Aluminum PCB vs FR-4 PCB

What is Aluminum PCB?

Among all Metal core PCBs, Aluminum PCBs is the most common type - the base material consists of aluminum core with standard FR4. It features a thermal clad layer that dissipates heat in a highly efficient manner, while cooling components and increasing the overall performance of the products. Currently, Aluminum Backed PCBs is regarded as the solution to high power and tight tolerance applications.


Price Compares

FR-4 PCB is a very conventional PCB type of electronic industry.
In LED industry Fr4 PCB not use first widely, Aluminum PCB uses more widely.
That is the reason why many people don’t know Aluminum PCB but call it as LED PCB.
Due to thermal management, Aluminum PCB has to consider more heat than conventional PCB design process.
Add the metal material also not so cheap. Resulting in most Aluminum PCB is more expensive than the FR-4 PCB board.


Heat Performance compares

In traditional electronic PCB design theory, electronic transfer is the first, then the layout.
Aluminum PCB design is more than above two points, add consider a PCB heat transfer.
You know in LED lighting applications, heat increase is the biggest problems.
If you choose high performance metal, this situation may change.
By the way, most Aluminum PCB heat performance is better than FR-4 PCB.


The stack up of Aluminum PCB VS.FR-4 PCB

We have compared the price and performance, this part we will discuss about construct or stack up of Aluminum PCB.
Aluminum PCB have three layer stack up.And FR-4 stacks up depend on each application, it can have 1, 2, 3 or even more later.In three layer stack up of Aluminum PCB, the dielectric layer is most different from FR-4 PCB. Aluminum PCB has high heat management most reason is it have dielectric layer.


Application compares

FR-4 PCB application has widely than Aluminum PCB.
But in LED industry, most engineers will choose Aluminum PCB for new projects.
For example, a single layer Aluminum PCB stack up, base is Aluminum core, top is the copper, dielectric layer is in the middle. Aluminum PCB is used instead of traditional FR4 or CEM3 PCB because of the ability to efficiently dissipate heat away from the components. This is achieved by using a Thermally Conductive dielectric Layer.


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