The Properties & Benefits of Working with the Alumina PCB

There are several types of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) out there, thus giving you multiple options to choose from. Ceramic PCBs are one of the most popular types because of the higher thermal conductivity.

Now, the thermal conductivity of the Ceramic PCB is largely attributed to the Alumina PCB, which is one of the major components of the board.

In today’s blog post, we break down the concept of Alumina PCB, the properties, how it works and the advantages of using it for your next project(s).

Aluminum nitride aln CERAMIC 0.635mm
Aluminum nitride aln CERAMIC 0.635mm

What is Alumina PCB?

It is one of the core components and types of the Ceramic Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). An Alumina PCB is also called the AI203 or the Aluminum Oxide circuit board.

It uses three (3) distinct layers to dissipate heat, improve the thermal performance of the circuit board and provide insulation to the board and its components.

Why Alumina PCB Gained Popularity with PCBs

One of the market challenges to designing today’s Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) is the absence of an effective thermal regulator. The introduction of the Alumina PCB came at this time and went on to create a solution for the market need.

For what it is worth, the Alumina PCB provides excellent thermal conductivity, which can be anywhere between 15W/mK and 50W/mK. This, however, falls below the thermal conductivity of the Aluminum Nitride PCB that is between 170 and 320W/mK.

Components of the Alumina PCB

The Alumina PCB uses three (3) different layers, with one common feature among them being the higher thermal conductivity.

Here is a breakdown of the different layers and how they function:

Insulating Layer

This layer is responsible for keeping the components of the targeted applications or devices protected. Owing to the fact that Ceramic PCBs (the primary designation of the Alumina PCB) uses higher thermal conductivity, there is an increased risk of heat dissipation flowing into the board.

Base Layer

This is the primary or major layer protecting the targeted applications or devices manufactured with the Ceramic circuit board.

The work of the base layer includes offering higher thermal conductivity and using either copper or an aluminum metal to form the base of the circuit board.

Circuit Layer

Alumina PCB also uses a circuit layer that uses copper for the base.

One of the major attributes of the Alumina PCB is that they all use between 1 and 20 oz. of thickness.

Properties of the Alumina PCB: What makes it Unique?

Wondering if you should get the Alumina PCB for your next circuit board project? Indeed, you may want to consider it, especially if you are looking to boost the thermal protection of the applications and keeping the board’s performance in top shape.

These are some of the properties making up the Alumina PCB:

1. A Lowered Coefficient

The coefficient of the Alumina PCB is lowered and this helps to balance the expansion of the thermals. Another important fact about the lowered coefficient thermal is that it takes out more stress from the solder joints.

Thus, you can be sure that after the circuit board engineering, the Ceramic PCB wouldn’t give in to the excess weight and heat concentration on the board.

2. Additional Circuit Board Strength

Any device or application manufactured with the Alumina PCB and in extension the Ceramic PCB, tends to last longer. It is for no other reason than the additional circuit board strength derived from the multilayer packages of the board.

For example, the board is protected from excessive heat dissipation and boasts of high density, higher electrical performance and excellent interconnections.

3. Excellent Thermal Conduction

Heat dissipation is one of the major challenges with designing devices with the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). The inputs of the Alumina PCB are greatly felt here, as they help to conduct the thermal or heat dissipation effectively.

First, the board is protected from excessive heating because of the way the Alumina PCB “traps” the heat. In addition to the insulating layer that “insulates” or keeps the board cool, it is evident why the Alumina PCB is a great tool in the hands of a consumer looking to reduce heat on the device.

4. Flexible Interconnections

Connecting one or more components just became easier thanks to the flexible interconnections provided by the Alumina PCB. The high density of the material also helps to provide as many interconnection points as possible.

The Types of Alumina PCBs

Alumina PCB is classified into three (3) major types or properties, with each of them having distinct substrates.

Here they are:

The 96% Alumina PCB Substrate

This is the most commonly-used type of substrate. As the name suggests, it has up to 96% of substrate concentration with the primary use being for the creation of hybrid microelectronic circuits.

The 96% Alumina PCB Substrate also has a standardized thick-film substrate composition and uses the same to sort the different supported applications.

It also the best bet for making hybrid devices, all thanks to the combined features of chemical resilience, great electrical insulation, improved mechanical power and good thermal conductivity.

The 99.5% Alumina PCB Substrate

This is the second on the list and is primarily used for manufacturing smaller-sized circuit board applications. Some of the unique features of the 99.5% Alumina PCB Substrate are:

  • The substrate is readily available in both larger and thicker sizes.
  • It is ideal for maintaining thermal conductivity, consistency of the dielectric and reducing the flexural strength of the board.

The 99.6% Alumina PCB Substrate

Lastly, we have the 99.6% Alumina PCB Substrate. It helps in balancing heat dissipation on the board, keeping up with the applications’ insulation and providing excellent dielectric properties.

The Substrates also offer improved corrosion properties to prevent wear and tear, as well as maintaining a higher mechanical performance via the less than 1u-in surface roughness.

One major attribute of the 99.6% Alumina PCB Substrates is the smaller size grain, which helps to reduce the possibility of having defects on the applications’ surface.

Final Words

Working with the Alumina PCB helps to improve the thermal conductivity of the targeted applications, save costs and reduce chances of having defects.

Why don’t you entrust your next Ceramic PCB project to RayPCB? Contact us today for a quote!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *