What is the Difference between Flexible PCB Manufacturer and Aluminum PCB Manufacturer?
The evolution of technology has allowed the PCB manufacturers to come up with a wide variety of Printed Circuit boards. They have altered the standard PCB into finer and better circuits in order to meet the needs of today’s consumer. Instead of relying on just the orthodox PCB, we now come across manufacturers that excel in designing a single or all types of PCBs. For instance, we have Flexible PCB Manufacturer or Aluminum PCB Manufacturer, or simple standard PCB manufacturers.
The different types of PCBs tend to serve different purposes. Some of them might be effective for consumer products, whereas others might be useful for automotive solutions. No matter what type of PCB, we have invented today, their sole purpose is to aid the electronics and allow them to perform in a more efficient and effective manner.
The variation of PCB is not limited to only these two types. However, the focus of our article will be solely on Aluminum PCB and Flexible PCB. We will be covering the following in the first part of the article.
- What is Flexible PCB?
- Manufacturing Process of Flexible PCB
- Advantages of Flexible PCB
- Applications of Flexible PCB
Likewise, in the second part, we will talk about Aluminum PCB.
- What is Aluminum PCB?
- Manufacturing Process of Aluminum PCB
- Advantages of Aluminum PCB
- Applications of Aluminum PCB
The Basics about Flexible PCB Manufacturer & Aluminum PCB Manufacturer
Understanding of the standard circuit board is important to comprehend the concept of Flexible and Aluminum PCBs.
Printed Circuit Boards or better known as PCB is an electrical circuit whose conductors and components are put together within a mechanical structure. Conductive Planes, heat sinks, pads, and copper traces are conductive features. The mechanical structure includes the insulating material laminated between layers of conductive material.
To create a robust and strong PCB, layers of nonconductive insulating material alternates with conductive copper layers. For the circuit board connection, PCB manufacturer etches the copper layers in order to leave traces of copper.
For more detail on the basics of PCB, you can read our systematic guide on the Printed Circuit Board.
What is Flexible PCB?
As the name suggests, Flexible PCB allows circuitry customization. Unlike Standard circuit boards, where you need to design the machine according to the PCB requirements, with Flex PCBs, you can now develop circuitry in accord with the needs of the product or the electronic device.
A malleable base material highlights the flex circuit board’s component arrangement and a distinct patterned print characterizes the entire board. Flexible PCB can be either single-sided or double-sided. Which one is better, solely depends on your requirement.
Manufacturing Process of Flexible PCB
Flexible PCB has the ability to satisfy the needs of contemporary electronics as it is lightweight, has an agile structure and offers good quality. Flexible PCB can extend to three dimensional, thus it offers freedom of mechanical structure design and circuit design.
Some Flexible PCB Manufacturers even offer the facility of Flexible PCB Prototype manufacturing.
A well-designed pre-treatment process prevents low yield caused by defects in the production process including short circuits or open circuits. It can enhance the coarse problems such as cutting, rolling, and drilling to reduce feeding frequency.
Single-Sided Flexible PCB Manufacturing Process
The first step is cutting the PCB, after that all the required drilling takes place. Next, is the step for drying film lamination and positioning and exposure? Then, the PCB manufacturer works on the Development and etching of Flex PCB.
Removal of Dry Film comes next, then surface finish, CoverLay Lamination, Lamination and curing of the circuit takes place. After these important steps come, the surface finishing and the impression Gold. Then the Silkscreen is applied, and scoring or V-cutting happens. Since the circuit is almost ready, electrical tests start along with punching and FQC. Finally, after ensuring `everything is complete, the packaging comes into action. Lastly, the PCB is shipped to its destination.
Double-Sided Flexible PCB Manufacturing Process
There is a small difference when it comes to double-sided Flexible Printed Circuit Board manufacturing process.
Like single-sided, double-sided Flex PCB manufacturing process also starts with cutting and drilling. After that, the PTH step takes place, along with the electroless plating. Then it is pretreating, Dry Film Lamination, and Position.
Then comes the exposure step followed by developing and pattern plating. Manufacturers meticulously remove dry film and do the pre-treatment again. They head towards dry film lamination, position, and exposure and then they enter the developing phase.
After developing, come etching and again they remove the dry film. Now, the surface finish and coverlay lamination come into action. Lamination, curing and immersion gold are the next steps in line. Then they use the silkscreen, scoring or v-cutting. Before the punching, comes electrical test and then FQC. Finally, the packing and shipping take place.
Advantages of Flexible PCB
There are several advantages offered by the Flexible PCB. However, to ensure that you can fully enjoy these benefits, a Flexible PCB Manufacturer should pay close heed to the production process. They should meet the highest standards of manufacturing.
Flex PCBs are a great space saver. They utilize about 10% of the weight and space in comparison to the standard circuit board assembly. Their small size and lightweight offers numerous packing and installation options. In addition, they offer tighter bend capabilities.
You do not need a lot of interconnects for a flexible printed circuit board. A fewer interconnects leads to fewer connection, contact crimps and solder joints. Flexible PCBs manufacturer knows that a flex PCB offers enhanced reliability as it has a less potential source for failure.
One of the major benefits of Flexible PCB is its ability to work with virtually any type of component or conductor. It even works with Zip connectors. In addition, their performance remains top-notch even under extreme temperatures. They are also super resistant to chemicals and radiation.
Since PCBs are of robust, lightweight and of small size, thus they reduce material and packaging demands and they are in less need of regular repairs.
Applications of Flexible PCBs
Flexible PCB is a smart piece of technology. Its usefulness is endless and it can enhance the performance of several devices and consumer products. Flexible PCB Manufacturers believe that Flex PCBs are ideal for a wide range of applications across different industries.
They believe that Flexible PCBs can do wonders in the military. The evolution of technology in the military requires smart circuiting. Likewise, they can be effective in consumer electronics especially with the upcoming trend of shrinking everything.
You will see Flex PCBs in aerospace communication and industry as well as the automotive industry. Usage and applications are endless.
There are several different types of metal Printed circuit boards out there, and Aluminum PCBs are among the most famous ones. Since Aluminum PCBs are a part of a good number of modern applications, thus we see a wide range of Aluminum PCB Manufacturers. Several affordable and cheap PCB manufacturers are also among the biggest Aluminum PCB exporters including KingPCBs.
What is Aluminum PCB?
Aluminum PCBs are excellent thermal conductors mainly because they feature metal based-copper clad laminates. These Printed Circuit Boards are famous for being outstanding electrical insulators as well.
The base material of the Aluminum PCB consists of aluminum. The circuit tends to dissipate heat in an effective manner due to its thermal clad layer. In addition, the clay layer is also useful for cooling components and increasing the overall performance of the electronics and other products.
Manufacturing Process of Aluminum PCB
The manufacturing of Aluminum PCB is different from the standard Printed Circuit boards. It is said to a daunting task, manufacturers consider among the most challenging undertakings. The main difference between the standard PCB and the Aluminum PCB manufacturing process lies between the chemical milling steps.
The Aluminum PCB Manufacturers add a fragile layer of dielectric between the circuit layer and the base layer. The reason for adding this layer is to increase the electrical insulation capability and thermal conductivity.
The next step is achieving the pattern. In order to achieve the pattern, you need to etch the copper foil, right after adding the dielectric layer. The thin dielectric layer along with a good metal base layer removes any heat that might exist in the circuit.
The three main production processes including copper etching, solder mask printing and mechanical manufacturing of the circuit require expertise and exposure. They need to be completed to perfection in order to create a robust, reliable and long-lasting circuit.
Advantages of Aluminum PCB
Aluminum PCB Manufacturers firmly believe that they have several advantages in comparison to Flexible PCB manufactures as well as standard PCB manufacturers. Below are the reasons that support their claim.
