When it comes to rigid and flexible printed circuit boards, no two designs are the same. The design is created upon receipt of specifications that meet the purpose of the circuit board. The base material in printed circuit boards is usually fiberglass, but for certain products, aluminum based PCBs are highly effective. Aluminum printed circuit boards are a unique metal-based copper clad laminate with good thermal conductivity and electrical insulation. They usually contain copper foil and are divided into three layers:
- Circuit layer — Copper thickness from one to 10 oz.
- Insulation layer — This is a thermal insulating material that has a low thermal resistance.
- Base layer — This is an aluminum or copper metal substrate.
Benefits of Aluminum Based Printed Circuit Boards
- Low cost: Aluminum is a metal that can be found in a variety of climates, so it is easy to mine and refine. Therefore, the costs of doing so are significantly lower than other metals. In turn, this means that manufacturing products with these metals are less expensive as well.
- Environmentally Friendly: Aluminum is non-toxic and recyclable. Manufacturing with aluminum is also conducive to conserving energy due to its ease of assembly. For printed circuit board suppliers, using this metal helps maintain the health of our planet.
- Heat dissipation: High temperatures can cause severe damage to electronics, so it is wise to use a material that can help dissipate heat. Aluminum can actually transfer heat away from vital components, thus minimizing the harmful effect it could have on the circuit board.
- Higher durability: Aluminum provides strength and durability to a product that ceramic or fiberglass bases cannot. Aluminum is a sturdy base material that can reduce accidental breakage during manufacturing, handling, and everyday use.
- Lightweight: For its incredible durability, aluminum is a surprisingly lightweight metal. Aluminum adds strength and resilience without adding on any additional weight.
In 2014, the revenue of circuit board and electronic component manufacturing in the United States ranged at about $44 billion. There are different variations in materials used for constructing printed circuit boards, and each has their unique advantages for specific products. Aluminum based circuit boards are especially ideal for high-powered LEDs.