Greathome has been developing and manufacturing Metal Core circuit board for more than 10 years, and specializes in manufacturing all kinds of high performance and high thermal conductivity Aluminum base PCB, Copper base PCB, Copper+Aluminum composite PCB, COB mirror aluminum base PCB and other metal core PCBs. Through continuous research and development and innovation of processing technology, we have mature manufacturing experience in Aluminum/Copper based thermoelectric separation structure processing technology and Bendable Aluminum base PCB.

For example:

Bendable Aluminum base PCB,

Ultra-long 1.5 meters Aluminum base PCB,

Ultra-thin 0.3mm Aluminum / Copper base PCB,

Ultra-high thermal conductivity (122W) ALC aluminum base PCB,

Copper base PCB (with thermoelectric separation), etc.

If you are looking for a reliable Metal Core PCB product partner in China, please don’t hesitate to contact us.



Characteristics and Application fields of Metal Core PCB

With the development of electronic products to be light, thin, small, high density and multi-function, the assembly density and integration degree of components on the printed Circuit board are getting higher and higher, and the power consumption is getting higher and higher, so the requirements for heat dissipation of PCB base board are becoming more and more urgent. If the heat dissipation of the PCB base board is not good, it will lead to overheating of components on the printed circuit board, thus reducing the reliability of the whole machine. In this background, high heat dissipation metal core PCB board was born.

Metal Core PCB according to different metal substrate, common metal substrate can be divided into Aluminum base, Copper base, Iron base and stainless steel base, product characteristics are not the same, the application field is different.

See the following table for details:


Product Categories

Main Features

Main application areas

Aluminum base PCB

Good heat dissipation, relatively light weight, low cost

LED lighting, LED LCD TV,  Automotive, Industrial power equipment, Audio equipment, etc

Copper base PCB

Good heat dissipation, good dimensional stability, but high cost, large mass

High frequency circuit, Precision communication equipment, High power LED lighting, Automotive lighting, etc

Iron base PCB

Good magnetic conductivity, but easy oxidation, large mass

Small precision motor, Intelligent driver, etc

Stainless steel base PCB

Acid and alkali resistance, good weather resistance, high strength, but large mass

Marine lighting circuit, other harsh environment, etc



Metal Core PCB means that the core (base) material of the PCB is metal, rather than Ordinary epoxy/Glass/Semi-glass materials such as FR-4/FR-1/ CEM-1 / CEM-3.

The metals most commonly used in Metal Core PCB manufacturing are Aluminum, Copper and Iron, Steel.

Aluminum has good heat transfer and cooling ability, but is relatively cheap. Copper has better performance but is relatively more expensive. Steel can be divided into ordinary steel and stainless steel. It is harder than aluminum and copper and conducts heat nearly as well as them. People will choose their own base/core materials for different applications. Aluminum Base is popular in the LED lighting market due to its cost advantage.


1. Aluminum base PCB

Aluminum base PCB, also known as Aluminum PCB, Metal core PCB, MC PCB, IMS (Insulated Metal Substrate board).

Aluminum base materials are composed of three parts:

1). Circuit layer (Copper layer)

This is printed circuit copper foil layer from 1.0 oz to 8 oz (35um-280um). Min.Trace/space: 5/5mil (0.127/0.127mm).

2). Dielectric Layer (Insulated Layer)

The insulation layer is the core technology of aluminum based PCB, it is generally made of special polymer filled with special ceramics, low thermal resistance, good adhesion performance, thermal aging resistance, can withstand mechanical and thermal stress.

3). Substrate Layer (Metal base layer)

There are 4 aluminum series, 1060, 3003, 5052, 6063 series. Without this requirement, we often use the 5052 series for high thermal conductivity (2.0W /mk or higher).


If the IMS raw material has a good price and delivery time of the material produced in China and Taiwan, China, for example, our commonly used material brands are BOYU, GDM, ShengYi, VENTEC, CSEM, PTTC. There are also many customers who choose high-end brands Bergquist therm-clad and Larid Tlam materials, which can strictly meet customer requirements.

Take BOYU's material specification as an example below:

BOYU,AL-01-B _Datasheet_00

The thickness of copper foil is Hoz-5oz,

The thickness of aluminum base material is 0.20-5.00mm.


General common product standard thickness: 0.80mm, 1.0mm, 1.20mm, 1.60mm, 2.00mm, 3.0mm,

And copper foil: Hoz(17.5um), 1oz(35um), 2oz(70um), 3oz(105um), 4oz(140um), 5oz(175um).

PCB thickness and copper foil thickness can be produced according to customer's requirements.


Conventional PCB surface treatment: OSP, HASL-Lead Free, ENIG (Immersion Gold).

Conventional Soldermask Color: White, Milky white, Black.

Conventional Silkscreen Color: Black, White, Gray.


2. Copper base PCB

With the development of high-power electronic products and high-frequency PCB, the requirements for heat dissipation and volume are becoming higher and higher. Ordinary Aluminum base PCB can no longer meet the requirements. More and more high-power products are using Copper base PCB, and many products have higher and higher processing requirements for copper substrate.

Copper base materials are composed of three parts:

Copper base PCB Is made up of Circuit layer (Copper layer) + Dielectric Layer (Insulated Layer)+ Copper Core (Substrate Layer)




Let's take a look at the figure above, on behalf of ordinary aluminum base PCB or copper base PCB, heat dissipation needs to go through insulating layer and thermal conductivity material (purple part in the figure), processing is more convenient, but after insulating layer and thermal conductivity material, the thermal conductivity is not so good, this kind of suitable for small power LED lamp is enough.

