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Multilayer Metal Core PCB

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Multilayer Metal Core PCB

Multilayer Metal Core PCBs, also referred to as MCPCBs are custom circuit boards that merge the perks of metal core architecture with the benefits of multilayer layout. These boards find usage in scenarios demanding heat dispersion and compact circuit arrangements. This piece will delve into the characteristics, advantages and uses of multilayer metal core PCBs.

Multilayer Metal Core Circuit Board

A multilayer metal core PCB, also known as an MCPCB is a type of printed circuit board that includes a metal core, in its structure. Unlike PCBs that use a conductive substrate like FR4 MCPCBs feature a layer of metal, typically copper or aluminum at their core. This metal core offers benefits, such as improved conductivity and heat dissipation capabilities.

Multi layer MCPCBs consist of layers with two copper conductor layers on each side of the metal core. These layers are linked by a material to create a sandwich configuration. The metal core acts as an insulator effectively dissipating heat produced by the components on the PCB. This is especially advantageous in applications where managing heat’s crucial, such as in high power LED lighting, power electronics and automotive systems.

The number of layers in a multilayer metal core PCB can vary from two to layers depending on the complexity of the circuit design. The extra layers allow for routing and increased design flexibility. Additionally it’s possible to include multilayer stacks, on both sides of the PCB to enhance its functionality.

When it comes to building MCPCBs a pressing process is needed to link the metal core, with the copper conductor layers. This guarantees an trustworthy connection, among the layers. The thickness of the metal core material usually varies from 1mm to 4mm, based on the needs of the application.

In general multilayer metal core PCBs have features, like thermal control abilities, effective heat dispersion and enhanced dependability. They are extensively utilized in sectors where thermal efficiency’s vital, offering a dependable and effective option, for challenging electronic uses.

Benefits Multilayer Metal Core PCB

Multilayer metal core PCBs, known as MCPCBs offer advantages that make them a popular choice, for applications:

1. Effective Heat Management; MCPCBs are highly efficient in dissipating heat due to their metal core, which provides a path for heat to disperse. Unlike FR4 PCBs MCPCBs do not need vias for relief. With the side made of metal they facilitate effective heat transfer away from components generating heat. This feature is especially beneficial in applications where managing heat’s crucial, such as LED lighting systems and power circuits.

2. Enhanced Thermal Conductivity; Compared to FR4 PCBs MCPCBs exhibit higher thermal conductivity. Typically constructed from materials like aluminum with thermal conductivity properties MCPCBs can efficiently move heat away from components to prevent overheating and ensure optimal performance. The dielectric layer in MCPCBs is deliberately kept thin—usually between 0.003 and 0.006 inches—due, to the thermal conductivity of aluminum.

3. Enhanced Power Handling Capability: Due to their superior thermal management capabilities, MCPCBs can handle higher power levels and higher component density. The efficient dissipation of heat helps prevent heat-induced performance degradation or failure of components, allowing MCPCBs to support demanding electrical and electronic applications.

4. Reduced Drilling Requirements: MCPCBs require minimal or no drilling during the manufacturing process. Only a few larger holes are necessary for mounting purposes, simplifying the production process and reducing manufacturing costs.

5. Cost-Effectiveness: MCPCBs are often fabricated using aluminum, which is a cost-effective and readily available material. This makes MCPCBs a more affordable option compared to other high-performance PCB technologies, without compromising on thermal efficiency.

6. Longevity and Reliability: By effectively managing heat dissipation, MCPCBs contribute to improved circuit reliability and the longevity of electronic components. Controlling operating temperatures within acceptable limits helps prevent thermal stress and extends the lifespan of sensitive parts, reducing the likelihood of premature failures.

7.Design Flexibility: MCPCBs offer design flexibility, allowing for the integration of multiple layers and complex circuitry. This enables the creation of compact, space-efficient PCB designs without compromising thermal performance.

Structure & Base Materials for metal core PCB

A metal core PCB is designed with layers each fulfilling a role, in the operation of the circuit board. The key elements found in a metal core PCB include:

1. The metal core, situated in the middle of the PCB is typically crafted from copper or aluminum. This core not lends support to the PCB but also functions, as a heat conductor dispersing the heat produced by the components on the board.

