single layer PCB is made up of a copper circuit layer, a non-conducting dielectric layer, the metal base, and IC components with solder mask. 

The dielectric acts as a source for efficient heat transfer from the components to the base plate, while maintaining complete Electrical isolation. The metallic base transfers the heat to the heatsink, a mounting surface or directly into the air. The base additionally gives the substrate mechanical integrity.

Chip-on-board (COB) MCPCB

COB MCPCB is a type of metallic substrate circuit board used in thermoelectric separation application. When using COB MCPCB, the microchip directly touches the metal core. It connects to the trace of the circuit board for power supply and dissipates the excessive heat.

A COB MCPCB

Double-sided MCPCB

It comprises of two layers of copper conductor with the metal core sandwiched between both layers. It means that there are trace conductors on both sides of the metal core; allowing you to populate SMD on both the top and bottom.

Double layer MCPCB

Much like their double-sided MCPCB counterparts, they consist of two layers of copper conductors. However, double layer MCPCB has both copper layers placed on a single side of the base material. It means that only the top filled with a surface mount device (SMD).

A simple double-layer MCPCB

Multi-layer MCPCB

Multi-layer MCPCB is proof of the possibility of having metal core PCB boards with more than just two layers of circuitry. Its structure is quite similar to the multiple layers of FR4’s but a lot more complex to make. With multiple layers, you can easily populate the board with even more components.

An MCPCB with SMD and IC mounted

It is no doubt that MCPCB is hugely beneficial to manufacturers and engineers in meeting their circuit board needs. For the skeptics and fence-sitters, let us take a more in-depth look at the distinct advantages of having a circuit board with a metallic base material.

Chapter 2 What Are The Advantages Of MCPCB?

Metal Core PCBs (MCPCB) is here to stay. They are highly valuable and play significant roles in the manufacturing of electronic devices. MCPCB has a distinct advantage over other types of PCBs. Let’s take a look at the qualities that make MCPCB indispensable.

2.1 Heat Dissipation

The ability to effectively distribute and dissipate the heat generated in double-sided or multilayered PCBs is the major problem for PCB manufacturers. PCBs with high density and power are easily susceptible to thermal defects. APCB made with traditional raw materials will not be able to handle the heat generated. The high thermal conditions and inability to successfully “release” the heat, will lead to the failure of many electronic components.
A PCB with a metal core (aluminum, for example) is structurally designed to have excellent thermal conductivity. Therefore, an MCPCB is a perfect cooling solution for PCBs that tend to generate a lot of heat and power.

An MCPCB with heat sink for temperature control

2.2 Thermal Expansion

Objects react to a significant increase in temperature by expanding, and a drastic temperature reduction by shrinking. This phenomenon is known as the ‘thermal expansivity’ of a solid object. However, changes in thermal conditions affect each unique object differently; according to its corresponding CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion).
The metalcore in MCPCB can effectively deal with heat dissipation and thermal expansion problems. It also does a lot to improve the reliability and durability of the equipment produced.

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2.3 Dimensional Stability

WheWhen compared with FR4PCBs, the scale (dimension) of the metal core PCB is a lot more stable. Objects that undergo severe changes under thermal conditions are terrible choices to use in a PCB with high power. MCPCBs with a base metal stable despite experiencing harsh thermal conditions.
An MCPCB with aluminum as its base can be heated from 30°C to 140 – 150°C. Under these extreme conditions, the base metal would only undergo a 2.5 – 3% change in its dimensions. This unique feature makes MCPCB the ideal choice when dealing with equipment that generates/use high amounts of power and generates heat.
Now, we know the invaluable advantages of MCPCB. I’m sure you’ll agree that MCPCBs play a crucial role in modern electronics. The uses of MCPCBs are quite diverse and highly specialized. Its unique characteristics make it the top choice for some particular Industries and Applications. We’ll be discussing these in the next chapter

Chapter 3 MCPCB applicable to what areas?

Metalcore printed circuit boards are vital to the framework of electronic devices in the modern world. They serve the clear purpose of protecting electrical circuitry in devices that operate with high heat; that would otherwise damage them. Additionally, they also serve the function of being used as a stable base for development and coupling.

The unique attributes of being able to withstand a tremendous amount of heat make MCPCB relevant in the following areas:

LED lights

LED are devices that generate a lot of heat due to the high intensity at which they operate. MCPCB is vital in helping to redirect and dissipate the heat generated from operational functions safely. Some devices that make use of MCPCB for LED lights included high current LEDs, street safety applications, spotlights, and high current PCBs.

