Your Reliable Metal Core PCB Manufacturer in China

Do you require Metal Core PCBs that are both long-lasting and efficient? Then PCBMay will capably  provide them for your company.

PCBMay is a leading metal core PCB supplier in China, we could deliver many types of Metal Core PCB for your project.

We can create a Metal Core PCB exactly conforming to your requirements as an OEM manufacturer. We can customize your device from the original design to the final execution.

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PCBMay: Your Trusted Metal Core PCB Supplier in China

  • Over 12 years metal core PCB manufacturing experience
  • Sufficient metal core PCB raw material in stock
  • COC report and test report for every order
  • No minimum order quantity for your new order
  • 24h quick-turn service for your prototype metal core PCB
  • 7/24 sales and engineering tech support

Metal Core PCBs are available in a wide range of layers, materials, capacities, and other outstanding features. In this full-length article, you can learn more about it. Be updated with your PCB know-how.

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Metal Core PCB

Taconic Metal Core PCB

Choose Taconic Metal Core PCB, a firm that develops components for heavy-duty PCB with lifespan in mind, while looking for the best material for power applications of PCB. It also applies to RF tools.

Rogers Metal Core PCB

Rogers laminates and prepregs can be used in core packaging, wireless body area networks, and ATE/chip testing. Rogers Metal Core PCB has numerous benefits, the most important of which is its adaptability.

Prototype Metal Core PCB

If you want custom assembly and design, we offer Prototype Metal Core PCB. Customers regularly express interest in developing prototypes when new devices when they are released; we’re familiar with the procedure.

Flex Metal Core PCB

Even though it is a Flexible Metal Core PCB, some sophisticated ones use Kapton polyimide film, which has a high bond strength. They’re also well-suited to 5G wireless communication, which is a plus.

Rigid Metal Core PCB

This product is suitable for Bluetooth and/or wireless communication as well as a Fiber Optic network. The Rigid Metal Core PCB requires peel strength as well because it is exposed to the outside environment.

Rigid-Flex Metal Core PCB

Our Rigid-Flex Metal Core PCB is halogen-free and lead-free, and it can endure many soldering passes. If you are unsure, we can provide a soldering sample to help you decide if it is the right item for you.

Metal Core PCB By Layers (5)

  • Single-Sided Metal Core PCB

    The most significant benefit of the Single-Sided Metal Core PCB is its low cost. Customers purchase this type of goods to use in simple appliances such as households, apartments, and so on.

  • Double-Sided Metal Core PCB

    Medium-range gadgets benefit from the Double-Sided Metal Core PCB’s improved connections. Double-sided PCBs are used in some industrial machinery. Multilayers outsell double-sided PCBs.

  • Multilayer Metal Core PCB

    PCBMay’s key skill and capability is multilayer metal core PCB design. Multilayer circuit boards are PCBs with more than three layers. We usually make these in even-count layers, for example, 4 or 6 Layer PCB stack-ups.

  • 12 Layer Metal Core PCB

    The 12 Layer Metal Core PCB is a popular choice since it can accommodate a large number of interconnects. Advanced materials, like as thermoset microwave laminates, can be used in the design of this board.

  • 20 Layer Metal Core PCB

    The 20 Layer Metal Core PCB can be used for a variety of purposes. As far as PCB stack-ups go, most high-frequency laminates have this many layers. Customers can also request PCB with high heat conductivity.

Metal Core PCB By Copper Thickness (5)

  • 1 oz Metal Core PCB

    The usual measurement for copper thickness on most PCBs is 1oz. When PCB designers establish that the device is working at normal capacity, they choose the 1 oz Metal Core PCB. Others choose heavier copper if it’s necessary.

  • 2 oz Metal Core PCB

    Even though 2 oz and greater copper weights are more prevalent in rigid PCB, we also make the same oz for Flex PCB and Rigid-flex PCB. Therefore your 2 oz Metal Core PCB standards must be specified properly.

  • 3 oz Metal Core PCB

    Since it is for safety, we guarantee that numerous variations of 3 oz Metal Core PCB are Halogen Free and Lead Free PCB. For customers with a high count PCB stack-up requirement, we can customize them.

  • 6 oz Metal Core PCB

    We manufacture 6 oz Metal Core PCB in a variety of surface finishes, including Immersion Silver PCB and ENIG. We want to prevent oxidation of copper conductors while simultaneously enhancing board solderability.

  • 10 oz Metal Core PCB

    If you choose the 10 oz Metal Core PCB, you’ll get an added bonus in terms of heat management. Even though it takes longer and is more challenging, we can process heavy copper weights.

