How To Find Best Ceramic PCB Manufacturers In 2021?

An Ultimate Guide about Multilayer PCB Board and Its Specifications

Only an expert PCB designer can understand the importance of selecting a good material for designing high-frequency boards.

The material easily can withstand even harsh environments.

The ceramic PCB manufacturers are proudly serving all heavy industrial equipment with their high-frequency ceramic PCBs.

Today ceramics material is playing an ideal role in creating high-speed and high-pitched boards.

Further, these boards are extremely beneficial to produce high-grade electronic components.

Those industries which need super fast and weather-resistant PCB boards are relying on ceramic PCBs.

Moreover, aerospace and all other heavy electronic manufacturers are getting huge advantages by using ceramic PCBs over FR4.

So, let’s start to know about ceramic PCB boards and their advantageous uses.

We have tried that after reading this guide, you will able to know about the ceramic PCB manufacturing process.

Moreover, which is better when you compare ceramic PCB vs fr4.

What is a Ceramic PCB Board?

Today ceramic PCB manufacturers have become the most reliable manufacturers because of producing very speedy and high-velocity ceramic boards.

Basically, ceramic PCBs provide countless benefits in comparison to traditional or standard printed circuit boards.

These circuit boards have much more versatility and can provide extremely superior performance than regular PCB boards.

Further, they are an ideal choice of electronic manufacturers because of their,

  • Minimal expansion coefficient (CTE);
  • High thermal conductivity.

As well as these boards are less complex than normal circuits. Moreover, ceramic circuit boards are also popular for their,

  • High precision quality;
  • High density;
  • Greater reliability.

In fact, a ceramic PCB manufacturer makes use of ceramic material as a base in making such PCB boards.

Because ceramic material is extremely conductive.

Additionally, the ceramic PCBs have created at a thermal conductivity of 9-20W/m. The ceramic PCB has extreme thermal conductivity because it has,

  • Aluminum nitride;
  • Alumina;
  • Beryllium oxide.

Actually, all these highly conducting matters have the ability to rapidly transfer heat away from hot spots.

Moreover, they also can dissipate this heat very easily from all over the surface.

Ceramic boards are highly cost-effective solutions for all modern electronic devices to avoid putting electronic products at risk.

Ceramic PCB

Ceramic PCB

What is a Multilayer Ceramic PCB?

In multilayer ceramic PCBs, ceramic PCB manufacturers use gold and dielectric paste.

This gold and dielectric paste has printed on the ceramic base. Moreover, they bake it at just lower than 1000°C.

Ceramic board manufacturers may use material of copper or gold in multilayer ceramic PCB circuits.

But they mostly prefer to use copper as it is extremely low in cost.

Further, in order to avoid oxidation, manufacturers bake the multilayer ceramic boards in nitrogen gas.

The manufacturers use ceramics material as they have great mechanical strength.

Additionally, they can easily withstand even high mechanical loads, such as,

  • Shock
  • Strong vibrations, etc.

Modern electronic designers are highly relying on multilayer ceramic PCBs. Because they are best to use in high-power circuits and high-speed applications.

Basically, they are ideal to use in,

  • Industrial areas;
  • Medical devices;
  • Automotive;
  • Aerospace industries and many more.

Ceramic PCB manufacturers are rapidly fabricating ceramic boards for serving all-important electronic industries. Because these boards consist of ideal thermal conductivity.

Multilayer Ceramic PCB

 Multilayer Ceramic PCB

What is the Thermal Conductivity in Ceramic PCBs?

In fact, heat dissipation is a highly beneficial advantage of ceramic PCBs.

This is the major factor that makes ceramic PCB more advantageous in comparison to metal clad and FR4 PCB boards.

Moreover, because of this important fact, modern electronic designers think that ceramic PCBs are viable options over other old and conventional ones.

Basically, thermal conductivity means the ability to transfer the heat energy away from the substrate.

Ceramic PCBs highly reduces the temperature of the product because it has better conductivity.