Power Supply Device

These devices tend to deal with which a high amount of power regularly. It means that the circuitry generates a tremendous amount of heat that would be harmful to the functions of the device itself. A failure in these kinds of devices could have catastrophic consequences; hence, it is essential to take the right precautions.
Devices like voltage regulators, regulator switch, an AC-DC converter make use of MCPCB in regulating the temperature of their internal circuitry.

Cars

Automobiles are high-performance devices that make use of various circuit boards in their development. The tremendous amount of heat generated by the operations of a variable would have been fatal without the existence of MCPCB technology.

The metallic base material helps to divert excess heat away from the circuitry while keeping the board at a relatively safe temperature. The firing implement, power regulators, exchange, and Motors used in electric/ hybrid cars a few of the applications of MCPCB in vehicles

 

Audio Devices

Sound is a powerful force that requires considerable energy to produce optimally. Regular devices like audio transmitter, pre-shield amplifiers, and audio balancing systems all make use of MCPCBtechnology.

Other Devices

Various devices in the modern world incorporate MCPCB technology in their overall design. The stability and reliability that they offer make them rather indispensable in electronic device production.

The devices that make use of MCPCB in their design include desktop displays, backlight LCDs, automotive lighting, and medical monitoring systems.

There is a common misconception that surrounds the relationship between FR4 boards and MCPCB. The mistake stems from the fact that FR4 boards have a similar design to that of MCPCB. However, the similarities end there; because the capabilities of MCPCB vastly outshine that of FR4 boards. The next chapter will briefly discuss the differences between the FR4 board and the MCPCB to avoid errors.

Chapter 4 What Is The Difference Between FR4
Boards &MCPCB?

FR4 boards and MCPCB share a distinct similarity in that they have Rather identical designs. However, FR4 boards are notoriously inadequate for use in applications that have to do with high temperatures. FR4 boards are unable to conduct heat or dissipate it away from the board effectively. And it could result in the damage or destruction of your PCB.

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The metallic materials that comprise the base material of an MCPCB make it exceptionally ideal for regulating and dissipating heat away from the board. High-temperature emitting devices like LED lights benefit significantly from the functions of MCPCBs. Aluminum is the most commonly used metal as the base material of an MCPCB. However, Copper accessories much more effective heat transfer potentials but also cost more than aluminum. The iron-steel alloys offer a high level of mechanical rigidity and support that is very valuable in devices that operates with MCPCB.

Chapter 5 Where Can You Get A Custom MCPCB?

In case you’ve been wondering how you could benefit from the vital functions ofMCPCB and would like to know how to get it, we have you covered. Those asking the question of where can you get a custom MCPCB? You’re in luck because we are the leading providers of metalcore PCB boards in the industry.

At WellPCB, we take extra care to provide you with metal core PCB boards that fit your design and required functions perfectly. We have PCB design experts on hand to help you optimize your MCPCBdesign and help you get the most from its manufacture.

Our Quality

WellPCB is your one-stop provider for high-quality custom MCPCBs. Our professional staff is highly trained, and our manufacturing standards have undergone the strictest certifications.

Some qualities that set us apart and distinguishes us as capable professionals include:

Rapid PCB Prototype Service

Our fully optimized services allow you to create a prototype of your PCB design in as little time as possible. In only 24 hours you can get your fully prototyped double-sided PCB. You can also order online and save yourself the hassle of having to go through every step. Our efficient quotation system also makes sure that you have a clear idea of the cost of your design whenever you need it.

Low Cost

We offer special prices for first-time customers and established clients. We also sponsor regular promotions that provide discounts on MCPCB orders for our customers. If you would like to benefit from these generous discounts, sign up at WellPCB.

Cash On Delivery

We realize that you desire only the highest quality of MCPCB for your money spent. We offer our customers the opportunity to inspect the goods first and only pay when they’re fully satisfied with the quality they get. It helps us to ensure that the customer’s desires and design specifications are accomplished, avoiding problems and unwanted stress to the customer.

High-Quality Materials

 At WellPCB, because we pride ourselves on quality. We guarantee that all parts and materials used to create the PCB design come from reputable suppliers. We avoid cheap and inferior products and only work with high-quality raw materials in creating the most efficient PCB systems.

Conclusion

We have talked about the origins of MCPCB, the materials that make them, and the different types that are available in the industry. If you read through the short piece, you will be well aware of the distinct advantages that MCPCB offers. The unique ability to conduct and dissipate heat in circuit boards is a genuinely outstanding feat that makes MCPCB technology priceless.

As a designer, manufacturer, or producer, the chances of using MCPCB in your device are quite high. WellPCB offers top-of-the-line MCPCB services that guarantee high-quality production of your designs with maximum efficiency.

If you would like more information or would like to order our services, please contact us to get the help you need. Act now and get exclusive offers.

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