Mastering MCPCB Manufacturing: From Design to Assembly in Easy Steps

Metal Core PCB

The rise of processor manufacturing in the market significantly impacted various sectors, such as automobiles and electronics, and they gained popularity as technology advanced into computerized operations that need support and application of circuits and electric equipment. This blog will detail a particular printed circuit board (PCB) and a step-by-step guide from how it’s assembled to its manufacturing point.

What is a Metal Core PCB?

Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) is one of the most essential equipment in the industry of electronics and circuits because of the materials used in forming it. It is often called a metal-backed PCB because its foundation is made of metals like steel alloy, copper, or aluminum. This PCB’s primary purpose is to ensure the proportional spread of the heat in the board, significantly when the heat affects the critical areas inside.

What is a Metal Core PCB

What is Core in PCB manufacturing process?

Metal cores are mostly made of steel alloys, aluminum, and copper, and regarding the price range, aluminum-based MCPCB has lower prices. While copper-based metal core seems more expensive than aluminum-based, it is expected to have better quality in heat transfer, carrying of current and thermal dissipation. On the other hand, the only advantage of steel-based MCPCB among the three is its durability and hardness.

The role of cores is essential since it is the base material of the board and is an adequate cover connected with copper and other electric components. It can be in the interior part or the two sides of the board generating heat from the integrated circuits, then letting them go through dissipation for damage control and dimensional stability.

How is MCPCB Manufactured?

In most devices or equipment highly powered by circuits, the Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) is present because it keeps the electronic components connected and working together. It has features designed explicitly with signal traces imprinted with the copper sheets.

MCPCB Manufactured-1

Here’s a step-by-step processor manufacturing process of MCPCB:

Step 1: Film Generation and Selection of Raw Materials

The first step in MCPCB manufacturing is the foundation of its design through film generation which is the photograph of the design and its features on a file that explicitly represents your next PCB. The next crucial part is choosing the raw materials to use as panels. According to the standard among the different industries, there must a specific set of requirements to meet to achieve the mechanical properties of MCPCB.

Step 2: Holes Drilling and Electroless Copper Plating

Following the generated film from the first step and organizing the materials needed, drilling the MCPCB’s holes should start. Once the holes are ready, copper must be layered and deposited evenly as it will be the connecting component between the electrical features in the PCB.

Step 3: Photo-resist Application

The application starts by ensuring that the panel with the film image covers the overall area. Then, the uncovered part must be exposed to a UV light with a very high intensity, leaving traces on the board. Additionally, this process goes through a chemical development, and the presence of the copper layer is vital.

Step 4: Pattern Plating

This step will need the combination of both chemical and electrical processing to achieve the required copper thickness and create stability of the PCB’s surface. Before pattern plating, there must be a close inspection of the thickness of the copper, especially in its connection with circuits. The next step is putting a layer of tin on the area with the most exposure for its protection in the subsequent procedures.

Step 5: Stripping and Etching

After plating the pattern for the PCB, it’s time to strip the film image from the panel using chemicals, while the copper in exposure must be etched, too. The purpose of the layer of tin applied will now be evident as it will protect the circuits from being removed while the copper goes through etching.

MCPCB Manufactured-2

Step 6: Layering of Solder Mask and PCB Silkscreen

The following procedure will be about coating using a solder mask, and the presence of both the UV light and film image is needed again for the solderable area. This procedure’s purpose is to protect the circuitry against corrosion. The next step is the PBC Legend, simply the printing procedure of the electronic files and valuable information to the panel.

Step 7: Surface Finishing

It’s time for the surface finishing of the panels. Different manufacturers use various materials in this process, but the most commonly used are Tin, Immersion Silver, Gold Plating, or Lead Solder. This is a vital part of the PCB manufacturing process since it gives protection against oxidation.

Step 8: Testing and Inspection

There must be an appropriate testing and in-depth inspection for assurance that it will be functional and ready to get introduced in the market. Additionally, the proper procedures in testing must include electrical testing, reliability checking, and a detailed visual inspection.

Step 9: Component Assembly

In manufacturing MCPCB, the process of assembly must go through the Surface Mount Technology (SMT). It is the procedure wherein it mounts the electric component such as a metal core into the printed circuit board for efficiency and lower manufacturing costs.

MCPCB Assembly and Quality Control

In manufacturing MCPCB, there must be no details set aside, and following the procedures carefully will ensure that stability, reliability, and durability are obtained for excellent performance when applied in different industries. Once the manufacturing process is successfully conducted, the following qualities and factors of metal cores of PCB will make a significant impact:

1.Mechanical Stability

There should be enough resistance to the environment and mechanical stress, significantly when temperature fluctuates and a high rate of vibration. The materials and mounting methods should be applied to the required designs for better performance delivery in various industries to achieve this quality.

2.Thermal Conductivity

It is important for manufacturing MCPCB to achieve the required thermal conductivity of the metal core since it must dissipate the heat from the different components inside the board. Also, it is essential as part of thermal management because some industrial applications will require a specific thermal conductivity level.

3.Reliability

The most essential quality that a metal core must have is reliability because it is a crucial component. Once it has a low level of reliability, it will undoubtedly impact the operation of the devices or applications negatively and cause failure.

MCPCB Assembly and Quality Control

Conclusion

Metal Core PCB plays a significant role in different electronic applications, both industrial and commercial, and its primary purpose is to be part of the circuit board. Since it’s primarily used in the electrical sectors, it is evident that it has the qualities and effectiveness in improving thermal management. Specifically, the metal core PCB works in heat dissipation, and industries in the automotive, power supplies, or lighting sectors take advantage of that quality for their products needing high-power application.

The step-by-step guide of how the MCPCB manufacturing process works showed the detailed procedures needed to achieve the intricate details and designs of the metal core. Therefore, this blog highlighted the helpful information needed about the process and valuable insights about MCPCB.

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