Quote and Order Your PCB's Online, 24/7
Metal Core PCB Board

Metal Core PCB Board

As the electronic industry grows, LED equipment is also becoming more available. And wherever the LED comes, you will see the metal core printed circuit board as basic material. The metal core printed circuit boards are doing well in the automobile and lighting industries, and you can see the results as well. We are getting more efficient lights in the form of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). By efficiency we mean the product is providing better functionality for the possible longest time as well as the cost is also relatively lower than in the past. Now have a look at the lighting sector and LEDs. They are five times less costly than any other light and also provide the best efficiency. But if we see the core functionality of how LED is working then you will notice that it is heat is made from a very small part of the input of electrical power and other electrical devices are also involved. It may sound difficult to concede all the efficiency and get a hundred percent result as the heat is dissipated and thermal loss is happening.

Moreover, it is also difficult to get complete efficiency from the LED light functionality. To overcome this problem and in order to get the best outcome, a solution was proposed. This solution forced the designer to use metal core printed circuit boards in the design of light-emitting diodes. PCB board have improved the electronic industry by decreasing the loss of thermal power. Moreover, the main role of the metal core printed circuit board is in the thermal sector which we will discuss further. Now let us understand what metal core printed circuit boards are.

What is a metal core PCB?

As a clear form name, a metal core printed circuit board has the metal in its base material, and this base is used when we need to spread heat on the bread. A metal core printed circuit board is also named thermal PCB or metal-backed circuit board because it deals with the thermal power of the circuit board. The metal base material is used to oppose the typical FR4 printed circuit boards. And the metal core helps redirect heat away from the components which maintain the heat and temperature of the board.

The metal core PCB is designed with a particular standard thickness depending upon the need of the circuit board. The metal used to cover the side of the printed circuit board is usually made of copper and aluminum. Moreover, a circuit board may have metal in the reference of the metal core in the back and in the middle of the board. During the operations done in the circuit board, a large amount of heat is built up in the circuit board that needs to resolve in order to save the other fragile components of the board. As mentioned before, the metal core helps the board in maintaining a way that redirects heat away from the components. These components are usually the heat sink backing areas and metalcore areas. CEM3 and FR4 are alternated by the metal core in the metal core printed circuit board (MCPCB). So, we can say that metal core printed circuit boards are designed for thermal management that’s why they are also known as thermally printed circuit boards.

Structure and thickness of metalcore PCB material:

There are different metals available for the metal core choice. Mostly used are copper aluminum and a mixture of some special alloys. But as a matter of fact, aluminum metal core is the widely used metal in thermally printed circuit boards. You may find a request for some other metals such as brass and steel, but these metals are not recommended by experts as they are not the best alternative to copper and aluminum.

The thickness of the metal is kept enough that it can dissipate the heat well. The most common thickness that is recommended for the metal is from 30 mils to 125 mils. The copper metal thickness can range from 1 oz to 10 oz. it needs to be considered that metalcore or metal-backed is the thickest material of the circuit board. It is recommended to use 1mm, 1.5mm, and 3mm metal plates. We know that hardware needs to be mounted on the metal plate. Moreover, the circuit needed to maintain its flat structure and rigidity. That way the metal plate should be thickest enough that it provides the above-mentioned characteristics.

In most cases, aluminum is preferred over other metals because of its special characteristic. As you may already know, surface mount technology is used in aluminum. Aluminum plays well with the heat dissipation in the circuit and deals with it effectively. It is cost-effective and reduces the size of the product which is also a good approach. Aluminum prolongs for a lifetime, and it also helps in reducing the temperature of the operating time and provides the reliability of the product by improving the density power. If circuits need to be mechanically endured that aluminum metal core is a way to go.

Benefits of metal core PCB:

There are several benefits of the metal core printed circuit boards other than better capacitive coupling, higher power density, and higher electromagnetic shielding. This can be further improved by using thermal vias. Following mentioned are additional benefits of the thermally printed circuit boards:
Heat dissipation: the heat dissipation in the metal core pc board is very good. Heat efficiency would be removed from all the integrated circuits in the metal core printed circuit boards.
Thermal dissipation: higher thermal conductivity can only be achieved by the thermally printed circuit board. It keeps the heat away from the circuit as much as possible, so the circuit damage is reduced. High-density circuits are being managed by high powers in the metal core PCB. the aluminum substrate is the best choice used for this purpose.