Metal Core PCB By Types (5)

  • Aluminum Metal Core PCB

    Aluminum Metal Core PCB is a product line of Aluminum PCBs that is closely related to LED. We produce for companies that also order surveillance equipment PCBs or Sensor PCBs by bulk.

  • Copper Metal Core PCB

    We use Surface Mount Technology and BGA/IC Chips for Copper Metal Core PCBs, which can be High Frequency PCBs. But that’s fine with us because we are professional, veteran circuit board manufacturers.

  • Heavy Metal Core PCB

    Electronics designers and PCB engineers have a variety of options with Heavy Metal Core PCB. We use laser drills to drill our special PCBs, especially if they are HDI 20 Oz Copper PCBs.

  • LED Metal Core PCB

    LED Metal Core PCB is desirable because LED devices require effective cooling. The material used in these PCBs is non-magnetic. In the case of industrial applications, it has great electrical and thermal conductivity.

  • High Tg Metal Core PCB

    We provide High Tg Metal Core PCBs for those customers who require High TG PCBs for complex applications. Overall, these PCBs aid in the manufacture of high-resolution devices, which helps maximize profits.

Metal Core PCB Advantages

Fast Delivery Time
Fast Delivery Time
PCBMay can offer 24H or 48H quick-turn delivery time for your prototypes, we use the forwarders such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, etc, which can meet your requirement.
Professional Team Work
Professional Team Work
PCBMay has one professional team from engineering, production, sales, and service support, who can support you in 7*24h, so just send your Gerber file & BOM list to us.
Cost Down
Cost Down
PCBMay can help you to put the cost down if you choose our service because PCBMay has one advanced auto production line, and there's not much labor cost.
Quality Control
Quality Control
PCBMay follows the IPC Class 2 or Class 3 quality control. There're IQC, IPQC, QPC, FQC, OQC, and provide high-quality products for customers.

PCBMay Metal Core PCB Properties

Any Metal Core PCB request you have can be fulfilled. We have the engineering experts and staff to provide the requirements you require for this type of board.

Layers: From single layer to 40

Base Material: FR4 with High Tg, Rogers, Shengyi, Arlon, Isola

Core Thickness: 40mils – 60 mils – 120 mils

Thermal conductivity: 5W/(mK) to 2.0W/(mK)

Flammability: UL 94V-0

Minimum Hole Diameter: 0.1mm

Additional Details: Buried Via, Blind Via, VIPPO, Microvia

PCBMay Metal Core PCB Properties
PCBMay Metal Core PCB Production

PCBMay Metal Core PCB Production

With our extensive manufacturing capabilities, we can produce any form of Metal Core PCB. You name it, we’ve got it.

As a reputable PCB maker, we will undoubtedly adhere to environmental safety requirements. In fact, if you want, we can make PCBs that are free of halogens and lead.

We place a great value on quality control and use testing methods such as AOI tests to assure product quality.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries concerning our PCB design, assembly, or fabrication process. We’ll be happy to help you in any way way we can.

Professional Metal Core PCB Manufacturer

We’re excited to tour you around our facilities for making your Metal Core PCB, and you can see for yourself that our manufacturing process is top-notch.

PCBMay attends PCB trade shows on a regular basis, like as the recent IPC APEX 2022 technical lecture. This is so that we may learn more about circuit boards and maintain our knowledge and skills current.

As a result, we are always aware of the ongoing improvements that must be made.

Our PCBs ultimately perform better than the competition.

Call us right now to place an order for a Metal Copper PCB!

Professional Metal Core PCB Manufacturer

Why Choose PCBMay for Your Metal Core PCB

Why choose PCBMay for Metal Core PCB
Why choose PCBMay for Metal Core PCB 2

The metal core printed circuit board(MCPCB), also known as a thermal PCB or metal-backed PCB, or metal-clad PCB.

As a professional metal core PCB manufacturer in China, PCBMay offers many types of metal core printed circuit boards (PCBs) to meet your demands, including Aluminum core PCB, copper core PCB, and heavy copper PCB.

Do you know why the designers choose metal core PCB, instead of standard FR4 or CEM1, or CEM3 PCBs? Because the metal has more strong ability to dissipate the components’ heat.

Are you looking for a premier PCB supplier? PCBMay is your best choice. We are producing more than 100 models of metal core PCBs every day and serve over 1000+ customers all around the world.

There are many applications for metal core PCB, including power supplies, automotive electronics, LED lighting, aerospace, military& defense, telecom & industrial, power conversion systems.

If you have any urgent PCB projects, please send them to us. PCBMay can produce them as 24h quick-turn service and ship them by UPS, DHL, or FedEx.

When you have any metal core PCB inquiries, please send them to us.

Metal Core PCB Fabrication

Metal Core PCB Manufacture

Multilayer PCBs, such as the Metal Core PCB, are something PCBMay has a lot of experience with.

