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What Should We Consider When Designing A High Power PCB?
Saturday, June 1st, 2024

With the continuous growth of new energy demand and the transformation of energy structure, the market size of high-power technology continues to expand. The high power pcb includes heavy copper pcb, bus bar pcb. As an important part of the battery module in the energy storage system, the high power PCB plays a key role in the safety and performance of the entire system. This article explores key considerations when designing high power PCBs, providing insights to help you optimize your designs for demanding applications.

How Important is Thermal Management in High Power PCB Design?

Thermal management is crucial in high power PCB design to prevent overheating and ensure reliable operation. High power components generate significant heat, which can damage the PCB and reduce its lifespan if not managed effectively. Here are some key strategies:

  1. Use thicker copper layers to improve thermal conductivity as much as possible. For example, a 2 oz/ft² copper layer can carry approximately 10 amps of current.
  2. Thermal Vias are important elements in the complex designs, they serve as the heat dissipation paths to conduct heat away from high power components.
  3. Select appropriate heat sinks based on the power dissipation requirements. For instance, a heat sink with a thermal resistance of 1°C/W can handle 50W of power dissipation with a 50°C temperature rise.
high power bus bar pcb

How to Optimize Power Distribution in High Power PCBs?

Normally, high power PCBs are featuring in thick copper thickness, wider trace space and distance, less or no BGA or fine pitch components. And because of the operation of high current, the circuit board is more likely to have the problem of heating, so the high-power PCB always do some heat treatment to avoid overheating, such as design dissipation via holes or adding some heat sinks. Anyway, effective power distribution is essential to ensure stable operation and prevent voltage drops in high power PCBs. Here we summarize some tips to optimize the power distribution when designing a high-power PCB.

High-Performance Materials

Choose materials suitable for high current applications like FR-4, metal substrates, or composite materials. These materials have lower resistance, higher thermal conductivity, and better mechanical strength to handle high currents and heat concentration.

Current Distribution Balance

Implement balanced current distribution by adding current balancers, balancing resistors, or current balance layers. This reduces the resistance and hot spots, enhancing reliability and stability.

Avoid Cross-Talk Between Power and Signal Traces

Keep high current paths separate from digital signal paths to minimize interference. This reduces electromagnetic interference (EMI) and improves overall performance.

Solid Copper Pour for High Current Paths

Use solid copper pours for high current paths. This increases current-carrying capacity, improves heat dissipation, and minimizes voltage drops.

Thermal Management for Power Paths

Use large copper areas, vias, and exposed copper to enhance heat dissipation. Proper thermal management prevents component and product damage due to overheating.

EMC Radiation Control

Use wider trace widths, larger hole diameters, and increased spacing to manage EMC radiation. Keep high current paths short and place them away from sensitive components.

Why is Copper Thickness Critical in High Power PCB Design?

Copper thickness plays a vital role in determining the current-carrying capacity and thermal performance of high power PCBs. Here are some data points:

Standard Thickness: For high power applications, copper thickness typically ranges from 2 oz/ft² to 6 oz/ft².

Current Capacity: A 2 oz/ft² copper layer can handle approximately 10 amps, while a 6 oz/ft² layer can carry up to 30 amps.

Thermal Performance: Thicker copper layers improve heat dissipation, reducing the risk of overheating.

How Does PCB Layout Affect Signal Integrity in High Power Designs?

PCB layout is a critical factor that influences signal integrity and overall performance in high power designs. Consider these points:

Trace Length: Minimize the length of high-speed signal traces to reduce signal loss.

Consistent Trace Widths: Maintain consistent trace widths to ensure uniform current distribution.

Separation of Power and Ground Planes: Reduces noise and crosstalk.

Differential Pairs: Use differential pairs for high-speed signals to enhance signal integrity.

Adequate Spacing: Ensure adequate spacing between traces to prevent interference.

high power pcb

Designing a high power PCB requires a comprehensive understanding of various factors, including thermal management, material selection, power distribution, copper thickness, and PCB layout. By addressing these considerations, you can optimize your PCB designs for high power applications, ensuring reliability and performance. At Best Technology, we specialize in high power PCB solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. Our expertise and commitment to quality make us the ideal partner for your high power PCB projects. Choose Best Technology for unparalleled performance and reliability in your PCB designs.

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What is Bus Bar PCBs in the Electronics Landscape?
Friday, September 22nd, 2023

Bus Bar PCBs are a specialized type of printed circuit board (PCB) that stand out from traditional PCBs due to their integrated conductive bus bars. These bus bars are typically made of copper or aluminum and are positioned on the surface or within the PCB. They serve the purpose of connecting electronic components, devices, or connectors and transmitting electrical currents.

Key Characteristics:

Outstanding Heat Dissipation:

Bus Bar PCBs are renowned for their exceptional heat dissipation capabilities. The integrated conductive bus bars efficiently conduct and dissipate the heat generated within the circuit, making them an ideal choice for high-power applications. Whether it’s in industrial electronics, electric vehicles, or solar inverters, this characteristic ensures that electronic components stay cool, enhancing overall system reliability.

Compact Space Utilization:

Space is often a precious resource in electronic devices. Bus Bar PCBs optimize space utilization through their integrated conductive bus bars. Unlike traditional wiring systems that can be space-consuming, Bus Bar PCBs save space, reducing the overall footprint of electronic systems.

Enhanced Electrical Performance:

The integration of conductive bus bars reduces the overall resistance and inductance of the circuit, resulting in improved electrical performance. Lower resistance translates to reduced power loss, while decreased inductance facilitates faster signal propagation. This, in turn, leads to higher efficiency and improved signal integrity.

Conclusion:

Bus Bar PCBs represent a force of innovation in the field of electronics, with their exceptional heat dissipation, space-saving design, and enhanced electrical performance making them highly favored across a multitude of applications. As technology continues to advance, Bus Bar PCBs are expected to play an increasingly pivotal role in the design and manufacturing of electronic systems.

If you have any interest in Bus Bar PCBs or any related requirements, please feel free to contact us. We have been in the field of heavy copper PCB manufacturing and bus bar PCB manufacturing more than 17 years. We are committed to providing you with outstanding products and services. Let’s explore the limitless possibilities of Bus Bar PCBs together, bringing innovation and success to your projects!

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Heavy Copper PCB for Industrial Power Supply
Saturday, July 29th, 2023

All of us know the printed circuit board, but do you know what is the heavy copper PCB? Best Tech is a very experienced heavy copper PCB fabricator since year 2006. Heavy Copper PCB is a type of printed circuit board that features with thicker copper layers than standard FR4 PCBs. While conventional PCBs typically have copper thicknesses ranging from 1 to 3 ounces (per square foot), heavy copper PCBs have copper thicknesses exceeding 3 ounces and can go up to 20 or more ounces. These copper layers are typically found in the inner and outer layers of the PCB, heavy copper providing enhanced current-carrying capacity and improved heat dissipation capabilities.

The increased copper thickness in heavy copper PCBs allows them to handle higher currents without experiencing excessive heat buildup or voltage drops. This makes them well-suited for applications that require high power handling, such as industrial power supplies, power converters, motor drives, and automotive electronics. Heavy copper PCBs are designed to withstand harsh operating conditions and provide robust performance and reliability.

Today, we would like to talk about the heavy copper PCB used in Industrial Power Supply. In this blog post, we will explore the realm of Industrial Power Supply, delving into the design considerations, material selection, production challenges, exceptional heat dissipation, and unrivaled conductivity of Heavy Copper PCBs. Join us on this enthralling journey as we uncover the secrets behind their application in Industrial Power Supply scenarios, including the testing of inductance, capacitance, and resistance. Get ready to witness the power of Heavy Copper PCBs in the realm of Industrial Power Supply!

Firstly, before you are moving start for the design, it need to get to understand the Design guideline rules of heavy copper PCB.

From the guidelines of heavy copper PCB, it could get to know it encompass considerations such as trace width, trace spacing, and thermal relief patterns. The increased copper thickness necessitates wider traces to accommodate higher currents, while proper spacing is crucial to avoid thermal hotspots and ensure reliable operation. Additionally, selecting suitable materials with excellent mechanical strength and thermal properties is vital to ensure the robustness and longevity of Heavy Copper PCBs. Hope this will bring some ideas to you during your design.

Secondly, as a heavy cooper PCB manufacturing vendor, Best Tech would like to advise the Production Challenges for the heavy copper PCB.

