27 Nov Why Is Copper Used In Printed Circuit Boards?
Printed Circuit Boards or PCBs are the most popular elements used in electronic devices, without which electronics can’t even function. These PCBs have thus become a very integral part of electronic devices. They are compact and durable to reduce the size of the device, without compromising on the transfer of signals throughout the equipment.
PCBs are increasingly being used in high current power devices with electrically conductive networks of high current density. For this reason, there is one particular characteristic that is seen in every PCB assembly from India, and that is the usage of copper. A PCB is made up of several layers like the substrate, traces, soldermask, and silkscreen; but the most important element used is copper. While we know that without PCBs, electronics won’t work, and that copper can transfer signals well, the question that arises here is “Why only copper, and nothing else?” If you have this question running through your brain too, let us help clear this doubt of yours. In this blog we will tell you what makes copper such a popular choice in the PCB industry.
- Copper is an excellent electric and thermal conductor, thus improving heat transfer along and across the PCB, which reduces the damaging stress caused by uneven heating of the PCB. The stress otherwise may result in micro-fracturing of the PCB, and thus device failure. Moreover, due to its exceptional electric conductivity, it can easily transmit signals without losing electricity along its way.
- Since copper is a great conductor, manufacturers of PCB assembly from India don’t need to use tons of copper. A very small amount of the material used can get the job done. Generally, only an ounce of copper can be converted into 35 micrometers, about 1.4 thousands of an inch thick, which can cover an entire square foot of the PCB substrate!
- In addition, the unparalleled thermal resistance of copper and its current carrying capacity used in the PCB results in increased reliability of the electronic devices that need to be operated in even the harshest of environments like extreme high temperatures. This also increased the mechanical resistance of the contact points and plated through holes.
- The efficient heat transfer capability of copper permits installing classic heat sinks directly on the surface. Or, PCBs are built with one side of heat generating power components, and the other side covered completely with a layer of copper, acting as a heat sink. In both situations, the device assembly is reduced, which in turn reduces the manufacturing costs significantly.
With all the above benefits, there seems to be no reason why copper shouldn’t be used in PCBs. It becomes very clear why copper is the most popular choice amongst PCB manufacturers. Miracle Aerospace is one such manufacturer of PCB assembly from India who delivers end-to-end build to print services of μBGA and Surface Mount PCB assemblies. Also, here production processes are enhanced, and costs lowered by identifying alternative parts or production methods for the benefit of the clients.
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