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Metal core pcb

What is Metal Core PCB?

Metal core PCB (MCPCB) also known as a thermal PCB or metal backed PCB, is a PCB with metal material as the substrate. The substrate is for the heat spreader portion of the board.The purpose of the MCPCB core is to transfer heat from critical circuit board components to less critical areas, such as the metal heatsink backing. It is widely used because of its excellent heat dissipation, dimensional stability, high hardness, good signal transmission and ease of processing. JHD is committed to creating high quality and high standard MCPCB at the best cost for customers. The heat dissipation of MCPCB is greater than that of FR-4 PCB or CEM-1 PCB.
Understand other PCB copper clad laminate material characteristics;

High-power LED lighting needs to quickly transfer the heat of the lamp beads to the heat sink through the PCB. Metal core PCB can solve this problem.


JHDPCB can produce all kinds of Metal core PCB, such as:

No matter what kind of metal core PCB you are looking for, JHDPCB can help you in supplying high-quality PCB in any quantity while maintaining extreme quality and on-time delivery.
Check out JHD’s Quality Control Program;                                                     View JHD’s delivery schedule;

Types of Metal Core PCBs.

Metal PCBs can usually be divided into aluminum PCBs, copper PCBs including heavy copper PCBs, and steel or other alloy PCBs according to the material of the substrate. The most common is aluminum PCBs, followed by copper PCBs.
Aluminum PCBs have good thermal and heat dissipation capabilities at a low price. Aluminum PCBs are mainly used for LED lightings, TV backlights, etc.
The performance of copper PCBs is better than that of aluminum PCBs, but the cost is higher. It is mainly used in some sealed environments and products with high heat dissipation requirements, such as car lights, high-power lighting, etc.
Steel-based PCBs are harder than the first two materials, but have lower thermal conductivity. Commonly used in some special open environments and impact-resistant fields. It is rarely used in normal life areas.

The circuit layer of the copper substrate is required to have a large current carrying capacity, so thicker copper foil should be used。JHDPCB can produce up to 10 OZ copper thickness. Learn more about our Heavy copper PCB.

Metal core PCB Features and Advantages.

MCPCB is widely used because of its excellent heat dissipation, dimensional stability, good signal transmission and easy processing. If your product has heat dissipation requirements, the first choice is metal core PCB.

Excellent Heat Dissipation:
Thermal conductivity refers to the thermal performance parameter of a material. Many CEM3 or FR4 PCBs with high power and high density face difficulties in heat dissipation, and metal core PCBs such as aluminum PCBs can solve this problem very well. High thermal conductivity enables metal core PCBs to have excellent interlayer insulation and thermal conductivity. The heat generated by the IC and components will be quickly taken away, which is beneficial to reduce the thermal damage of the components, prolong the service life of the product, and improve the product performance.
The direction of miniaturization, light weight, multi-function and high performance. Therefore, the heat dissipation problem has become an important issue affecting the stability and reliability of electronic products. When customers conduct PCB assembly prototyping and mass production, metal core PCB is an effective solution to the thermal problem in high-density circuits.

Excellent Dimensional Stability:
Aluminum PCBs and copper PCBs have a high CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion). The ability to contract cold and expand thermally is called the coefficient of thermal expansion. Most FR4 PCBs have a low CTE, which means they cannot handle shrinkage and expansion effectively. However, both metal core PCBs can effectively cope with thermal expansion, and the board size does not change much at high temperatures compared to ordinary FR4.

Excellent Signal Transmission:
Good heat dissipation of metal core PCBs makes them less prone to high temperature, which causes less distortion during signal transportation.

The aluminum PCB has excellent thermal conductivity performance, suitable for products with large heat dissipation requirements. JHDPCB can produce aluminum PCB with thermal conductivity up to 10W/m.k.

What is the difference between Mcpcb and FR4 PCB?

Thermal Conductivity: The thermal conductivity of FR-4 PCB is low, generally around 0.3W, while the thermal conductivity of MCPCB is higher, it is between 1.0W/m.k and 10W/m.k, and the most common one is 2.0W/m.k or 3.0W/m.k. JHDPCB can produce 10W/m.k aluminum PCB with cost performance.
Layers: FR-4 PCBs are available in multi layers application, but metal core PCB usually only have 1-2 layers, maximum is 4 layers. Therefore, metal PCB is not suitable for products with complex circuit design.
Plated Through Holes(PTH): Usually, The Through Hole can be drilled directly in FR4 and plated with copper without additional process. It can be use plug in through hole components if required. In metal core PCB, a layer of resin needs to be plated first before plated. All components are surface-mounted.

Comparison of Metal Core PCB and FR4 PCB
Parameters MC PCB Standard FR4 PCB
Thickness Thickness variations are limited. Depends on the available backing plate thickness and dielectric sheet thickness Wide range of thicknesses available
Conductivity Higher thermal conductivity, typical values – 1W/mK to 7W/mK Low thermal conductivity, typical values – 0.3W/mK to 0.4W/mK
Plated through-hole PTH not available in 1-layer PCB. Components are surface-mounted Implements PTH
Thermal relief Metal cores dissipate heat quickly. Eliminates vias for heat transfer Heat transfer rate is lower. Involves vias for heat transfer
Soldermask White color for LED boards. Applied only on the top layer Includes dark colors like green, red, blue, and black
Machining process Involves the same standard process except that the v-scoring process incorporates diamond-coated saw blades for cutting through metal. Standard machining process that includes drilling, routing, v-scoring, countersink, counterbore.
Economy Relatively expensive than FR4 boards Less expensive
Rigidity Ability to handle shock and vibration. 2 to 4 times stiffer than FR4 or polyimide designs. Lesser rigidity compared to metal core

Application of Metal core.

MCPCBs are the most common in LED lighting technology. Some popular applications are:

  • LED – Backlight unit, general lighting
  • Automotive – Motor Control for Electric/Hybrid Vehicles
  • Motor driven
  • Solid state relay
  • Power Equipment – Regulators, Switching Regulators, DC-DC Converters
  • Solar panels, photovoltaic cells
  • Sport control

Metal Core PCB from JHDPCB.

JHDPCB is one of the top five MCPCB manufacturers in China, and we have been committed to providing customers with cost-effective and high-quality metal core PCBs. We have a full set of automated production equipment and precision testing equipment for metal PCB (aluminum-based PCB, copper-based PCB) production. Over the years, we have been focusing on the R&D and manufacturing of metal circuit boards, Years of experience in MCPCB manufacturing. We can be your best source for buying Metal core PCB boards when you need them.

For more of our advantages, please visit Why to JHDPCB. When you need metal core PCB, please let us know. Our customers rely on us to deliver on time. JHDPCB has been dedicated to providing PCB products for various companies in Fortune 500 companies or start-ups.