Further, this good feature helps to extend the life of the product.

The most attractive benefits of ceramic are:

It can greatly withstand even high temperatures;

Ceramic materials are good thermal insulators;

They have the ability to greatly expand after heating.

That’s why modern designers of smart electronic devices are totally dependent on ceramic material.

Which is Better in Ceramic PCB vs FR4?

Nowadays ceramic PCB manufacturers have become popular for producing these high-grade ceramic PCB circuits.

Because electronic designers are widely using them in their modern electronic gadgets for their rapid heat transferring factor.

Here we are comparing both types so that you can easily learn their main differences.

  Ceramic PCB boards
  • Ceramic material is almost 20 times more conductive than FR4
  • It has aluminum nitride, beryllium oxide, and silicon carbide
  • All these materials almost have 100 times more conductivity
  • It is extremely resistant to chemical erosion
  • It has great versatility
  • Ceramic boards have the best compatibility for CTA component
  • Ceramic PCB manufacturers create it with LAM technology
FR4
  • It has a low thermal conductivity
  • These PCBs have high thermal demands
  • It is not suitable for high-speed/high-frequency devices
  • They have to activate cooling elements to direct heat away from the surface

How Ceramic PCB Manufacturers Produce Ceramic PCBs?

In this modern age, the electronic industry is widely using ceramics because of its mechanical and thermal advantage.

Moreover, it is highly UV and chemical resistant.

As well as ceramic materials are totally water-resistant and have not any type of outgassing.

Hence, because of all these great features, ceramic PCB boards are now increasingly replacing the old and conventional PCBs.

Let’s see how ceramic PCB manufacturers are serving the latest electronic appliances by producing these efficient boards.

The manufacturing process of ceramic PCB boards:

Step # 1:

The first step of the ceramic PCB fabrication process allows the ceramic board manufacturers to use gold or silver pastes.

These pastes are conductive and have been used to laying trace connections in every layer of ceramic PCB.

Generally, the ceramic substrate has to place in all layers by using a layer-by-layer screen printing process.

Moreover, manufacturers also can mechanically punch the vias with the help of a laser.

Stage # 2:

After they have printed and stacked all-ceramic layers, designers will have to bake all the stack inside an oven.

In the oven, these ceramic layers need a temperature below 1000 °C.

Because this temperature can match the sintering temperature of silver and gold pastes.

Further, using a low-temperature bake process generally allows using silver and gold pastes in ceramic PCB circuits.

In fact, both of the processes, like sintering and baking helps the manufacturers to easily integrate passive components into the inner layers of a ceramic PCB.

Hence, ceramic PCB manufacturers can smoothly increase connection and component density on inner layers.

But this great feature is not possible in the PCB board that has been fabricated from FR4 material.

So, it is the reason why modern electronic designers are highly preferring to use ceramic PCBs over FR4 substrates.

Is Ceramic PCB Board Low in Cost?

In this highly speedy and latest electronic industry, designers are widely using ceramic boards.

Because these boards can provide perfectly suitable substrates for electronic circuits.

The electronic circuits have a low expansion coefficient (CTE) and high thermal conductivity.

Moreover, these boards also provide lesser complex designs that can highly increase the overall performance.

As well as ceramic boards offer extreme versatility with lower overall system cost.

Because of all these beneficial reasons, the modern electronic industry is greatly relying on ceramic boards.

Actually, ceramic PCB manufacturers can provide you as low as 0.15 to 0.40 USD per piece.

It will sound a little costly for your projects but you should consider higher budgets for better products.

Further, their quality is so sure that this a little high cost will look less in front of their extreme functionality.

Production of PCBs from Multilayer Ceramics (Ceramic PCBs)

The printed circuit board forms the basis of any electronic product, being part of computers, cell phones, and military equipment.

Having appeared more than 100 years ago, this device marked a huge leap forward in the development of electronic equipment.