2. The dielectric layer acts as a barrier between the metal core and the conductive layers. Usually composed of a material it also offers electrical insulation. This layer ensures there is no connection, between the metal core and the conductive layers.

3. The conductive layers, usually made of copper are positioned on both sides of the metal core. These layers play a role, in transmitting signals and establishing connections for the PCB components. Traces, pads and vias can be designed on the layers to form the desired circuitry.

4. A solder mask is applied as a coating over the layers to prevent solder bridges and ensure proper component soldering. While typically green the color of the solder mask may vary based on applications.

5. The silkscreen layer is utilized for labeling components indicating part numbers and adding markings to the PCB. It serves as a guide for component placement during assembly processes and aids, in troubleshooting efforts.

As for the base materials used in metal core PCBs, the following options are commonly utilized:

1. Copper is often chosen as the metal core material because of its thermal conductivity and electrical characteristics. It effectively dissipates heat. Is commonly found in high performance settings. Nonetheless copper tends to be pricier, than alternatives.

2.Aluminum on the hand serves as a substitute metal core material with thermal conductivity at a more affordable price point compared to copper. It is frequently utilized in scenarios where cost plays a role like, in consumer electronics and automotive lighting applications.

3. Alloy Substrates: Some metal core PCBs use alloy substrates that combine different metals to achieve specific properties. These alloys may provide a balance between thermal conductivity, cost-effectiveness, and mechanical strength.

The selection of the material relies on a range of factors, such, as the demands of the application thermal regulation necessities and financial constraints. Every material comes with its benefits and drawbacks making it crucial to pick the fit for the particular use case to guarantee top notch functionality and dependability.

How to Build Multilayer Metal core PCB?


Begin by designing the PCB using PCB design software. Determine the number of layers needed, the placement of components, and the routing of traces. Consider thermal management requirements and plan the layer stackup accordingly.

2.Layer Stackup:

Choose the arrangement of layers such, as the count of metal core layers, dielectric layers and conductive layers. Define the thickness and material for each layer.

3.Material Selection:

Consider selecting the right metal core material, like copper or aluminum depending on the conductivity and cost needs, for your use. Opt for a material, with solid thermal conductivity to insulate between layers.

4.Preparing the Metal Core:

Begin by selecting a metal core sheet of the thickness.. Size the metal core to fit the PCB specifications. Make sure the surface of the metal core is spotless and devoid of any impurities.

5.Prepreg and Copper Foil:

Coat both sides of the metal core, with resin coated fiberglass then place a layer of copper foil, on top of the resin. The resin serves as an adhesive to securely attach the copper foil to the metal core.


Combine the metal core, prepreg and copper foil layers in a lamination press. Use heat and pressure to bond the layers creating the structure of the PCB.


Drill holes through the entire stackup where vias and through-hole components will be placed. These holes will later be plated to provide electrical connections between the layers.


Electroplate the drilled holes with a conductive material, such as copper, to create plated-through holes (PTHs). This ensures electrical connectivity between the layers.

9.Circuit Patterning:

Apply a photoresist layer to the outer copper layers. Expose the photoresist to UV light through a photomask to create the desired circuit pattern. Develop and etch the exposed areas, removing the unwanted copper.

10.Solder Mask and Silkscreen:

Apply a solder mask layer over the conductive layers, leaving openings for component pads. Add a silkscreen layer for component labeling and other markings.

11.Surface Finish:

Apply a surface finish, such as HASL (Hot Air Solder Leveling), OSP (Organic Solderability Preservative), or ENIG (Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold), to protect the exposed copper and facilitate soldering.

12.Testing and Inspection:

Perform tests and visual checks to verify that the PCB complies, with the specified standards and quality requirements.

13.Component Assembly:

Finally, assemble the components onto the PCB using surface mount technology (SMT) or through-hole soldering techniques.

Creating a multilayer metal core PCB entails the need, for tools and skills. It is advisable to collaborate with a PCB manufacturer or assembly service provider to guarantee the production of a notch final product.


Multilayer Metal Core PCBs provide a mix of controlling heat and packing circuits making them perfect, for different high power and high temperature uses. Their capacity to effectively release heat. Offer electrical protection suits industries like automotive, LED lighting, power electronics and telecommunications. Thanks, to their performance and dependability multilayer metal core PCBs are changing the electronics sector by supporting the creation of cutting edge and compact gadgets

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