mcpcb
mcpcb

MCPCB Manufacturer

MCPCB: PCB with Metal Substrate Material

MCPCB, which stands for Metal Core PCB, is just as its name implies: its core is made of metal, typically aluminum or copper. This type of PCB was initially developed in the 1960s to address the limitations of FR4 or other traditional materials in high-power and high-temperature applications. MCPCB exhibit thermal conductivity ranging from 1W/m·K to 9W/m·K, which facilitates efficient heat dissipation, thanks to their integrated metal core.

Best MCPCB Manufacturer

FS Technology is a Chinese PCB and PCBA manufacturer with expertise in the manufacturing and processing of various projects, including MCPCB. If you have project requirements, you can explore our Capacità di produzione di PCB or contact us for the best quote.

We can provide metal core PCB prototypes or mass production activities for customers in any region worldwide. The substrate materials we typically use include steel alloys, copper, or aluminum, and these products can be applied in various fields such as lighting, automotive, telecommunications, power electronics, and more.

To enhance the quality of project production, FS Technology offers a range of engineering solutions, including:

  • Controlled Impedance Modeling: If your MCPCB requires controlled impedance, controlled impedance modeling is an excellent technology for electronic circuit design and analysis. It ensures that the produced boards can operate in environments ranging from 100 MHz to 3 GHz.
  • DRC: Ensuring that component layouts conform to necessary parameters and design rules after receiving design files is a responsible approach to a project. FS Technology’s engineering team can optimize your layout to make the most of the available PCB space.
  • DFM: FS Technology places an emphasis on the smoothness of the entire process, focusing on supporting best manufacturing practices to ensure outstanding PCB quality.
  • File Conversion: In certain cases, you may need to convert old CAD-generated DFX or DWG files into more complex File Gerber. FS Technology’s services can quickly complete the conversion of DWX and DWG files, simplifying the design process and expediting PCB delivery.

MCPCB Success Key Factors

The choice of substrate material significantly affects the level of difficulty in PCB processing. For instance, FR4 is easy to process, ceramics present challenges in constructing multilayer, and metals exhibit inherent rigidity. Below, we will discuss the key factors for the successful progression of metal-backed PCB projects from both design and manufacturing perspectives.

Metal Core

PCB made of two metal cores

Like other circuit boards, MCPCB has a similar structure, including solder masks, circuit layers, copper layers, and dielectric layers. The key difference lies in the use of metal in the core layer. Therefore, understanding the characteristics of the metal used and tailoring it to the project’s requirements is crucial for a successful design. Here, we introduce aluminum core and copper core materials.

Aluminum Core: Also known as PCB in alluminio or Aluminum substrate, the aluminum core layer is sandwiched between a dielectric material layer and a layer of copper trace lines. It typically appears as a silvery-white material and finds widespread use in LED lighting applications. It effectively dissipates heat from the circuit to the surroundings. Its advantages include excellent thermal conductivity, a better cost-performance ratio, and ease of manufacturing.

Copper Core: Also known as Copper PCB or Copper substrate, the copper core layer is sandwiched between a dielectric material layer and a layer of copper trace lines. This material boasts excellent electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and electromagnetic shielding properties, making it suitable for RF circuits and high-frequency applications. However, it is important to note that it is more challenging to process and comes at a higher cost. Copper core materials typically have a reddish-brown to light brown appearance. In electronic manufacturing, a thin layer of gold or tin is often plated onto the copper surface to prevent oxidation, giving it a gold or silver appearance.

Design

Metal-clad PCB typically offers rigidity because metal materials are more reliable and can withstand physical stresses such as vibration, bending, and mechanical impact. Therefore, in terms of reliability, designers need not be overly concerned, as their focus is usually on electrical performance and thermal capabilities.

A related concept is the dielectric constant, which describes the material’s ability to store electrical energy in an electric field. In metal core boards, the dielectric constant of the insulating layer affects the board’s impedance, signal transmission, and electrical operations. Therefore, using precise dielectric materials with good and stable dielectric constants is crucial to ensuring signal quality and preventing electrical losses.

The dielectric layer is an electrical insulating layer between conductive layers, and it plays a crucial role in heat management by effectively dissipating component heat. The thickness of the dielectric layer is critical in the design. Thin dielectrics aid in improving heat transfer but can affect electrical insulation. While thicker dielectric layers can enhance insulation, they may reduce thermal conductivity. Designers must optimize the dielectric thickness based on the project’s thermal and electrical requirements.

