What is a metal core PCB?
MCPCB (metal core printed circuit board) is what we see in the field of LED lighting. Metal core PCB board is also known as insulated metal substrate, insulated metal PCB and metal-clad PCB. MCPCB board is composed of a thermal insulation layer, metal plate and metal copper foil. The basic structure of metal PCB board includes the following contents: solder resists film, circuit layer, copper layer 1oz - 6oz (most commonly 1oz to 2oz), a dielectric layer and metal core layer.
The basic structure of metal core PCB
The metal base PCB produced by ZF, a professional metal core PCB manufacturer and PCB assembly company, has different layers. The basic material used in MCPCB metal core PCB is metal, not FR4 or CEM3. The most commonly used metals are aluminum. The aluminium core PCB is cheap and has good heat dissipation and transmission capabilities, steel alloys which are harder than the other two with low thermal conductivity, and the copper metal core PCB has better heat dissipation and transmission capabilities than aluminum and stainless steel, but are expensive. Therefore, the choice about what kind of metal cores should be used will depend on the application where they are used.
Types of metal core PCB
According to the position of the metal core and the wiring layer, it can be divided into four basic types, including:
Single-layer MPCB: PCB with a single wiring layer on one side.
Double-layer MPCB: PCB with two wiring layers on the same side.
Double-sided MPCB: there are two wiring layers on each side of the double-side metal core PCB.
Multilayer MPCB: each of these PCBs has more than two layers.
According to different materials of the metal core, there is the iron metal core PCB, copper metal core PCB, aluminium core PCB, etc.
Application of metal core PCB
LED lights: spotlights, high current printing circuit boards, high current LEDs, street safety applications, and all applications using LEDs.
Automobiles: power regulators, ignition tools, switching converters, variable optical systems, and electric motors for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Power equipment: DC-DC converters, voltage regulators, high-density power conversion, and switching regulators.
Audio equipment: balance, input and output, audio, power supply, and pre-shielding amplifier.
Other electronic equipment: IC array, semiconductor heat shield, IC carrier chip, solar cell substrate, radiator, and semiconductor refrigeration equipment.
Household appliances: flat panel displays, motor controls.
OA equipment: large electronic display substrate, thermal print head, and printer driver.
Advantages of MCPCB
The following advantages of the metal core PCB board make it an ideal choice for different industrial applications.
High thermal conductivity:
Standard PCB with FR4 and CEM3 has weaker interlayer insulation and lower thermal conductivity. Without proper heat dissipation, the internal temperature may rise to affect internal components. However, the metal PCB made of aluminum has excellent thermal conductivity to solve the problems above to keep the internal safe.
Good dimensional stability:
Metal core PCB shows good dimensional stability compared with FR4 or CEM3 PCB. When the aluminum PCB is heated to a temperature of 30℃ to 140~150℃, its size will only expand between 2.5-3%.
High thermal expansion:
The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is a term to describe the expansion or contraction of a substance under temperature. The CTE of aluminum and copper is higher than that of ordinary FR4 while its thermal conductivity is 0.8~3.0 W/cK.
If you have questions about our metal core PCB production capacity or the specifications required for your custom project are not listed on this page, please feel free to contact us. We will reply within one workday. We will continue to provide quotation support and design support. Welcome to learn about our metal core PCB manufacturing process.
Metal core PCB VS. Standard FR4 PCB
The heat transfer rate of metal core PCB is 8 to 9 times that of FR4 PCB. These metal core laminates maintain a lower temperature of the heating components by radiating heat at a faster rate.
Conductivity: metal core PCB has higher thermal conductivity, typical value -1W/MK-7W/MK; FR4 PCB has low thermal conductivity, typical value -0.3w/MK-0.4w/MK.
Thickness: the thickness variation of the metal core PCB board is limited, which depends on the thickness of the available backplane and dielectric sheet; FR4 PCB boards are available in a variety of thicknesses.
Heat dissipation: metal core PCB will quickly dissipate heat and eliminate heat transfer vias; FR4 circuit board has a low heat transfer rate and involves heat transfer through holes.
Plated through-hole: metal core PCB PTH is not available in 1-layer PCB, and the components are surface mounted; FR4 circuit board implements PTH.
Processing process: metal core PCB involves the same standard process, except that the V cutting process includes diamond-coated saw blade for cutting metal; FR4 circuit board is a standard processing process, including drilling, milling, V cutting and copper sinking.
Solder resist film: the metal core PCB is white and only applied to the top layer; FR4 circuit board has many colors, such as green, red, blue and black.
Rigidity: the metal core PCB can withstand impact and vibration, and the rigidity is 2 to 4 times that of FR4 or polyimide design; the FR4 circuit board has lower rigidity than metal core.
Economy: metal core PCB is more expensive than an FR4 PCB board, and FR4 PCB board is cheaper.
Why Use Metal Core PCB Instead of Standard PCB in LED Based Products?
Due to the high thermal conductivity, the metal base PCB can be used in the following areas:
1. LED lighting unit: a board with a high-power LED is usually manufactured on a metal core PCB. These boards provide a solid base for high-power LEDs (SMDS and through holes) while dissipating high heat into the metal core board. sometimes, it is also called the metal core LED PCB.
2. Power conversion and management: hybrid vehicles, industrial equipment, base stations, telecommunications equipment and municipal power distribution systems all operate at high power.
3. Solar equipment: solar equipment needs to be particularly strong and operate at high temperature and high DC voltage/current. Similar PCB designs can be implemented in geothermal facilities.
4. Military (e.g., submersible, aircraft): metal core PCB can quickly dissipate heat and keep electronics away from electronic equipment that may be located near high heat sources such as engine or exhaust systems.
In many other fields, high reliability and structural stiffness are also crucial, which makes metal core plate an excellent choice.
MCPCB metal core PCB Manufacturer
ZF Electronics is a reliable MCPCB manufacturer/factory/supplier.The metal core PCB design and fabrication are fulfilled by our professional technicians and equipment. Moreover, the metal core PCB manufacturing process is strictly limited and tested that you can trust our product quality. As one of the top metal core LED PCB manufacturers in Shenzhen, ZF Electronics can provide you with the best China metal PCB. If you want to know about the MCPCB price, please contact us soon.