Aluminum is a cheap metal in comparison to wrought iron, brass, copper, and stain less steal. In addition, it is extremely easy to mine and refine Aluminum, thus reducing its cost even further. So, the price of products incorporating Aluminum PCBs is less in comparison to products using other types of PCBs.
The good news is that Aluminum is recyclable. Something, all modern industries are looking for. They want alternatives to toxic materials, and aluminum is exactly what they want. No matter, if you are an Aluminum PCB Manufacturer or an end-user, Aluminum PCB brings about a healthy planet.
Most electronic components bear the brunt of high temperatures. They face massive damage due to high temperatures; however, the Aluminum act has an excellent head transmitter and conductor. The metal transfers the heat from critical areas to reduce the damage to the printed circuit board. These PCBs are famous because of their effective thermal conductivity.
Lightweight and Robust
The metal is famous for its durability. It acts as a strong core in comparison to ceramic, and fiberglass. It is also useful for daily use as it is sturdy and minimizes accidental breakage.
In addition to being outstanding heat conductors, they also possess outstanding heat radiation capability. So, electronics that require a high level of heat radiation, always opt for aluminum printed circuit boards.
Application of Aluminum PCBs
Aluminum PCBs are among the world-leading circuit boards. They are widely used across the globe. You will see them incorporated in several applications and they are the developer’s first choice when it comes to high-heat dissipation.
If your application requires outstanding heat conductor and high thermal heat dissipation, we firmly believe that Aluminum PCB should be your first choice. Initially, the idea behind these PCBs was to switch supply components that were in need of extremely high power. However, later, their usefulness came to the surface and they gained rapid popularity.
You can see them in LED applications including general lighting, traffic lights, and even automotive lighting. The Aluminum PCBs are popular among high current circuitry, motor controllers, automotive applications and high power supplies.
You might also find them in a scanner that requires high power, signal beacons, tail light assemblies, surgical lighting equipment, automotive dashboards, and power converters.
Which Type of Conductive layer is preferred?
Choosing the right board substrate is imperative, however, it requires indebt research and analysis. You need to pay close heed to all the factors that will help you decide the right substrate for your board. You need to consider both Flexible as well as Aluminum PCB manufacturer to find the right answer.
In general, if your applications require high heat dissipation, it is recommended that you opt for the Aluminum Core PCBs. Their properties allow for higher density designs and high power in comparison to several other PCBs.
However, in case, you are running short on budget, you should opt for boards with a non-metal substrate such as a flex circuit with a polymer substrate. Likewise, Flex circuits are a favorite of engineers developing industrial and manufacturing applications. Their size and durable allows them to be incorporated into modern equipment. In addition, they have the ability to withstand UV exposure, radiation, and chemicals.
Why choose us as your Aluminum or Flexible PCB Manufacturer?
There are several PCB manufacturing companies out there. So, why should you choose us? The answer is simple, we have years of experience to back up our claims. You will not find a Aluminum or Flexible PCB Manufacturer company that can match our skills and expertise.
In addition, to be an epitome in the field of PCB manufacturing, we are also among the biggest Aluminum PCB exporters. We have clients around the world who can vouch for our authenticity, effectiveness, and reliability.
This means that our products are of the highest quality possible. Our latest and advanced manufacturing equipment allows us to design and develop PCBs that are up to date and robust. We provide services that meet our client’s needs at an individual level.
Our years of experience, allow us to provide support for all product design and manufacturing processes. We are responsive and flexible, thus we promise on-time delivery within the desired time frame and budget. We can assure you that we will provide top-notch quality without any delay.
Our instant online quoting system will get you get the right price efficiently. We understand that there is a lot of competition out there; therefore, we offer the most competitive prices. To ensure we have the lowest price, we keep a close check on all the important aspects including marketing, sales etc.
So, feel free to contact us. We will save your time and energy and provide you with the best guideline on how to go about purchasing your PCBs. We ensure that we will offer timely deliver anywhere you want.