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When should you use heavy copper PCB?
165 0 Jun 16.2022, 14:08:22

Modern electronics gadgets employ the use of printed circuit boards as the most crucial component that has ensured that they perform effectively. Without the use of them, it is very difficult to achieve a better functioning electronic device. When you have compact and more durable printed circuit boards, you do not make your electronics devices heavy. Have a look at 98% of the hight-current systems available in the market and you will not miss an aspest of PCBs in them. From smartphones and tablets to 3D printing devices, they all have a printed circuit board in place.

The printed circuit boards have traces and vias that make the interconnection of the components successful. Copper is the most employed element that ensures that the interconnection is achieved perfectly. Copper plays a great role in ensuring that the PCB can transfer signals from one component to the other. In this article we are going to have a longer discussion about this copper especially heavy copper soldered PCBs and when they should be used in the fabrication of the printed circuit boards.



What are heavy copper PCBs?

Heavy copper PCBs are PCBs that employ the use of copper conductors of 3 to 10 oz/ft2 outer or inner layers. These types of printed circuit boards are much valued since they have better thermal management abilities. Electroplating more copper on the printed circuit board means a more reliable and efficient distribution of power signals.


What to consider when doing a heavy copper design

When you come across a project that requires heavy copper PCBs, there are several factors that you need to consider in the process. Some of the factors to take into consideration are:

· The process of manufacturing heavy copper printed circuit boards involves several plating and etching techniques. This ensures that copper is plated to the sidewalls and holes. The option of the best and right technique should always be picked after you have analyzed where the PCB should be applied.

· The technical relationship between minimum line width and minimum line spaces should be a consideration for you to be sure to meet the design constraint required in the fabrication of a heavy copper printed circuit board of standard quality.

· There is heat dissipation that is achieved through several mechanisms such as radiation, conduction, convection, and so on. Therefore, extra caution should be considered to make sure that the generated heat is carried away. This is beneficiary to the prevention of component failure. A heat sink could serve better in the protection of the heavy copper PCBs against overheating.

Now let us have a look at when and where you should use the heavy copper printed circuit board. This can be understood by looking at the applications of such boards.

Heavy copper PCB applications

· Planar transformers. These are devices that have exact standards with accurate electrical and thermal characteristics and aspect ratios that find their use in the area of aerospace and military projects. Due to this application, they are required to be built by heavy copper soldering to ensure that they can perform to the required aspect.

· Weapon control systems power supplies. The weapon control systems work in extreme conditions such as high frequencies, high vibrations, and high thermal resistance. The PCBs in these systems will require heavy copper soldering to protect them against wear and tear hence increasing their durability.

· Power grid backup and energy storage.  power grid systems are for power storage and transmission. Where there is power, you will experience high thermal dissipation, vibrations, magnetic forces, and even frequencies that can alter the performance of the system. To ensure that the systems work well, heavy copper PCBs have to be considered.

· Nuclear power applications. Nuclear power plants use a process of nuclear fusion to generate electric power. They make use of the nuclear reactors and the Rankine cycle where heat which is generated by the reactors will convert water into steam energy which will then spin a generator and a turbine. Due to this generation of heat, the systems in the nuclear power applications should have a powerful printed circuit board that will not be affected by the high heat dissipation. Therefore, the best option will be the heavy copper PCBs.

· Line reactor panels. Line reactors are devices made up of electro-magnetic steel core that is wrapped with coils of copper that form a magnetic field where current flows through ending up limiting the rate at which current rise hence creating harmonics reduction and giving protection to an electric device attached to it. The printed circuit boards of such devices would be made up of heavy copper tracks which will allow them to meet this requirement and also give the device a longer shelf life.

· Amplification systems. Amplification systems will need to meet the high-frequency requirements. This can be achieved through making utilization of the heavy copper PCBs.

· hydroelectric plants. Hydroelectric plants are points of electricity generation. This implies that the systems generate a lot of heat and heavy vibrations are involved. To solve such challenges, you need to make use of the heavy copper PCBs.



There is an increased application of the heavy copper PCB in modern industrial scenarios. The PCBs are well known for their good thermal management ability in various areas of applications which makes them common.



Heavy copper PCBs advantages

This type of PCB finds applications in the area that involves high power transmission and this is due to the following advantages:

The heavier the copper base the more reliable the power delivery.

  • They are fitted with heat sinks that allow quick dissipation of the heat that is associated with the heavy copper.

  • The I2R losses are highly reduced in heavy copper printed circuit boards by ensuring that heat is removed from valuable components hence reducing rates of failure.

  • Multiple weight of copper on the same layer gives the system a compact size and shape.



Heavy copper printed circuit board is a very important PCB that has made it possible for the manufacturing of compact electronic devices that are capable of working in extreme conditions such as those involving high-frequency vibrations, noise, thermal generation, and heavy currents or signals transmission. PCBgogo is one of the top companies that would offer you heavy copper PCB manufacturing services at an affordable cost and done by highly skilled and trained engineers. 

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