Heavy Copper PCBs are printed circuit boards featuring copper conductors 3 oz/ft2 – 10 oz/ft2 in inner or outer layers. These printed circuit boards are valued immensely, due to their thermal management capabilities. When heavier copper is electroplated to the PCB, it ensures high reliability and efficient power distribution. This post discusses heavy copper PCBs in detail.
Factors to Consider While Designing Heavy Copper PCBs
Various factors need to be kept in mind while designing heavy copper PCB’s. Some of the factors are discussed below.
- Heavy copper PCBs are manufactured using variety of etching and plating techniques. This helps ensure even copper thickness to the plated holes, and sidewalls. The choice of the right technique should be made after analyzing future application of the circuit.
- Heat is dissipated through various mechanisms – radiation, convection, conduction. Therefore, extra care should be taken to carry away heat generated. This will help reduce failure of components. Heavy Copper conductors must be fitted with a heat sink to dispense all the heat generated.
- The relationship between Minimum Line Spaces (Min LS) and Minimum Line Width should be taken into consideration in order to meet the design constraint of the standard heavy copper PCB.
Advantages of Heavy Copper PCB
Heavy copper PCBs are normally used in high power transmission applications due to several advantages they offer. Let us look at few of them.
- Heavy base copper allows delivery of consistent and reliable power.
- The external heat sink fitted inside the panel of heavy copper PCB allows the dissipation of heat carried by the copper plate of about 120 oz.
- The I2R losses are reduced in heavy copper PCB’s by taking heat away from valuable components, therefore reducing failure rates.
- Multiple copper weights on the same layer of circuit gives the product a compact shape and size.
- High-current circuits and control circuits are integrated on a single PCB, thus offering increased current carrying capacity, and higher tolerance to thermal strains
Applications of Heavy Copper PCB
The following are a few important industrial applications that are driven by heavy copper PCBs.
- Power supplies for weapons control systems.
- Planar transformers
- Energy storage and power grid back up
- Nuclear power applications
- Line reactors panels
- Hydro-electric plants
- Amplification systems.
There is a growing demand for heavy copper PCB in many industries. These PCBs are known for excellent thermal management in various applications which makes them popular. If you wish to incorporate heavy copper PCBs in your electronic circuits, you should source it from a reliable source like Rigiflex. The company has been associated with heavy copper PCB design and manufacturing, since last many years. To know more about Rigiflex heavy copper PCBs, please click here.