What is Thick / Heavy Copper PCB
Thick/Heavy copper PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) are specialized circuit boards designed to handle high current and provide enhanced durability for various electronic applications. They are also known as thick copper PCBs, and they have thicker copper traces or layers compared to standard PCBs. Here are some key points to understand about heavy copper PCBs:
- Thicker Copper Layers: Heavy copper PCBs have copper layers that are significantly thicker than regular PCBs. While standard PCBs typically have copper layers in the range of 1 to 3 ounces per square foot (oz/ft^2), heavy copper PCBs can have copper layers ranging from 4 oz/ft^2 to 20 oz/ft^2 or even more. The increased thickness of copper allows these boards to handle higher current loads without overheating.
- High Current Capacity: The primary advantage of heavy copper PCBs is their ability to carry high currents without causing excessive heat buildup. This makes them suitable for power electronics and applications where large amounts of electricity need to flow through the circuit traces without the risk of copper trace damage or melting.
- Durability: The thicker copper layers not only enhance current-carrying capacity but also provide better mechanical strength to the PCB. This added durability is essential for applications where the board may experience mechanical stress or environmental factors, such as vibrations, thermal cycling, or exposure to harsh chemicals.
- Heat Dissipation: The increased copper thickness helps dissipate heat generated by high-current components more effectively. This can reduce the need for additional heat sinks or cooling mechanisms in the design, making heavy copper PCBs suitable for compact and space-constrained electronic systems.
- Cost Considerations: Heavy copper PCBs are more expensive to manufacture than standard PCBs due to the additional copper material and specialized manufacturing processes required. The cost can vary depending on factors such as copper thickness, board size, and the complexity of the design.
- Applications: Heavy copper PCBs find applications in various industries, including power electronics, automotive, aerospace, industrial equipment, and renewable energy systems. They are commonly used in power supplies, motor controllers, battery management systems, and any devices or systems that require high current handling.
- Design Considerations: Designing heavy copper PCBs requires careful consideration of factors such as trace width, spacing, and thermal management to ensure that the board can effectively handle the expected current loads while maintaining reliability.
In summary, heavy copper PCBs are specialized circuit boards designed to handle high current and provide enhanced durability. They are commonly used in applications where power and reliability are critical, making them a valuable choice in various industries. However, their increased cost and design complexity should be taken into account when selecting them for a particular project.
Design and production difficulties of Thick / Heavy Copper PCB
Our thickest copper PCB can make 12 ounces. However, considering the side eclipse factor, copper thickness of more than 3 ounces should pay special attention to the line width of the inner layer.
Inner 3 oz copper PCB: line width 6/7 mil outer 3 ounces: line width 8/12 mil
Inner layer 4 oz copper PCB: line width line spacing 8/11 mil outer layer 3 ounces: line width line spacing 9/15 mil
Inner 5 oz copper PCB: line width 10/16 mil outer 3 ounces: line width 11/16 mil
Inner 6 oz copper PCB: line width line spacing 12/18 mil outer layer 3 ounces: line width line spacing 14/18 mil