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Metal Core

Metal Core

Metal core material used in PCBs typically consists of a thin layer of metal bonded to a dielectric layer, which provides electrical insulation between the metal core and the circuit layer. Here are some key aspects of the material itself:


1. Metal Core: The metal core is the foundation of the MCPCB and is chosen for its excellent thermal conductivity. Common metals used include aluminum, copper, and alloys thereof. Aluminum is often preferred for its lightweight nature and cost-effectiveness, while copper offers higher thermal conductivity. Alloyed metals may be utilized to achieve a balance between thermal performance, mechanical strength, and cost.


2. Dielectric Layer: The dielectric layer is sandwiched between the metal core and the circuit layer to provide electrical insulation. It is typically composed of materials with good thermal conductivity and electrical insulation properties. Common dielectric materials used include epoxy resins, polyimides, and thermally conductive prepregs. These materials ensure that the electrical traces on the circuit layer remain isolated from the conductive metal core, preventing short circuits and electrical interference.


3. Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs): In some cases, a thermal interface material may be applied between the metal core and heat-generating components to further enhance thermal conductivity and heat dissipation. TIMs are often in the form of thermally conductive adhesives, greases, or pads, which help fill air gaps and improve the thermal coupling between the components and the metal core.

4. Surface Finish: The metal core may undergo surface treatments or finishes to enhance solderability, corrosion resistance, and overall reliability. Common surface finishes include HASL (Hot Air Solder Leveling), ENIG (Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold), and OSP (Organic Solderability Preservatives).


5. Thickness and Construction: The thickness of the metal core and dielectric layer can vary depending on the specific requirements of the application. Thicker metal cores provide higher thermal conductivity but may increase weight and cost. The construction of the MCPCB, including the number of layers and the arrangement of metal core and dielectric layers, is tailored to achieve the desired thermal performance and electrical characteristics.


Overall, the metal core material in PCBs is engineered to provide optimal thermal management capabilities while maintaining electrical insulation and mechanical integrity. Its composition and construction are carefully selected to meet the demanding requirements of high-power electronic applications across various industries.

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