We continuously outperform the competition as a premier circuit board fabrication in China. to manufacture circuit boards with a high layer count

Because we are an environmentally friendly manufacturer, the product is UL approved in the United States and Canada.

Our hardworking employees treat you with respect, and if you desire a weekly progress report, we can provide one.

Metal Core PCB Tests

After more than 12 years in the competitive circuit board market, we’ve perfected our PCB manufacturing process.

For Metal Core PCBs, these must be able to withstand repeated use. You need good Quality Control to deal with that.

We use Flying Probe Testing, Thermal Shock Testing, Hole Resistance Testing, and Impedance Testing.

We make custom PCBs for both the domestic and international markets. Inquire right now.

OEM & ODM Metal Core PCB Applications

Metal Core PCB for Lighting Application

Because it is appealing, you choose the LED Metal Core PCB for Lighting Applications. Another important reason is heat management, which is evident when we utilize aluminum or alumina materials.

Metal Core PCB for Computer Applications

For computer applications, metal base PCBs or metal coated PCBs are ideal. This is particularly true in the case of Solid State Relays and switches.

Metal Core PCB for Automotive Applications

Metal Core PCB for Automotive Application is produced to minimize harmful safety errors. Consumers necessitate keeping cars from overheating and causing damage. Hence, this material.

Metal Core PCB for Power Energy Applications

High heat dissipation helps components last longer. For this reason, Metal Core PCB is preferred for high-power applications. The first thing that comes to mind is safety requirements, which are in place in high voltage locations.

Metal Core PCB for Commercial Applications

The use of these boards in motor drivers is an example of Metal Core PCB for Commercial Applications. PCBMay creates a variety of controller PCBs for diverse heavy machinery.

Metal Copper PCB Production Details As Following Up

ItemCapability
Layer Count1-40layers
Base MaterialKBShengyiShengyiSF305FR408FR408HRIS410FR406GETEK370HRIT180ARogers4350BRogers4000PTFE Laminates(Rogers seriesTaconic seriesArlon seriesNelco series)Rogers/Taconic/Arlon/Nelco laminate with FR-4 material(including partial Ro4350B hybrid laminating with FR-4)
Board TypeBackplane、HDI、High multi-layer 、blind&buried PCB、Embedded Capacitance、Embedded resistance board 、Heavy copper power PCB、Backdrill.
Board Thickness0.2-5.0mm
Copper ThicknessMin. 1/2 OZ, Max. 10 OZ
PTH Wall25um(1mil)
Maximum Board Size1100*500mm(43”*19”)
Min laser drilling size4mil
Min. Spacing/Tracing2.7mil/2.7mil
Solder MaskGreen, Black, Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Purple matte/glossy
Surface TreatmentFlash gold(electroplated gold)ENIGHard goldFlash goldHASL Lead-free OSPENEPIGSoft goldImmersion silverImmersion TinENIG+OSP, ENIG+Gold finger, Flash gold(electroplated gold)+Gold finger, Immersion silver+Gold finger, Immersion Tin+Gold finger.
Min. Annular Ring3mil
Aspect ratio10:1(HASL Lead-free HASL LeadENIGImmersion TinImmersion silverENEPIG);8:1(OSP)
Impedance control±5ohm(<50ohm), ±10%(≥50ohm)
Other TechniquesBlind/Buried Via
Gold Fingers
Press Fit
Via in Pad
Electrical Test

Here there’re many laminate material datasheets, they’re useful and helpful for you, please see them:

SUPPLIERPCB LAMINATETYPEMATERIAL DATASHEETTGTDDK(1MHZ)DK(1GHZ)DK(10GHZ)
KBKB-6160FR4DOWNLOAD1353054.35
KB-6160AFR4DOWNLOAD1353054.35
KB-6160CFR4DOWNLOAD1353144.7
KB-6150
KB-6150C
FR4DOWNLOAD1323054.6
KB-6164FR4DOWNLOAD1423304.8
KB-6164FFR4DOWNLOAD1453404.8
KB-6165FFR4DOWNLOAD1503464.8
KB-6167FFR4DOWNLOAD1703494.8
SHENGYIS1141FR4DOWNLOAD1353104.6
S1141KFFR4DOWNLOAD1403504.7
S1000FR4DOWNLOAD1553354.9
S1170FR4DOWNLOAD1703354.6
S1000-2FR4DOWNLOAD1703354.8
S1155FR4DOWNLOAD1353704.7
ITEQIT-158FR4DOWNLOAD1503404.6-4.8
IT-180FR4DOWNLOAD1803504.5-4.7
TUCTU-768FR4DOWNLOAD1803504.3-4.44.3
TU-872Modified EpoxyDOWNLOAD2003403.8-4.03.8
ROGERSRO 3003Cer/PTFEDOWNLOAD5003
RO 3010Cer/PTFEDOWNLOAD50010.2
RO 4003Hydrocarbon/CerDOWNLOAD>2804253.38
RO 4350BHydrocarbon/CerDOWNLOAD>2803903.48
RT/duroid 5880PTFE/GlassDOWNLOAD5002.2
ISOLAPolyclad 370HRFR4DOWNLOAD1703404.8-5.1
FR406-HRFR4DOWNLOAD1903253.913.863.81
FR408-HRFR4DOWNLOAD2003603.723.693.65
P96PolyimideDOWNLOAD2604163.783.73
HitachiMCL-BE- 67GModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD1403404.94.4
MCL-E-679FFR4DOWNLOAD1703504.2-4.44.3-4.5
MCL-LX-67YSpecial LaminateDOWNLOAD185-195325-3453.4-3.6
NelcoN4000-13Modified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403653.73.6
N4000-13EPModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403503.43.2
N4000-13SIModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403503.43.2
N4000-13EP SIModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403503.43.2
TaconicTLX-6PTFEDOWNLOAD2.65
TLX-7PTFEDOWNLOAD2.6
TLX-8PTFEDOWNLOAD2.55
TLX-9PTFEDOWNLOAD2.45
RF35PTFEDOWNLOAD<3153.53.5
TLC-27PTFEDOWNLOAD2.75
TLC-30PTFEDOWNLOAD3
TLC-32PTFEDOWNLOAD3.2
ArlonArlon 25NCerDOWNLOAD2603.38
Arlon 25FRCerDOWNLOAD2603.58
Arlon 33NPolymideDOWNLOAD>2503534
Arlon 35NPolymideDOWNLOAD>2503634.2
Arlon 85NPolymideDOWNLOAD2503874.2
StablcorST325DOWNLOADThermal conductivity:75w/m.k(with 1oz copper)
ST10DOWNLOADThermal conductivity:325w/m.k(with 1oz copper)
PanasonicR-1566WFR4DOWNLOAD1403304.954.74.65
VentecVT-901PolymideDOWNLOAD2503904.2-4.54.0-4.3
VT-90HPolymideDOWNLOAD2503904.2-4.54.0-4.3
Bergquistht-04503DOWNLOADThermal conductivity:2.2w/m.k(with 1oz copper)

Delivery

PCBMay offers flexible shipping methods for our customers, you may choose from one of the methods below.

1. DHL

DHL offers international express services in over 220 countries.
DHL partners with PCBMay and offers very competitive rates to customers of PCBMay.
It normally takes 3-7 business days for the package to be delivered around the world.

DHL Forwarder

2. UPS

UPS gets the facts and figures about the world’s largest package delivery company and one of the leading global providers of specialized transportation and logistics services.
It normally takes 3-7 business days to deliver a package to most of the addresses in the world.

UPS Forwarder

3. TNT

TNT has 56,000 employees in 61 countries.
It takes 4-9 business days to deliver the packages to the hands
of our customers.

TNT Forwarder

4. FedEx

FedEx offers delivery solutions for customers around the world.
It takes 4-7 business days to deliver the packages to the hands
of our customers.

Fedex Forwarder

5. Air, Sea/Air, and Sea

If your order is of large volume with PCBMay, you can also choose
to ship via air, sea/air combined, and sea when necessary.
Please contact your sales representative for shipping solutions.

Note: if you need others, please contact your sales representative for shipping solutions.

On our website you can use the following payment methods:

Telegraphic Transfer(TT): A telegraphic transfer (TT) is an electronic method of transferring funds utilized primarily for overseas wire transactions. It’s very convenient to transfer.

Bank/Wire transfer: To pay by wire transfer using your bank account, you need to visit your nearest bank branch with the wire transfer information. Your payment will be completed 3-5 business days after you have finished the money transfer.

Paypal: Pay easily, fast and secure with PayPal. many other credit and debit cards via PayPal.

Credit Card: You can pay with credit card: Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro.

    • “Our company purchases from you; I always have a positive experience with your sales representatives, and the PCB parts are of excellent quality. In terms of quality and service, we always give it our all. This company comes highly recommended from me. Because of the quick distribution of orders and the better products, service, technical assistance, and pricing, PCBMay has established itself as our principal components supplier.”

      Etti Nilsson, Procurement Manager from Netherlands
    • “The Sales Team is outstanding! They always deliver our items on time and at a reasonable price. If we have any questions, they always respond quickly and with the correct information. However, it is PCBMay’s willingness to go the extra mile that qualifies them to be our Incredible PCB provider. I believe it’s wonderful that they’re able to go the extra mile since they implement through Warehouse Improvements. I’m satisfied with that.”

