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What is Metal Core PCB and types of Metal Core PCB?

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What is MetalCorePCB


Mentioning metal in printed circuit boards is understandable, but for those unfamiliar, the misconception that the entire board is metal is clearly mistaken.  In modern electronics, the most widely used is the FR4 PCB, a glass fiber-reinforced epoxy resin composite, with metal representing the copper on the surface and within. So, what is a metal PCB?

 

 

Definition of Metal PCB
PCB is typically named based on its features, and Metal PCB is named so because it uses metals like aluminum, copper, or other metallic substrates.
Therefore, it is also known as Metal Backed PCB, Metal Core PCB (MCPCB), or Metal Base PCB.    Among these terms, Metal Core PCB is the most commonly used.Due to the challenges associated with multi-layering metal materials, most Metal Core PCB have a three-layer structure: a metal core, a dielectric layer, and a copper foil layer.

 

 

Metal Core PCB has garnered widespread attention due to its robust thermal management capabilities.  In comparison to traditional FR-4 or polyimide PCB, metal materials excel in both thermal conductivity and heat dissipation. This makes it the preferred choice for high-power and high-temperature applications.  It can effectively handle the heat generated by components on the PCB or from the surrounding environment, ensuring efficient heat dissipation without compromising functionality. The most common types of Metal Core PCB are Aluminum PCB and Copper PCB, with Aluminum being more cost-effective and Copper exhibiting excellent thermal conductivity.

 

Types of Metal Core PCB


Single Layer MCPCB
It has only one copper layer on a single side, separated by a dielectric layer.   This type of MCPCB is commonly used in LED lights, where the aluminum on the other side of the PCB serves as a heatsink.

 


Double Layer MCPCB
It comprises a metal core on one side of the PCB and two copper layers separated by dielectric layers on the other side.   The metal core is positioned at the bottom of the layer stack.

 


Double-sided MCPCB
In contrast to the double layer MCPCB, the two copper layers of the double-sided MCPCB are positioned on opposite sides of the metal core.   The metal core is situated in the middle of the layer stack, separated from the two copper layers by dielectric material.

 

Multi-layer MCPCB
This type features multiple copper layers, each separated by a thermally conductive dielectric material.   At the bottom of the layer structure lies the metal core.   Components can only be placed on one side of the PCB, namely the top side.   However, even top metal-core PCB manufacturers encounter challenges in constructing additional layers due to the inherently difficult-to-process nature of metal materials.

 


Copper-Backed MCPCB
PCBmanufacturer China talk this type of PCB incorporates a thin copper layer into its layer stack, serving as a conductive layer for thermal dissipation or grounding purposes.

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