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Metal Core PCB

Metal Core PCB

What is a Metal Core PCB (MCPCB)?
A Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB), or a thermal PCB, is a type of PCB that has a metal material as its base for the heat spreader portion of the board. The purpose of the core of an MCPCB is to redirect heat away from critical board components and to less crucial areas such as the metal heatsink backing or metallic core. Base metals in the MCPCB are used as an alternative to FR4 or CEM3 boards.



Metal Core PCB Materials and Thickness
The metal core of the thermal PCB can be aluminum (aluminum core PCB), copper (copper core PCB or a heavy copper PCB) or a mixture of special alloys. The most common is an aluminum core PCB.


The thickness of metal cores in PCB base plates is typically 30 mil - 125 mil, but thicker and thinner plates are possible.


MCPCB copper foil thickness can be 1 - 10 oz.



 
Advantages of MCPCB
MCPCBs can be advantageous to use for their ability to integrate a dielectric polymer layer with a high thermal conductivity for a lower thermal resistance.


Metal core PCBs transfer heat 8 to 9 times faster than FR4 PCBs. MCPCB laminates dissipate heat, keeping heat generating components cooler which results in increased performance and life.