      Vibeke Bornedal, Materials Director from Norway
    • “PCBMay’s services have left me quite happy. I bought a board that didn’t quite fit me, so I inquired as to why. I called them, and the phone service was excellent: a kind and efficient salesman, whose name I forget. Congratulations on your excellent customer service! In general, I enjoy working with the company. The service is excellent, and the costs are affordable. This store and one that I would advise to both family and friends.”

      Nolan Andersen, PCB Designer Engineer from Texas, USA

    Metal Core PCB: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

    LED-based products are becoming popular day by day over the last few years, and therefore, the use of metal core PCB has increased significantly.

    The lighting and automobile sector is also using metal core PCB.

    Studies show that metal core PCB makes the LED-based lights more efficient and reduces the price by 5 times than typical incandescent units.

    Even the production cost of compact fluorescents is higher than LED lights.

    Because of the flexibility and price advantages of metal core PCB, many industries are using more and more metal core PCBs.

    If you are unaware of the fact and willing to learn more about metal core printed circuit board, this is just the right place for you. Here you will learn everything you should know about metal core PCB.

    What Is A MCPCB or Metal Core PCB?

    A metal core PCB (MCPB) is also known as a metal-backed PCB or thermal PCB. This type of PCB uses a metal material other than typical FR4 at its base, which is the board’s heat spreader portion.

    Metal Core PCB

    Metal Core PCB

    As you know, heat develops on the board because of some electronic components during the operation. The metal diverts this heat from the board and redirects them to the metallic core or metal heatsink backing and saves critical components.

    In multi-layer PCBs, you will find the layers are evenly distributed over the metal core sides. For example, if you look at a 12-layer PCB, you will find six layers at the top, six at the bottom, and the metal core in the middle.

    The MCPCBs or metal core PCBs are also referred to as ICPBs or insulated metal PCBs, IMS or insulted metallic substrate, metal-clad PCBs, and thermal-clad PCBs. For your better understanding, we will only use the term metal core PCB throughout this article.

    A Metal core PCB’s basic structure consists of the following:

    • Copper layer – 1oz. to 6oz. (1 oz or 2 oz are most common)
    • Circuit layer
    • Dielectric layer
    • Solder mask
    • Heat spreader or a heat sink ( the metal core layer)
    What Are the Reasons for Using Metal Core PCB?

    If your PCB board temperature starts rising, you will feel more heat than the components of the circuit board. Joke apart, excessive heat is never good for any circuit board as that can damage the components and, as a result, creates malfunctions in the device.

    You can not cool down the excessive heat from an electronic device with the help of regular fans. That’s why metal core PCB becomes handy in heat management.

    So, the conductive cooling system of metal board PCBs is a very suitable option.

    In the conductive cooling procedure, the metal core transfers heat from the hot part to the cooler part using direct contact.

    You must know heat always moves from a hot object to a cool object and in the metal core cools down the board using this straightforward process.

    How Many  Metal Core PCB Types Are There?

    There are five types of metal core PCBs where the metal core is used. They are :

    Single-layer PCB

    A single-layer PCB comes with a metal core. Here manufacturers use aluminum or copper alloy on just a single side of the circuit board. Then they solder mask the nonconducting dielectric layer, IC components, and the copper circuit layer.

    Single Layer Metal Core PCB

    Metal Core PCB Single Layer

    Here the heat from foil and components transfers smoothly to the base palet because of prepreg dielectric. The metal base plate provides mechanical integrity to the single-sided substrate. Here are some applications of single-layer PCB:

    COB Metal Core PCB

    You will find a microchip in COB MCPB. The microprocessor or integrated circuit is wired and directly bonded to the board to provide power to the board. It also touches the metal core directly to transfer heat.

    COB Metal Core PCB

    COB Metal Core PCB

    In typical metal core PCBs, there is a dielectric layer in-between the metal core and copper layer. But in COB, you will find no dielectric layer as the chip touches the metal core directly.

    Typically manufacturers use aluminum as the metalcore. As a result, its thermal conductivity is higher than 200W/m.K. Here are some applications of COB metal core PCB:

    • High power LED
    • Electric lighting
    • Automotive
    • Power supply
    • E-book’s LED front light
    • Parking lot and street light
    • Horticulture and Agriculture lighting
    • Many other products demand thermal solutions.

    Double Layer PCB

    In a double layer PCB, the bottom part contains the metalcore. You will find a two-conductor layer on top of it. For the metal parts, manufacturers use aluminum, iron alloys, or copper. The dielectric layer is in between the metal core and the copper layer.

