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Heavy-Copper-PCB--What-Makes-It-The-Most-Heavy-Duty-Circuit

Copper-based circuit boards are said to be the most durable. Why? Well, you can find the answer here!

Copper is the most common material used in circuit boards because it’s both affordable and durable. However, what if the copper content of a PCB exceeds the standard percentage of copper on one?

In this article, we’ll be explaining heavy copper PCB and its effectiveness as a heavy-duty circuit, Also, we will explain how they are used to build some of the most reliable electronics where electricity flux is high.

Table of Contents

What is heavy copper PCB?

What-is-heavy-copper-PCB

We know PCBs are made of non-substrate and copper material where copper works by conducting electricity through the circuit. In thick or heavy copper PCB, a higher concentration of copper (not like copper-clad where layers of copper are used) is used, which makes it an ideal PCB type to use in heavy electrical devices.

Usually, the standard PCB has a copper thickness of around 1-1.4 ounces/square foot, which is enough to supply the current efficiently from circuit to standard applications (not heavy-duty). Whereas, in copper thickness of a heavy copper PCB the copper percentage is 3 ounces or more per square foot which is known as extreme copper, making it used in many different high-electricity supply applications to prevent damage to electric appliances from sudden electricity collapse that’s usually a thing with thin film PCBs.

A brief look at heavy copper PCB characteristic

A-brief-look-at-heavy-copper-PCB-characteristic

Some prominent characteristics of heavy copper PCB that make it different from other PCBs include:

  • Long-term toughness: Higher copper content provides added strength and support to the circuit board and makes it exceptional for heavy tasks.
  • Heat dissipation: The high level of copper in a heavy copper PCB can help dissipate heat, making them suitable for use in high-temperature environments.
  • Increased current-carrying capacity: Making it suitable for use in high-power applications.
  • Improved signal integrity: Help improve signal integrity by reducing crosstalk and other forms of interference.

PCBs with heavy copper have several advantages

PCBs-with-heavy-copper-have-several-advantages

  • A more conductive and current-carrying PCB than other types.
  • Can be used in applications that require a lot of stress on the circuit board.
  • Resistant to electrical corrosion and oxidation, which means that it won’t corrode or oxidize as easily as other types of PCBs do over time
  • Better thermal conductivity, which means the heat will move through it faster and keep your device cool during use

Applications of heavy copper PCB

It has been observed that compact design, rich copper content, and seamless characteristics make heavy copper PCB used in heavy-duty applications, including:

  1. For rail traction systems, the goal is to provide a stable supply of power for the train motors and increase train speed.
  2. In solar power converters to handle high current loads and provide a stable power supply to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and improve reliability.
  3. In nuclear power industries to reduce costs, improve safety, and increase safety standards.
  4. In automotive industries to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs by reducing friction between parts that come into contact during normal operation such as wheels and tires.

Differences between copper PCB and heavy copper PCB

Differences-between-copper-PCB-and-heavy-copper-PCB

You don’t need to confuse copper PCB with heavy copper PCB, as both of them are different in many aspects, like:

List of features

Copper PCB

Heavy copper PCB

Layer of copper foil

Thinner layer of copper foil

Thicker layer of copper foil

Copper percentage

1 oz or 1.4 oz per square foot

3 oz or more per square foot

Usage in applications

Used in a wide range of applications in which flux of electricity is not a concern

Used in applications that require higher power handling or higher current density

Efficiency

Can be efficient for most standard applications

More efficient in high-current or high-power applications

Cost

Less expensive than heavy copper

More expensive due to heavy copper used

What is the relationship among current and copper thickness and line width?

To understand this relationship, let’s first understand what is copper thickness and line width.
  • Copper thickness represents the copper proportion used.
  • Line width is the distance between lines on a printout.
What is the relationship? Copper thickness and line width have a relationship because they affect how much current flows through a wire, affecting how quickly heat can be transferred to ink or toner particles in a printer head. The thicker the copper layer on top of another layer of copper, the higher its resistance to current flow. This means that current will move in a controlled manner as it flows across this layer, which reduces sudden electric shocks and ultimately damage to appliances.

4 steps manufacturing process of heavy copper PCB

  1. Design and layout: This includes determining the size and shape of the PCB, as well as the placement of components and trace patterns.
  2. Photolithography: It involves exposing the film to light and then developing it, creating a negative image of the PCB layout.
  3. Etching: Copper is applied to the PCB substrate, followed by selective removal of copper using a film.
  4. Plating: It is for the thickness of copper and involves electroless plating, electroplating, or a combination of both.

PCBs made of heavy copper: Important Considerations!

A manufacturer’s quality is the most important consideration when making copper PCBs.

It’s important that you find a manufacturer with a good reputation for quality and customer service, as well as the ability to meet your needs. It is essential considering that they are capable of producing large quantities of copper PCBs at a reasonable cost for you.

you asked we answer
  • Long-term toughness: Higher copper content provides added strength and support to the circuit board and makes it exceptional for heavy tasks.
  • Heat dissipation: The high level of copper in a heavy copper PCB can help dissipate heat, making them suitable for use in high-temperature environments.
  • Increased current-carrying capacity: Making it suitable for use in high-power applications.
  • Improved signal integrity: Help improve signal integrity by reducing crosstalk and other forms of interference.

Copper thickness and line width have a relationship because they affect how much current flows through a wire, affecting how quickly heat can be transferred to ink or toner particles in a printer head.

Yes, it is possible to make a heavy copper PCB with two layers. In fact, it is possible to make this with any number of layers as far as the proper design is made accurately.

In general, it is safe to use a heavy copper PCB in an electronics project as long as the PCB is designed and manufactured correctly and the PCB is used within its specified operating parameters.

Final words

If you’ve been searching for a reliable heavy copper PCB manufacturer, we suggest checking out IBE for all types of PCB manufacturing, specifically if you aim to design efficient circuits for use in heavy-duty applications. This China-based company is in business since 2005 and based on experience, can provide best out of best!

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