During producing Heavy Copper PCBs presents manufacturers with a set of intricate challenges. Achieving uniform copper thickness across the board’s surface demands advanced plating techniques and precise control over process parameters. Careful attention must be given to the etching process to prevent over-etching, which can compromise the integrity of the copper layers. Moreover, the additional weight of copper requires a sturdy substrate to support the board’s structure. Manufacturers must navigate these challenges with expertise and precision to deliver high-quality Heavy Copper PCBs.

You may have a question in mind, why we need to use the heavy copper PCB for the Industrial Power Supply, because the heavy copper PCB have Exceptional Heat Dissipation and Conductivity: One of the standout features of Heavy Copper PCBs is their unrivaled heat dissipation capabilities. The increased copper thickness acts as a robust conductor, efficiently channeling heat away from power components. This exceptional heat dissipation prevents thermal stress and ensures the longevity and reliability of Industrial Power Supply systems. Additionally, the high conductivity of Heavy Copper PCBs enables efficient power transmission, reducing losses and improving overall system efficiency.

Furthermore, Heavy Copper PCBs undergo rigorous testing to ensure optimal performance in Industrial Power Supply applications. Inductance testing verifies the effectiveness of copper layers in reducing magnetic interference. Capacitance testing evaluates the ability of the PCB to store electrical energy, while resistance testing determines the conductivity and resistance of copper traces. These tests play a crucial role in validating the quality and performance of Heavy Copper PCBs in demanding power supply scenarios.

Heavy Copper PCBs find widespread applications in the field of Industrial Power Supply, particularly in the production of robust and efficient power control products. They are integral components in industrial power converters, motor drives, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and various automation systems. The exceptional heat dissipation and high current-carrying capacity of Heavy Copper PCBs make them ideal for handling the power demands of these applications, ensuring reliable and efficient power delivery.

Finally, in the world of Industrial Power Supply, Heavy Copper PCBs emerge as true powerhouses, combining meticulous design, advanced manufacturing processes, and exceptional heat dissipation capabilities. By adhering to design guidelines, overcoming production challenges, and conducting thorough testing, Heavy Copper PCBs prove their mettle in demanding power supply scenarios. As they continue to evolve, these powerhouses will shape the future of Industrial Power Supply, empowering systems with reliability, efficiency, and unrivaled performance. Prepare to witness the electrifying impact of Heavy Copper PCBs in the realm of Industrial Power Supply!

If you have more question heavy copper PCB for Industrial Power Supply, warmly welcomed to contact Best Tech for more get more information of heavy copper PCB which used in Industrial Power Supply. You can visit www.bestpcbs.com to know more about us.

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Key Challenges in Solder Mask Printing for Heavy Copper PCBs
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

As the demand for higher power and miniaturization of electronics increases, so does the need for Heavy Copper Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). From our last blog – Why choose Heavy Copper PCB for your High Current Project, we know the heavy copper PCBs are defined as those with copper thicknesses greater than 3 oz. These PCBs are designed to withstand high current and thermal loads, making them suitable for power electronics applications. However, the increased copper thickness also poses challenges during the solder mask printing process.

(16_layers_heavy_copper_PCB_with_10oz_each_layer)

Understanding solder mask

Solder mask (short for S/M in the industry) is a protective coating applied to PCBs to prevent solder bridges and improve solder joint quality. The solder mask is coated to the PCB surface using a screen-printing process, where the desired pattern is created using a stencil and the solder mask ink is then deposited onto the PCB. The ink is then cured, either through heat baking or UV light, to form a solid coating.

There are several types of solder mask materials available, including epoxy, acrylic, and liquid photo imageable (LPI) solder mask. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the application requirements.

The benefits of using solder mask in PCB manufacturing include increased reliability, improved solderability, and reduced risk of short circuits and corrosion. The solder mask we usually use is Taiyo, which has high reliability and excellent heat resistance.

(Solder_mask_manually_printing)

Challenges in solder mask printing of heavy copper PCBs

While solder mask printing is a critical step in PCB manufacturing, the increased copper thickness in heavy copper PCBs presents several challenges for printing process as I mentioned before. It’s difficult to apply enough solder mask to cover thick copper pattern and base material with severe height difference.