    Double Layer Metal Core PCB

    Double Layer Metal Core PCB

    Two-layer metal core PCBs need an additional step for laminating the metal core and imaged thermal conductive laminate. If you compare it to FR4, this process demands advanced technology and lots of experience.

    Here are some applications that use double-layer metal core PCB:

    • Inverters, Power rectifier relays, and other power modules.
    • Automation equipment for office
    • Preamplifiers, Balanced amplifiers, and other audio equipment
    • Electronic regulators and power controllers in automobile
    • High-frequency amplifiers, transmit circuits, and other electronic equipment are used in communication technology.

    Double-Sided Metal Core PCB:

    You will find two layers in this type of PCB board, and therefore they are stated as two-layer PCB. Manufacturers use through-hole or surface mount technology to connect the circuits on each PCB side.

     

    Double-Sided Metal Core PCB

    Double-Sided Metal Core PCB

    Double-sided MPCBs need an additional step for laminating the metal core and imaged thermal conductive laminate.

    However, you can get pre-laminated board material from some metal-clad material suppliers.

    Here are some applications of double-sided metal core PCBs:

    • Industrial Controls
    • HVAC Systems
    • Converters
    • Regulators
    • Power Supplies
    • Automotive Dashboards
    • Line Reactors
    • Hard Drives
    • UPS Systems
    • Traffic Systems

    Multilayer PCB

    This is the most robust type of PCB, which gives designers the highest level of flexibility. In multi-layer PCB, you will find more than two layers of copper such as 4L, 6L, 8L, etc.

    These PCBs offer numerous benefits in design and are compact-sized.

    Multilayer Metal Core PCB

    Multilayer Metal Core PCB

    As for its complexity, the manufacturers need much-advanced technology, high skills, and experience to produce multi-layer metal core PCB.

    Here are some applications that use multi-layer metal core PCB:

    • Atomic Accelerators
    • Equipment for the space program
    • Satellite Systems
    • File Servers
    • Heart Monitors
    • Signal Transmission Systems
    • Nuclear Detection Systems
    • Weather Analysis devices
    • Fiber Optic Receptors

    Which Types of Metals Are Used in a Metal Core PCB?

    Three types of metals are used at the base of metal core PCB or MCPCB. They are Aluminium, Copper, and Iron alloy.

    Aluminum is the most prevalent metal for metal core printed circuit boards, especially in the LED light industry, because of its low cost. Copper provides better performance but is expensive. Iron alloy or steel is more rigid than copper and aluminum, but the thermal conductivity is less.

    Which base to choose depends on you and the application you are working on.

    Aluminum PCB

    The formation of Aluminium PCB is

    Circuit layer (Copper Layer) + Dielectric Layer or Insulted Layer + Aluminum Layer.

    ALuminium core PCB

    Aluminum core PCB

    Cost: The price depends on the PCB thickness and thermal conductivity. If you purchase from a US factory, the price will increase. China factory prices are lower. We provide a very competitive price for aluminum metal core PCB.

    Copper Core PCB

    The formation of Copper Core PCB is as follow:

    Copper Layer + Insulted Layer + Copper Substrate.

    Copper Core MPCB

    Aluminum core PCB

    Iron-Based PCB

    The formation of Iron-based PCB is:

    Copper Layer + Insulted Layer + Steel Substrate.

    Manufacturers use two types of steel as the metal base: stainless steel and regular steel.

    How Thick Are the Dielectric Layer and the Metal Core?

    Thickness Of Metal Core Layer

    Typically aluminum is 1.0mm to 3.2mm thick in a metal core PCB. You will find a heat sink with a metal base to dissipate the heat away and save the components.

    The thickness depends on the circuit board and the application type for which you will use the metal core PCB.

    Thickness Of Thermal Conductivity  Or Dielectric Layer

    The usual dielectric layer’s thickness ranges from .075mm to .2mm (.003 inch – .008 inch).

    How thick or how thin the layer will depend on the current and voltage.

    Thickness Of Metal Core PCB

    Thickness Of Metal Core PCB

    In a metal core PCB, the dielectric layer is the most important as it has to maintain the electronic insulation even though it is thermal conductive in nature.

    This thickness is crucial in an MCPB because it has to be thick enough to prevent the copper circuit from shorting out and, at the same time, thin enough to maintain high thermal performance.

    How Much Thermal Conductivity Does a Metal Core PCB Have?

    These can work in a high-temperature environment. That’s why metal core PCBs come with high thermal conductivity. The Typical values of metal core PCBs conductivity range from 1W/mK to 7W/mK.

    How Can You Improve Thermal Management in a Metal Core PCB?