Strength and stability: better strength and stability can only be achieved by metal core printed circuit boards. Heat dissipation is concerned with the development of LEDs. As the LEDs are directly mounted over the surface of the printed circuit boards that’s why stability and reliability are required by the circuit directly.

Applications of metal core PCB:

Metal core printed circuit boards are designed for applications that needed high functionality in the early 1960s. In the present age, it is the most widely used technology in the printed circuit board industry. The metal core PCB is selected because almost every device needs to reduce the temperature of the operating system. Moreover, thermal conductivity is achieved by the dielectric material used in metal core PC Board Fabrication.

What in the metal core printed circuit board is transferred quickly because of the insulating material and the reduced thickness of the metal plate? It is a great alternative to the FR4 as the thermal value provided by metal core PCB is nearly 2W/MK which is much higher than standard F4 printed circuit boards. As long as the dielectric layer is thin, the results would be the best in the metal core PCB. The path of the heat dissipation can be kept as low as possible which is more conductive if we see it from a thermal point of view as compared to the dielectric. So, there is a vast list of applications in which metal core printed circuit boards are being used. Some of them are mentioned below:
• Automobiles and heavy machinery
• Light-emitting diode (LEDs) and system automotive applications
• Photovoltaic
• Lighting streetlights and in the street safety applications
• Telecommunications
• Power supplies, power converters,
• Industrial and high voltage regulators
• Backlight unit applications
• Hybrid application
• Electric motor control application

As metal core printed circuit boards are providing efficiency and functionality so they’re taking a buzz in the electrical industry. It is being said that metal core PCBs are going to develop much more than at present. Despite their present usage in the market, experts have a common suggestion that metal core printed circuit boards can be a good choice for many other electrical equipment.

PNCONLINE is providing top-notch PCB solutions for your requirements. Just write us at sales@pnconline.com to get your Board design and SMT assembly done.

Written by Sam Sangani

Sam Sangani

Sam Sangani is the President & CEO of PNC Inc., a Nutley, NJ based Printed Circuit Board manufacturer. Sam graduated from L. D. Engineering College with a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also continued his education and graduated from Steven’s Institute of Technology where he acquired a Master’s degree in Computer Science.

After completion of his BS, Sam worked as a QC Manager, for Xerox, Romania and London. He was responsible for the Quality Control of Cable and Wire Harness imports from Romania. After completing his Master’s Degree, he worked as a Senior Programmer with IBM, Tucson, Arizona. Sam was responsible for leading the Mainframe System Programming Team.

In 1997, Sam acquired PNC INC., a Nutley, NJ based PC Board fabrication Shop. From 1997-2013, Sam has made tremendous improvements and changes within PNC INC., as he added many new Products and Technologies in PNC’s portfolio. With his proven track record and leadership, PNC has never had an unprofitable year and has continued its growth yearly since 1997.

His current responsibilities are Strategic Planning, Corporate Management, New Business Ventures, Sales & Marketing, Trade Shows, Professional Services and leading productive teams to achieve peak potential. He has also utilized Lean Management techniques which have built a foundation for PNC’s high-paced growth. Sam also enjoys real-estate investing, web design & SEO, trading stocks, options, futures and Forex markets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Printed Circuit Boards

PNC Inc. offers every solution in the PCB arena. This includes design, fabrication, assembly and a number of value-added services. With these capabilities and our facilities around the country, we are able to provide quick-turn prototypes and large-scale production all under the same roof. We pride ourselves on constant improvement and invest millions each year into making sure we have the latest technology to make our processes as efficient as possible.

Contact Adress

  • Location:
    PNC Inc.
    115 East Centre St.
    Nutley, NJ 07110
  • Phone: (973) 284-1600
  • Email:

Share with us


© 2015 pnconline All right reserved