1. The high copper thickness and thermal conductivity of heavy copper PCBs make it difficult for the solder mask ink to adhere properly to the surface. This can result in insufficient coverage and registration accuracy, which can affect the overall quality and reliability of the PCB.

2. The high copper thickness can cause stress on the solder mask, leading to mask cracking and peeling. The navigation mark on the substrate has specific ink thickness requirements due to limitations in the ink thickness that can be applied to the substrate. If the ink thickness on the substrate is too thick, it may result in solder resist cracks in the substrate position after the printed circuit board is soldered. This can occur during reflow soldering or thermal cycling, resulting in poor solder joint quality and reduced reliability.

3. The thick solder mask is also more difficult to exposure and develop. If the exposure energy is too weak or not enough, then some undercut problem may happen.

How to overcome this challenge?

To address these challenges, it is essential to choose the right solder mask materials and optimize the application process.

  • Choosing the right solder mask materials is crucial for ensuring proper adhesion and coverage on heavy copper PCBs. LPI solder mask is often preferred for heavy copper PCBs due to its excellent adhesion and thermal stability. However, epoxy and acrylic solder mask materials can also be used with proper surface preparation.
  • Optimizing the solder mask application process can also help address the challenges of heavy copper PCBs. This can include using a thinner stencil for improved registration accuracy and applying multiple coats of solder mask for better coverage. Advanced solder mask technology, such as laser direct imaging (LDI), can also help improve registration accuracy and reduce the risk of mask cracking and peeling.
  • Optimizing the printing process, now in Best Technology, we always make the substrate first, fill the substrate with the solder mask and then treat it as a normal PCB for normal printing solder mask.
(Solder_mask_printing)

If you are in the process of designing a complex multi-layer heavy copper PCB and are looking for a high-quality and experienced manufacturer, feel free to reach out to us at sales@bestpcbs.com, Best Technology can support you by OEM and ODM service to ensure your design is cost-effective and can be easily manufactured.

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Why choose Heavy Copper PCB for your High Current Project?
Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

In the world of electronics, printed circuit boards (PCBs) play a vital role in connecting and powering various components. They are the backbone of every electronic device, from smartphones to industrial machinery. When it comes to designing a PCB for a project, the thickness of the copper layer is an important consideration. Heavy Copper PCB, also known as Thick Copper PCB, has become increasingly popular in charging automotives due to their unique features and benefits. In this article, we will discuss why consider heavy copper PCBs for your high current project.

What a Heavy Copper PCB is?

A heavy copper PCB is a circuit board with an unusually thick copper layer, usually exceeding 3 ounces per square foot (oz/ft²). By comparison, standard PCBs typically have a copper layer thickness of 1 oz/ft². Heavy copper PCBs are used in applications where high current is needed, or the board needs to withstand mechanical and thermal stress.

(Heavy_copper_PCB)

Benefits of Heavy Copper PCBs

  • High Current Capacity

The thicker copper layer in a heavy copper PCB allows for a higher current capacity. This makes it ideal for high-power applications such as power supplies, motor controllers, and industrial equipment. Heavy copper PCBs can carry up to 20 amps or more, compared to the standard 5-10 amps of a regular PCB.

  • Thermal Management

Heavy copper PCBs are known for their excellent thermal management capabilities. The thicker copper layer allows for better heat dissipation, reducing the risk of overheating and component failure. So that they can generate a lot of heat for the end-application.

  • Durability

Heavy copper PCBs are more robust and durable than standard PCBs. The thicker copper layer provides better mechanical support, making them resistant to damage from vibration, shock, and bending. This makes them suitable for harsh environments and industrial applications.

  • Increased Flexibility

Heavy copper PCBs offer increased design flexibility compared to standard PCBs. The thicker copper layer allows for more complex and compact designs, reducing the overall size of the board. This makes them ideal for applications where space is limited, that means you can make a very heavy copper while the size is very small.

  • Better Signal Integrity

The thicker copper layer in heavy copper PCBs provides better signal integrity. This reduces the risk of signal loss and interference, resulting in more reliable and efficient circuit performance.

Copper thickness design for a Heavy Copper PCB?