    Here are some tips on how you can improve thermal management in a metal core PCB:

    • Construction or design: it’s better to separate signal conductors and high power. Enlarge the copper thickness and use additional thermal vias.
    • Heavy Copper PCBs: Copper has an excellent thermal conductor. Heavy coppers like 10oz, 20oz, 30oz enhance heat dissipation.
    • Aluminum-Based PCB: The thermal conductivity of aluminum base PCB is 1W/m·K to 3 W/m·K. Aluminum can disseminate heat pretty quickly.
    • Copper-Based PCB: Copper has more thermal conductivity than aluminum ranges from 4W/m·K to 7W/m·K. This base disseminates heat much more efficiently than aluminum-based PCB.
    Which Applications Use Metal Core PCB?

    The LED light industry is the primary consumer of metal core PCB. However, you will find them in many other applications from various industries that use metal core PCB.

    LED Light Industry Use Metal Core PCB

    LED Light Industry Use Metal Core PCB

    You can use them in different form factors, and the substrate metals can come in a wide variety and different thicknesses. Here are some applications that use metal core PCB:

    • Automotive’s system LED applications
    • Backlight unit applications
    • Sound system applications
    • Photovoltaic
    • Traffic system application
    • Various power converters, such as telecom, power supplies, voltage regulator, industrial, etc.
    • Hybrid/electric motor control applications
    What Benefits Do  Metal Core PCBs Provide?

    Thermal Conductivity

    CEM3 or FR4 is not good at heat conductor. If the heat conduction of the base materials used in PCB is less, that can damage the components of the PCB board. That’s when metal core PCBs become handy.

    MCPCBs have excellent thermal conduction properties, which protect the components from being damaged.

    Heat Dissipation

    It provides excellent heat dissipation capability. A metal core PCB can remove heat from ICs very efficiently. The thermally conductive layer then transfers the heat to the metal base.

    Scale Stability

    It provides more dimensional stability than other types of PCBs. The aluminum metal core changes its size to 2.5 ~ 3%  after the temperature reaches from 30° Celcius to 140 – 150°Celcius

    Less Distortion

    As the metal core PCBs come with good dissipation and thermal conductivity properties, they are less susceptible to distortion that can happen for induced heat. Because of this property metalcore, PCBs are the first choice for power applications that need high switching.

    Thermal Expansion

    You must know that every object expands and shrinks when it is exposed to heat and cool. The MCPCBs come with excellent thermal expansibility. That means metal core PCBs are well capable of overcoming thermal expansion and contraction problems. This feature makes the equipment more durable and long-lasting.

    Are There Any Downsides with Metal Core PCBs?

    Every PCB has its own advantages and disadvantages. Like them, metal core PCBs also have some drawbacks. They are :

    • Weight: Metalcore PCBs weigh higher than regular FR4 PCBs. Therefore, the applications become slightly heavier.
    • Expansive: Compared to typical FR4 PCBs, metal core PCBs are expensive. You can not blame that, as the manufacturing process is far more complex than regular PCBs.
    • Component Mounting Process: If you compare it to a regular board, the component mounting process for metal core PCB is pretty complex
    What Is the Manufacturing and Fabrication Process of Metal Core PCB?

    Here are the steps of the manufacturing and fabrication process of metal core PCBs:

    Step 1: First, you have to design the PCB with appropriate software to provide the blueprint you want to manufacture. After finishing the metal core PCB design, you will send it to your manufacturer.

    Step 2: This step is to print the metal core PCB design. Here manufacturers use black ink to detonate copper traces and clear ink to identify non-conductive areas. In the outer layer, they use the reverse process.

    Step 3: At this step, the manufacturer pre-bonds copper to a laminate piece, which works as the structure for PCB. For revealing the blueprint, they etch away the copper. You have to strengthen the resistance with ultraviolet light.

    Then you have to wash the board with an alkaline solution. This way, you can remove the rest of the photoresist.

    Step 4: Now, it’s time to remove all unnecessary copper. You have to use a powerful solution for washing the board. And then do the alignment.

    You can use an optical inspection machine to make sure there are no flaws.

    Step 5: Now, it’s time to laminate the PCB layer. The external layer is copper foil made. You have to press the PCB layers with metal clamps.

    Step 6: Here, you will drill the board. Use an X-ray machine to locate the drill spots. For more precise drilling, use a computer-aided drill.

    Step 7: After completing the drilling, it’s time to plant the board. Use a series of chemicals to wash the PCB to cover the PCB with a thick copper layer. This will also cover the holes you drilled in the previous step.

    Step 8: Now it’s time to imagine and plant the external layer. You can protect the copper by adding a coat of Tin on the metal core PCB’s outer layer.

    Step 9: You will do the final etching to the outer layer. After washing the unwanted copper, your metal core PCB is prepared for solder masking.

