IMS PCB is an efficient heat dissipation circuit board, its thermal conductivity is 8 to 12 times that of FR-4. If your project has extremely high requirements for heat dissipation, FS Technology can provide you with the best quality solution.

Catalog of PCB Types

Definition of IMS PCB

The term IMS stands for “Insulated Metal Substrate”, and an IMS PCB is sometimes also called a metal core circuit board. As the name suggests that IMS PCBs have a metallic layer as an inner layer to improve the thermal properties of PCB. 

Whenever there is a need to dissipate heat from high power components on PCB or if there is a  requirement of high dimensional stability then IMS PCB proves worthy of using this type of PCB. This type of board offers excellent thermal conductivity generally by using aluminum cores.  

Generally, Aluminum and copper are used as inner layers in IMS, this is because they both are cheaper and provide excellent thermal conductivity, and also due to they are lightweight.  For high temperature, flammable and high-power environments, are often seen as the first choice for projects because they shield sensitive components and absorb heat.

Thermal Management Process in IMS Circuit Boards 

IMS printed circuit boards are generally known for their thermal management property as these boards offer excellent thermal conductivity which means these boards have low thermal resistivity. As metals are considered to be excellent heat conductor, due to this property of metal IMS boards also offers good conduction of heat as these boards use metal as a base layer.  

Thermal conductivity and thermal resistivity are two indirect proportional characteristics of PCB,  if the thermal conductivity of PCB is high then its thermal resistivity must be lower. Thermal conductivity helps IMS boards in their heat management. This thermal conductivity and resistivity ensure that any PCB may be able to work in harsh high-temperature environments and also this characteristic make sure of PCB’s high performance.  

One of the greatest features of IMS boards is thermal resistivity. Thermal resistance also evaluates how a substance resists the flow of heat at different temperatures, which allows IMS boards to operate even in high-temperature environments. 

IMS PCBs have a copper-based layer for heat control. This layer is also made of copper-based alloy and has a thickness of 1.6mm or 1.0mm. In some cases, aluminum might use as a metal layer instead of a copper layer, the selection of a metallic layer depends on the requirement of the design.  Thermal vias can be unproductive in some scenarios since they require drilling through conductive metal. In such instances, thermal insulation may be insufficient. 

In this case, it is preferable to use IMS PCBs without thermal vias. This is due to the metal’s ability to transport heat than drilled vias which causes damage to the highly thermal conductive layer in  IMS PCB. Alongside with heat dissipation property, the metal substrate also offers structural support to the PCB. The dielectric layer provides heat dissipation features and dielectric strength and also enables PCB designers to fabricate compact PCBs. As compact and highly dense PCB  generates more heat and the metal layer in IMS, dissipates that heat more efficiently due to which  PCB’s lifespan increases and hence performance.

Benefits of choosing a Chinese IMS PCB manufacturer

With the technology advances and user demands increasing, it becomes necessary to use IMS PCB in some cases in some cases due to its various advantages.

Excellent Heat Dissipation

As the core of the national economy and military power, electronic equipment is affected by the conversion rate of printed circuit boards, and more than 75% of the electrical power dissipation will be converted into waste heat. If the waste heat dissipation and temperature control problems generated by electronic components and equipment cannot be solved, the temperature of the finished electronic equipment will rise, resulting in a decrease in the working performance of the device, affecting the reliability of the device and equipment, and even exceeding its limit of allowable operating temperature. And burn out. With the gradual fermentation of thermal management issues, it has become the main concern of PCBA manufacturers today. At the heart of solving the thermal management problem of electronic devices lies the IMS PCB. It provides the best solution to its heat dissipation-related problems by efficiently transferring the heat between different layers of the PCB laminate and finally to the surrounding environment.

Electromagnetic shield

Since entering the 21st century, electronic devices have become an indispensable part of life, but excessive use of these electronic devices will cause certain harm to people and the environment. For example, mobile phones, computers, radios and other transmitting devices will generate electromagnetic waves of different wavelengths and frequencies when they are in use. With the increasing number and frequency of human use of electronic devices, a new type of pollution source – electromagnetic pollution has emerged.

To defend against this hazard, IMS is particularly good at this. The metal substrate in this PCB also acts as an electromagnetic shield, which means this provides an active ground plane to the circuit. This helps in the reduction of copper traces and eventually the overall cost of PCB. 

Thermal Properties

IMS PCBs provide excellent thermal conductivity which means these boards offer lower thermal resistivity, this is because of the presence of dielectric layers in them. Generally, the thermal conductivity of IMS PCBs ranges from 0.8 to 3 W/c.k. The picture below shows the comparison of FR-4 PCB and IMS PCB.

                                                                        Thermal profile of FR-4 PCB  Thermal profile of IMS PCB

Fire Immunity

As IMS PCBs are made up of metals and circuit heat and fires can’t affect metals. This means IMS PCBs offer fire immunity more than other standard PCBs. This property of IMS PCBs allows them to be used for high-power circuits, especially when they have to operate in a high-temperature environment. 

Lower Weight

As in IMS boards, metal is the core material, which makes them environment friendly with more conductivity and lighter weight than other conventional epoxy-made PCBs. 

Application of insulated metal substrate pcb

Properties like low heat resistivity and high thermal conductivity make IMS PCBs used widely in different fields. These properties allow them to use in highly dense circuits with a longer operating lifespan. Following are some of the applications of IMS PCBs like:

Power Electronics: Power electronics require high switching, which results in excessive heat production. As IMS offers efficient heat dissipation, therefore these PCBs are more often recommended using in such scenarios. 

Solid State Relay: These relays are used in power switching and driving circuits of optocouplers. This circuit requires densely, congested component placements, which results in heat production on the board. Thus, IMS PCBs are generally used, which absorb heat and dissipate it into the surroundings. 

Automotive Industry: IMS PCBs are generally used in different parts of vehicles like power steering, engine control circuit, and headlights.

LED Technology: IMS PCBs provide improved heat dissipation. The heat created by  LEDs may readily spread when using IMS PCBs. Furthermore, the heat conductivity value of IMS PCB is significantly larger than that of ordinary PCB. As a result, IMS PCBs are ideal to use in LED technology.

Computer Appliances: IMS PCBs are also used in Computers like power supply modules or motherboards due to heat dissipation property, which plays a vital role in the proper functioning of a computer. 

This type of PCB offers several characteristics that make them suitable for a wide range of applications. Furthermore, they are heat resistant and effectively distribute heat. Even the cheapest metal substrate material conducts heat better than the bulk of substrate materials. IMS PCBs also give mechanical performance and toughness to electronic appliances. In addition, an IMS PCB may be utilized with a wide range of surface-mounted devices.

This article gives a more comprehensive introduction to IMS, a PCB with an excellent thermal management system. By reading the article, you can have a deeper understanding of FS Technology’s Производство печатных плат in detail. In the past, FS Technology has been adhering to the viewpoint of mutual benefit and symbiosis to provide customers with high-quality turnkey PCBA services. If your project requires us, FS Technology will do its best.

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