Due to the thickness of copper in heavy copper PCB is thick then normal FR4 PCB, then it is easily to be warped if the copper thickness is not match each other in symmetrical layers. For example, if you are designing an 8 layers heavy copper PCB, then the copper thickness in each layer should follow L8=L1, L7=L2, L6=L3, L5=L4 standard.

Additionally, the relationship between minimum line space and minimum line width also should be considered, follow the design rule will help to smooth production and shorten the lead time. Below are the design rules between them, LS refers to line space and LW refers to line width.

(Heavy_copper_design_rule)

Drill hole rules for heavy copper board

A plated through hole (PTH) in printed circuit board is to connect top and bottom side to make them electricity. And when the PCB design has multi copper layers, the parameters of holes must be considered carefully, especially hole diameters.

In Best Technology, the minimum PTH diameter should be >=0.3mm while the copper ring annular should be 0.15mm at least. For wall copper thickness of PTH, 20um-25um as default, and maximum 2-5OZ (50-100um).

(16L_heavy_copper_PCB_with_35um_copper_in_via_holes)

Basic parameters of Heavy Copper PCB

Here are some basic parameters of heavy copper PCB, hope this can help you to understand Best Technology’s capability better.

  • Base material: FR4
  • Copper thickness: 4 OZ~30 OZ
  • Extreme Heavy Copper: 20~200 OZ
  • Outline: Routing, punching, V-Cut
  • Solder mask: White/Black/Blue/Green/Red Oil (Solder mask printing is not easy in heavy copper PCB.)
  • Surface finishing: Immersion Gold, HASL, OSP
  • Max Panel size: 580*480mm (22.8″*18.9″)

Applications of Heavy Copper PCBs

Heavy copper PCBs are used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Power supplies
  • Motor controllers
  • Industrial machinery
  • Automotive electronics
  • Aerospace and defense systems
  • Solar inverters
  • LED lighting
(Heavy_copper_PCB_for_high_power_supply)

Choosing the right PCB thickness is crucial for the success of any project. Heavy copper PCBs offer unique features and benefits that make them ideal for high-power and high-temperature applications. If you want to ensure the reliability and performance of your project, consider using heavy copper PCBs. Best Technology has more than 16 years manufacturing experience in heavy copper PCBs, so we are so confident that we can be your most reliable supplier in China. Welcome to contact us at any time for any questions or any queries about PCBs.

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How to choose the thickness of copper on PCB
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

As a general rule, this thickness of copper foil for single-sided PCB and double-sided PCB is approx.35um(1.4mil). There is also another specification, which is 50um and 70um. The surface thickness of multilayers PCB is 35um(1oz(1.4mil)) generally, and the inner layer has a thickness of 17.5um(0.7mil). 70% of PCB uses the copper foil thickness of 35um. This is based on PCB purpose and signal voltage as well as current. In addition, for PCB requiring large current, copper thickness of 70um or 105um will be used, and 140um is also used in some cases.

heavy copper pcb
heavy copper pcb

People often use OZ to represent copper thickness. 1OZ stands for the thickness of 1OZ copper covered on the area of 1 square feet evenly. I.e. approx. 1.4mil. The weight of unit area is used for representing the average thickness of copper foil. I.e. 1oz=28.35g/ FT2(FT2 stands for square feet, 1 square feet=0.09290304 square meter).

For heavy copper PCB, if the substrate has a thickness of 1 to 3mm, then the thickness of composite copper foil will be approx.35um. If the substrate has a thickness of less than 1mm, then the thickness of composite copper foil will be 18um. If the substrate has a thickness of above 5mm, then the thickness of composite copper foil will be 55um.

heavy copper pcb
heavy copper pcb

The thickness of copper foil(wiring width) will influence current. Even though there is a formula to directly calculate the largest current loading capability of copper foil, things will get more complex when designing wiring. In this case, safety should be fully taken into consideration during design.

Copper foil will have different thickness, if there are different purposes. General 0.5OZ, 1OZ and 2OZ copper foil are most widely used for consumption and communication products. The thickness of copper foil above 3OZ belongs to heavy copper products, which are widely used for products with large current, such as high pressure products, and power supply board.                                               

This is all about how to choose proper copper thickness during your project. Hope this is helpful to you. If you are still confused, please contact Best Technology. We have online customer services for 24 hours.

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