    Step 10: Now, you can apply a solder mask to the PCB and then use ultraviolet light. You have to remove the solder maks’s marked portion. Then bake the final piece of solder mask in an oven.

    Step 11: Use a silkscreen to finish the PCB. Use a surface finish material in this process to protect the components and the copper.

    You should perform electrical tests before starting cutting. Use a suitable method to cut the board.

    Watch the video on aluminum POB printing

    Why Use Surface-Mounted Components in Metal Core PCB?

    You should only use surface-mounted components instead of plated through design in your design. As you know, the bottom layer of a metal core PCB consists of a thick metal piece, so if you use plated through-hole, that will create a short.

    Metal Core PCB surface mounting

    Metal Core PCB surface mounting

    You don’t need vias in Metalcore PCBs to disseminate heat from the board. The whole bottom part of the metal core PCB is built with metal with efficient thermal conductivity. So, you don’t need vias to cool down the board.

    Because of the metal base, most metal core PCBs need minimal drilling. Sometimes a few large mounting holes are required.

    Metal Core and FR4 PCB - What Are the Differences?

    Metal core PCB Vs FR4 PCB

    Metal Core PCB Vs FR4 PCB

    Here is the difference between metal core PCB and FR4 PCB

    FactorsMetal Core PCBEpoxy Glass or FR4 PCB
    ConductivityMetal Core PCBs have higher thermal conductivity (1.0W to 4.0W)Low conductivity. Usually, it is around .3 W.
    Plated Through HoleNo plated through holes for single-layer PCB. Surface mount components.Use plated through holes
    Thermal ReliefComes with its own thermal relief. No need for the plating process and via drilling depositionUses vias to transfer heat. Many processes are required for a longer drill cycle.
    Solder MaskWhite solder mask for LED boards and applied to top onlyGreen, blue, red, black different color solder masking are applied
    ThicknessThickness variation is limited because of the dielectric sheet and backing plate thickness.Comes in a wide range of thicknesses. Uses various materials and multiple-layer counts.
    Machining ProcessV-score has to use saw blades with a diamond coat. Otherwise, the machining process is the same as FR4.Needs standard machining process(i.e., drilling, v-scoring, routing, counterbore, countersink, etc. )
    Why Is Metal Core PCB Ideal for the LED Industry?

    LED industry use metal core PCBs for various applications because:

    • For their stability, they are best for high-density applications.
    • They are more efficient in dissipating thermal heat compared to FR4 PCB.
    • They are not vulnerable to heat distortion.
    How to Find Out About Metal Core PCB Quality?

    Heat Dissipation

    Metal core PCBs are famous for heat conductivity. If the MCPCB is made of a conventional substrate you should realize that they are poor conductors.

    High-quality metal core PCBs have higher dissipation capabilities.

    Thermal Expansibility

    You should consider thermal contraction and expansion seriously. Good metal core PCB always comes with a minimal thermal expansion rate. In the time of increased temperature, it becomes more resilient.

    MCPCB heat pad

    MCPCB heat pad

    Magnetic Shielding

    If electromagnetic interference happens, metal core PCB can shield the components. they have copper and aluminum cores and therefore provide an excellent magnetic shield.

    Does Metal Core PCB Design Need a Heat Sink?

    Yes. Multilayer metal core PCBs come with a heat sink. The heat sinks of multilayer PCBs cool the internal layers. Single-layer metal core PCB does not need a heat sink to disseminate heat.

    Is It Mandatory to Run a Proof Test for Metal Core PCB?

    Yes, it is. You should run a proof test for metal core PCB; otherwise, you can not identify the flaws. Problems arise in the production phase mostly. If you don’t run the proof test, you can end up with a flawed board.

    You can use various testing procedures for detecting the problems. For instance, you can identify most flaws with the help of a visual automated inspection machine.

    In some cases, manual inspections are also very crucial.

    You should perform the tests in every phase of the production. Moreover, you should also test the diodes, capacitors, and resistors.

    How Can PCBMay Help You with Metal Core PCB?

    PCBMay is the leading PCB manufacturer in China. We offer original PCB design, PCB assembly, and PCB fabrication.

    Metalcore PCB is not as straightforward as FR4 PCBs and needs lots of experience for high-quality products. With more than 15 years of experience, we provide metal-core PCBs with the highest standard.

    We use state-of-the-art technology and highly-skilled engineers and workers to manufacture our PCBs. Because of this quality, our PCBs are used in more than 60 countries worldwide.

    We hope after reading this article now you know many things about metal core PCB. Are you planning on a project or want to know more about this topic? We are more than happy to answer any questions. Just send us a message, and we will be in touch immediately.

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