Flexible Aluminum PCBs
The development of flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs) enabled people to decrease the size of certain products. However, like traditional rigid circuit boards, flexible PCBs still have limitations. To increase a circuit board’s performance in high-power applications, many engineers rely on flexible aluminum PCBs.
Benefits of Flexible Aluminum PCBs
Like rigid aluminum PCBs, flexible aluminum circuit boards feature three primary layers: conductive circuitry, a flexible dielectric insulator and an aluminum base. The dielectric layer, typically composed of polyimide and ceramic fillers, has a high thermal conductivity, allowing it to pass heat from the circuitry to the aluminum base, where the thermal energy disperses. This unique design gives the flexible aluminum PCB a number of benefits, including that it’s:
- Heat transferring: The dielectric and aluminum layers give these circuit boards increased heat dispersion capabilities. The thermally conductive dielectric layer transfers heat up to 10 times more effectively than standard fiberglass designs, preventing damage from overheating and allowing circuit boards to handle stronger currents.
- Lightweight: Aluminum is a lightweight material, so flexible aluminum PCBs can provide a high performance connection in compact devices without adding impractical bulk.
- Durable: When they’re built with a flexible aluminum alloy, aluminum PCBs provide excellent strength and durability, even when they’re bent.
- Cost-effective: Because aluminum is easily mined and refined, aluminum PCBs offer a cost-effective option for managing heat in high-power circuitry. The flexibility and light weight of these circuits also helps keep overall product costs low.
Because of their excellent thermal conductivity and dispersion, flexible aluminum PCBs prove useful in a variety of high-power applications. With a number of benefits over traditional rigid PCBs, many industries have incorporated flexible aluminum circuit boards into their technology, including:
- Power: Aluminum PCBs manage heat from high-power electrical currents in power supplies, power switch regulators and DC/AC converters.
- Lighting: LED companies use aluminum PCBs in a number of consumer and non-consumer lighting products, including street lighting, landscape lighting, interior lighting and traffic control lighting.
- Automotive: Lights, power controllers and regulators in vehicles all include aluminum PCBs.
- Medical: Medical companies may use flexible aluminum circuit boards in surgical lighting and high-power scanning applications.
Though flexible aluminum PCBs are most often used in high-power applications, these circuit boards could benefit any application that requires thermal conductivity and the ability to fit in compact or irregular spaces. If you’re considering whether an aluminum PCB is right for your product or application, feel free to reach out to the experts at Millennium Circuits Limited. Our technical team has the expertise to help you find the right circuit boards for your needs.
No matter what kind of product you’re designing, you need to find a circuit board supplier capable of providing excellent results. With over 15 years in the industry, MCL has the ability to tackle orders of both small and large volumes. We offer fast turnarounds, with more than 99.6% of boards delivered defect-free. To get started on your project, request a quote from us today.