Then if the heat dissipation demand is very large on the car LED lamp or high-frequency PCB, the aluminum substrate and ordinary copper substrate can not meet the demand. It is common to use thermoelectric separation of copper substrate.


What is thermoelectric separation copper substrate?

The circuit part of the copper substrate and the hot layer part are on different circuit layer, and the hot layer part is in direct contact with the heat dissipation part of the lamp (as shown on the right part) to achieve the best heat dissipation (zero thermal resistance) effect.


Advantages of thermoelectric separation Copper base PCB:

  • The copper substrate itself has strong thermal conductivity and good thermal conductivity and heat dissipation.
  • With thermoelectric separation structure: zero thermal resistance contact lamp bead, reduce lamp light weak, maximize prolong lamp bead life;
  • High density, smaller volume under the same power;
  • Suitable for matching single high-power lamp bead, especially COB package, so that the lamp to achieve better effect;
  • According to the different design needs of lamps and lanterns to make different structures, there will be convex mesa shape after processing (copper convex block, copper concave block, parallel heat dissipation, etc.).


3. Iron base PCB / Stainless steel base PCB

Iron based PCB/ Steel based PCB is an iron/steel substrate for PCB materials. substrate metal materials for substrate are FR4 or CEM1 supports made of special steel, silicon steel, etc., which dissipate heat from critical PCB components and into less important areas such as metal core or metal radiator backing.

Except the substrate metal material is different, the other is the same as Aluminum base PCB/ Copper base PCB.


Iron - based copper - clad plate and silicon steel copper - clad plate have excellent electrical properties, magnetic conductivity, pressure resistance and high strength. It is mainly used for brushless DC motor, recorder, spindle motor and intelligent driver of all - in - one machine. But the magnetic properties of silicon steel copper-clad plate are better than those of iron base copper-clad plate. Copper base copper clad plate has the basic performance of aluminum base copper clad plate, its heat dissipation is better than aluminum base copper clad plate, the substrate can carry large current, used to manufacture power electronics and automotive electronics and other high-power circuit PCB, but the density of copper base plate, high value, easy oxidation, so that its application is limited, the consumption is far lower than aluminum base copper clad plate.

金属芯PCB材料 包括铝PCB 铜基PCB 铁基PCB

Metal Core PCB Manufacturing process:

(Copper base PCB and Iron Base PCB/Stainless steel base PCB are the same as Aluminum base PCB, The following is for your reference.)



The Main Characteristics of Metal Core PCB:

1. Excellent heat dissipation performance

Metal base copper clad material has excellent heat dissipation performance, which is the most prominent feature of this kind of PCB. The PCB made with it can prevent the working temperature of the components loaded in the PCB and the substrate from rising, and can also rapidly dissipate the heat generated by the components of power amplifier, high-power components, and large circuit power switch.

In different types of metal substrate, the metal substrate with copper as the base material heat dissipation is the best, but if the same volume ratio of copper base and aluminum base is used, the price of copper is high, the density is large, and it is not suitable for the development of substrate material to lightweight, so it is not widely used. Copper base are only used in small quantities when manufacturing high heat dissipation metal substrates. Aluminum base has better heat dissipation than iron base.

2. Good Mechanical processing performance

Metal base copper clad material have high mechanical strength and toughness, which are much better than rigid resin coppers and ceramic substrates. Therefore, large-area printed boards can be manufactured on Metal base copper clad material. Heavier components can be installed on such substrates. In addition, the Metal base copper clad material also has good flatness, can be hammered on the substrate, riveting and other aspects of assembly processing. On the PCB made of it, the non-wiring part can also be bent, twisted and other aspects of mechanical processing.

3. Excellent dimensional stability

The thermal expansion (dimensional stability) problem exists for all kinds of copper clad materials, especially the thermal expansion in the thickness direction (Z axis), which affects the quality of metallized holes and circuits. And iron base, aluminum base linear expansion coefficient is much smaller than the general resin substrate, more close to the copper linear expansion coefficient, which is conducive to ensure the quality and reliability of printed circuit.

4. Electromagnetic shielding

In order to ensure the performance of electronic circuit, some components in electronic products must prevent the radiation and interference of electromagnetic wave, metal core substrate can act as a shielding plate to shield electromagnetic wave.

5. Magnetic properties

The substrate material of iron base copper clad material is the alloy with magnetic iron elements (such as silicon steel material, low carbon steel material, galvanized cold rolled steel material, etc.). It is used in tape recorder (VTR), floppy disk driver (FDD), servo motor and other small precision motor. The metal base PCB acts as both PCB and small motor stator substrate.


Application of Metal base PCB

1. Iron base PCB and silicon steel base PCB have excellent electrical properties, magnetic conductivity and pressure resistance, and high strength. It is mainly used for brushless DC motor, recorder, all-in-one machine, spindle motor and intelligent driver, etc.

2. Aluminum base PCB has excellent electrical performance, heat dissipation, electromagnetic shielding, high pressure resistance and bending performance, mainly used in automobiles, motorcycles, computers, home appliances, communication electronics and power electronics products. Aluminum base PCB has the largest market consumption.

3. Copper base PCB has the basic performance of Aluminum base PCB, its heat dissipation is better than Aluminum base PCB, the core substrate can carry large current, used to manufacture power electronics and automotive electronics and other high-power circuit PCB, but the density of copper base PCB, high value, easy oxidation, so that its application is limited, the consumption is far lower than aluminum base PCB.