Another concept is the thermal conductivity, which defines a material’s ability to conduct heat. High thermal conductivity materials such as aluminum can effectively transfer heat from electronic components to the metal core, which acts as a heat sink. By using materials with good thermal conductivity, efficient heat dissipation can be achieved, preventing overheating and extending the circuit’s lifespan.

Favorable trace size parameters, such as trace width and spacing, are also critical. These parameters affect the current-carrying capacity of the traces. Wider traces can handle higher currents without overheating, while appropriate trace spacing can prevent electrical interference or short circuits. Therefore, careful consideration of trace width and spacing choices can ensure that MCPCB can effectively handle current without negatively impacting the operation of devices or circuits.

Produzione

The manufacturing of metal PCB indeed comes with higher complexity compared to conventional materials. Therefore, partnering with professional manufacturers like FS Technology is essential to obtain specialized processing and support.

One of the primary reasons users opt for metal as the substrate material for PCB is its exceptional thermal conductivity. Hence, ensuring that the manufacturing process does not compromise the heat dissipation properties of the metal core is a significant focus for manufacturers. FS Technology recommends the use of high-performance thermal pre-pregs to enhance overall thermal dissipation. These pre-pregs typically contain thermal conductive particles like aluminum oxide. However, for projects sensitive to costs, careful consideration is necessary, as the manufacturing cost of PCB in metallo is usually higher, and high thermal conductivity pre-pregs might further increase the cost.

Another crucial consideration is how to securely bond the metal core, the insulation layer, and the copper foil layers. This process involves the use of adhesives and high-temperature, high-pressure lamination. Given that metal substrates are typically hard, and the thermal expansion coefficients of metal and insulating materials are different, improper handling may lead to delamination between layers. Therefore, manufacturers should opt for adhesives with higher bonding strength and exercise precise control over the temperature and pressure in the lamination equipment.

Nel Processo di produzione dei PCB, CNC machining is indispensable for operations like drilling and milling. However, due to the high hardness of metal substrates, high-speed cutting can generate excessive heat, which might adversely affect the tools and substrate material. Thus, the selection of more wear-resistant and robust tools, proper planning of cutting sequences, and the use of lubrication and cooling to reduce heat accumulation are necessary.

Types of MCPCB

FS Technology can provide solutions for various projects, based on our ability to offer different types of metal substrate PCB. Here, we will introduce them to you!

Single Layer to Multiple Layers

Single-Layer/Single-Sided

Single layer MCPCB

The single-layer/single-sided MCPCB structure is the simplest, with components and circuit connections appearing on only one side, usually the bottom. This structure is easy to manufacture, and almost all metal PCB manufacturers can produce it. Due to its relatively lower manufacturing cost, it’s suitable for cost-saving applications. A common example is in audio equipment, where single-layer/single-sided MCPCB provides good thermal efficiency and mechanical strength.

Double-Layer/Double-Sided

This type of metal core PCB board builds upon the single-layer/single-sided foundation by adding a top layer of trace lines. These increase circuit density and flexibility for component assembly. Creating double-layer/double-sided MCPCB requires more layer stacking to establish secure connections. These boards are typically used in power circuits and telecommunications equipment.

Multi-Layer

Multi-layer MCPCB are more challenging to manufacture because they have four or more trace layers, enabling complex circuits and intricate electronic systems. These boards feature multiple layers of copper traces and insulating materials, interconnected through plated through-holes to provide various wiring points. It’s essential to note that Componenti SMD are typically installable on one of the layers, as there’s a metal substrate beneath. This structure suits complex applications but doesn’t support Componenti DIP.

COB

COB MCPCB

COB, or Chip-On-Board, is a unique method of electronic component assembly. It involves the direct mounting of bare semiconductor chips onto MCPCB, eliminating the need for traditional IC packaging. This means that COB technology not only reduces the need for packaging but also provides a more compact component layout and exceptional heat dissipation.

In traditional metal core boards, there is an insulating layer between the copper traces and the metal core, typically with a thermal conductivity coefficient ranging from 1 to 3 W/m·K. However, in COB metal core boards, there is no insulating layer because the metal core connects directly. As a result, it offers a higher level of thermal conductivity.

Come professionista Azienda PCBA, FS Technology offers a wide range of customized Servizi di assemblaggio di PCB, not just limited to COB. We are dedicated to providing top-quality services for your project. If you are seeking the right supplier in China, FS Technology is here to serve you with 100% commitment.

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