However, due to the constant tightening of requirements for printed circuit boards, going through the miniaturization of products, with the development of highly integrated assemblies, against the background of the constantly growing number of technical requirements for printed circuit boards, it became necessary to introduce new material into production cycles.

Also, obtaining maximum performance with a minimum occupied volume inevitably causes more and more heating of electronic components, and as a result, significantly more heat generation.

Ceramic printed circuit boards can be used in hybrid electronic circuits, Microwave, and also be used for electrical insulation of structures, assemblies, and elements of various electronic devices.

The Installation Procedure of Ceramic PCB Board

Ceramics are relevant in this area of application due to the provision of efficient heat dissipation from electronic components using a base material. During installation, the board base can be attached to the heat sink. An example of such a board is shown in Figure 1.

Ceramic PCB

Figure 1

At present, ceramic boards and substrates are widely used in power electronics and microelectronics, using thin or thick films as the basis for manufacturing processes.

The TESTPRIBOR company has mastered the technologies of manufacturing single-layer and multilayer boards and substrates from vacuum-tight ceramics based on aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and aluminum nitride (AlN) both using thick-film technology and thin-film technology.

Products made from such materials are characterized by:

  • High thermal conductivity;
  • High degree of tightness;
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion;
  • Low dielectric losses;
  • High mechanical strength;
  • High-quality surface treatment.

The first step in the design of ceramic printed circuit boards is to choose the correct substrate material based on the customer’s technical requirements.

Production of JSC “TESTPRIBOR” manufactures and supplies various types of sintered ceramic plates made of:

  • Aluminum oxide Al 23 with its content in the amount of 92.96 and 99%,
  • Aluminum nitride AlN, including polished.

What is the Thickness Standard of Ceramic PCB?

The thickness of the plates varies from 0.127 to 2 mm; it is possible to manufacture substrates of non-standard thickness according to the customer’s documentation.

Under the conditions of production of JSC “TESTPRIBOR”, the technology of manufacturing not only one-sided and double-sided boards based on sintered but also multilayer boards based on raw ceramics has been mastered.

A diagram of the production process for multilayer cermet boards, as well as examples of products made on the basis of the NTSC technology, is shown in Figure 2.

Ceramic PCB

Figure 2.

Our multilayer printed circuit boards are of high quality since special attention is paid to the control and selection of raw materials used in the production of ceramics, as well as multi-stage production control at every stage of the technological process.

Surface treatment of ceramics, both sintered and green, is carried out according to the customer’s specifications. After firing, the ceramic can be polished and ground to the required flatness, parallelism, and roughness values.

For the formation of holes (through, transition, end, interlayer), landing sites and nests, wells, etc., in the production of ceramic boards, the following types of mechanical processing of ceramics are used:

  • Hole punching– it is used exclusively in “raw” ceramics with small thicknesses, it allows you to get an almost perfect edge of the hole at a high processing speed (up to 500 holes per second), but has limitations on the geometry and size of the holes produced;
  • Laser processing– used for both “raw” and sintered ceramics. It has no restrictions on the geometry and dimensions of the formed elements, but when processing ceramics with a thickness of 0.2 mm, a slight taper of the edge of the resulting elements is revealed, which must be taken into account when developing the technical specification, and with thicknesses of more than 1 mm, technologically complex processing modes with the use of inert gases in the quality of the working environment;
  • Cutting with a hot knife– it is used exclusively in “raw” ceramics for dividing a ceramic workpiece into products, has a high processing speed, is especially effective in the group method of processing parts with a high group density;
  • Precision disc cutting– used to obtain a straight continuous cut and scribe both raw and fired ceramic products. It is used for dividing a ceramic blank into finished boards or cutting it.

Figure 3 shows a ceramic workpiece with items located on it (group method).

Ceramic PCB

Figure 3.

With the help of special equipment, scribing and cutting of sintered and raw ceramics, as well as piercing of holes in it, are performed.

Regardless of the chosen method, the accuracy of processing ceramic products will be no worse than ± 0.02 mm, which is confirmed by the optical means of automatic quality control built into the equipment.

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