An Introduction to Different Types of Copper Clad PCB Boards

Printed circuit boards are laminated at the end of the PCB assembly to improve their performance and stability in different operating conditions. This lamination is done using various types of materials, including FR-4, high-performance FR-4, high TG epoxy, BT epoxy, Teflon, and copper clad (CCL). Among these, copper-clad PCB boards are gaining immense popularity. A paper-thin layer of copper is clad on both sides of the PCB to improve its stability and reliability. The printed circuit boards that are fabricated with copper Clad Laminate or CCL are generally employed for high-voltage circuits and are heat-resistant, robust, and perform well in various environments. Are you interested to know more about copper-clad PCB boards? If yes, read the post below.
Types of Copper Clad Laminates

There are various types of copper clad laminates used for laminating different types of PCBs. They are differentiated on the basis of different factors. The below section discusses these types based on different factors.

Mechanical Rigidity: Copper-clad laminates are distinguished as rigid and flexible based on their rigidity.

  • Flexible copper Clad: As the name suggests, flexible copper clads are double or single-layer laminates made of polyester film, which has a thin, flexible copper foil conductor adhered to its surface. The flexible copper clad laminates are usually used for flexible PCBs.
  • Rigid Copper Clad: Rigid Copper clads feature rigid cured cores with copper foils adhered to them. This type of cladding is predominantly used for rigid PCBs and can be applied on either single or both sides of a PCB.

Performance: The copper clad laminates can be distinguished into the following types based on their performance.

  • CCL with high heat resistance: This CCL provides excellent dimensional stability to printed circuit boards.
  • CCL with low dielectric constant: Low dielectric constant in copper clad laminates helps minimize the dielectric loss of equipment. CCL with a low dielectric constant is widely used in PCBs for high-frequency applications such as mobile and communication equipment, household appliances, and so on.
  • CCL with the coefficient of thermal expansion. Copper-clad PCB board with CTE (coefficient thermal expansion) is used for ground and power planes.

Reinforcing Material: The copper clad laminates can be distinguished on the basis of the following reinforcing materials:

  • Glass fibers: Different fiberglass like FR 4, FR 5, etc., allow the circuit boards to meet certain requirements, including corrosion resistance, thermal conductivity, dimensional stability, etc.
  • Paper-Based Materials: Paper-based materials like XPC offers high electrical stability and good punching ability to laminates.
  • Compound laminates: As the name suggests, compound reinforcing materials like CEM 1, CEM 3, etc., are used to produce laminates with excellent electrical properties.
  • Special Materials: In addition to the above materials, there are some special materials like ceramic, metal, etc., which are also used as a base to strengthen the copper-clad PCB boards.

Insulation Resin: The following resins possess excellent chemical and corrosion resistance properties and help improve the insulation performance of copper-clad PCBs. The copper-clad PCB boards can be distinguished on the basis of the following resins.

  • Polyester Resin: It is very cost-effective and offers advantages like chemical and water resistance.
  • Phenolic Resin: This resin has beneficial properties like excellent mechanical strength, heat resistance, etc.
  • Epoxy Resin: This resin offers high mechanical properties, low shrinkage, easy processing, high corrosion resistance, and so on.

Copper-clad lamination adds to the quality of a printed circuit board by giving it a robust finish. To augment the benefits of copper-clad PCBs, it’s essential to source them from a trusted manufacturer. Rigiflex Technology specializes in high-quality PCBs and has delivered copper-clad PCBs to its clients across industries. Get in touch with the team today to learn more about copper-clad PCBs and other high performance PCBs offered by them.