4 Major Types of Aluminum PCBs

Aluminum Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are among the most widely and commonly used circuit boards. These PCBs use standard FR-4 as insulating component and aluminum core as their base material. One of the most beneficial properties of aluminum PCBs is that they consist of a thermal clad layer, which helps in heat dissipation. This helps cool down the components that are mounted on the board, thus enhancing the overall product performance. There are different types or configurations of these PCBs. What are these configurations? What are the benefits of Aluminum PCBs? To know, read on the following post.

Different Types of Aluminum PCBs

Following are the different types of aluminum circuit boards:

  • Through-hole Aluminum PCBs: In the process of manufacturing through-hole aluminum PCBs, aluminum is pre-drilled, and the drilled hole is back-filled with dielectric material. The aluminum is then sent for the lamination process, where thermal bonding materials are used to laminate both the sides of the aluminum. After this process, the aluminum PCB assembly is through-drilled, just like a multilayer PCB. For providing electrical insulation, these plated through-holes are made to pass through clearances in the metal.
  • Flexible Aluminum PCBs: Nowadays, flexible PCBs are being used widely, and are considered as the latest development in the IMS (Insulated Metal Substrates) materials. These PCBs are known to provide excellent electrical insulation, thermal conductivity, and exceptional flexibility. Hence, the name. Flexible aluminum PCBs are capable of bending, and ensure better stability. These PCBs are not recommended for applications that require frequent bending.
  • Multilayer Aluminum PCBs: As the name suggests, these types of aluminum printed circuit boards are made from multiple layers of dielectrics, which are thermally conductive. Multilayer aluminum PCBs exhibit excellent heat dissipation properties in complex designs.
  • Hybrid Aluminum PCBs: Hybrid aluminum circuit boards are made by thermally fusing the processed non-thermal material to the aluminum base material. Generally, a two or four layered FR-4 board is used. Thermal dielectrics are used to fuse this layer with aluminum base. This results in heat dissipation, and increased rigidity, which acts as a heat shield.

Benefits of Using Aluminum PCBs

There are a number of benefits of using aluminum PCBs, some of which are as given below:

  • Better Heat Transfer: Aluminum PCBs transfer heat away from the important parts, thus reducing the damages.
  • Lightweight: Aluminum is lightweight, which helps add strength to the PCB, without an extra weight.
  • Environment-friendly: It is a recyclable and non-toxic metal, and causes no harm to the environment.
  • Highly Durable: In comparison with base materials such as fiberglass and ceramic, Aluminum is much more durable and stronger.
  • Cost-Effective: Aluminum is a cost-effective alternative to heat sinks, and has less manufacturing costs.

All these benefits make aluminum PCBs popular in a number of applications. To know more about these circuit boards, you can reach out to industry experts like Rigiflex, who have a wide experience in designing and manufacturing aluminum PCBs.