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Metal PCB's

Metal PCB's are printed circuit boards used for the dissipation of heat away from components or operating areas on the Printed Circuit Board. The Metal PCB conducts heat to less critical areas such as the metallic core and metal heat sink backing. They are constructed of a metal base (generally aluminum), non-conducting layers, conducting circuit layers, and solder mask.

Benefits of Metal PCB's

The advantages of Metal PCB's include the ability to facilitate an increase in power density while managing thermal profiles of critical components. This improves reliability, durability and extends service life.
Metal PCB's incorporate an engineered selection of dielectrics to meet specific insulation or thermal design criteria. They also have the ability to be drilled, shaped and formed, in contrast to ceramic products. Since the thermal management benefits of Metal PCB's enable the use of higher voltages, alternate electronic components can be selected with more cost-effective performance attributes.
Other advantages of the thermal management properties of Metal PCB's include: greater thermal durability, accommodation of higher circuit density and increased power density. These features combine to extend the system's operating life.

Applications of Metal PCB's

Metal PCB's are often recommended for high power LED lighting solution applications. In projects that involve LED illumination of a specified area or room, Metal PCB's are ideal to manage elevated temperatures around the LED's and maintain their operating efficiency.
Most surface mount LED's now contain a dedicated slug as part of the LED casing. The slug's role is to dissipate thermal energy (heat) away from the LED. The PCB must be capable of accommodating this heat transfer; Metal PCB's are designed to assist, thereby preventing both degradation of luminous output and efficiency loss.
Metal PCB's also allow greatly reduced thermal resistance to ambient air in the environment surrounding the LED junction.