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Aluminium Based Copper Clad PCBs

What are Aluminium based copper clad PCBs?

This type of PCB is also called aluminum base, aluminium PCBs, aluminum clad or backed, insulated metal substrate (IMS), metal clad (MCPCB), or thermally conductive PCBs.

For a typical metal based single sided PCB, the base laminate is made up of copper foil bonded to a thin, thermally conductive insulating dielectric which is in turn bonded to a thick metal base, usually aluminium. The copper layer is processed in the normal way to create the tracking layer, and the profile is machined to the required shape and size. The aluminium substrate must be protected from the etching chemicals during the manufacturing process.

The material is particularly suited for population with surface mounted devices. Though hole components are not appropriate because the metal base material is not an insulator. We offer single sided metal clad PCBs as standard.

Why use Aluminium based copper clad PCBs?

  • Greatly improved heat dissipation without using external heat-sinks
  • Very mechanically rigid base laminate
  • Dramatically reduce thermal stress on components, improving reliability and MTBF
  • Relatively low cost
  • Improved heat transfer allows thinner base copper and thinner tracking for high current designs as compared with standard FR4 laminate PCB construction
  • Better thermal management permits closer component mounting and smaller PCBs, yielding overall cost savings




Limitations in the PCB manufacturing process 

Aluminium based PCBs are best suited to single sided PCBs because of the impracticality of manufacturing plated through holes through the metal base material. For more information or advice, get in touch with our experts. Call us on 01635 40347.

Typical Applications Include:


Aircraft landing lights
Cabin mood lighting systems
Camping gear
Automotive dashboards
Display boards
High power flash lights
Signal beacons
Power converters
Power supplies
Power transmission systems
Power distribution products
High power scanning technology
Ignition systems
Interior lighting
Landscape lighting
Medical operating theatre lighting
Room lighting
Automotive running lights
Spotlights and general lighting
Street lighting
Traffic control lighting
Tail light assemblies


Stock aluminium based copper clad laminate

There is a wide variety of this type of laminate available. To allow us to offer fast turnaround deliveries, we hold stocks of the type listed below:

Aluminium thickness: 1.5mm
FR4 dielectric thickness: 100 micron
Copper thickness: 35 micron
Overall thickness: 1.635mm
Thickness tolerance: +/- 10%
Sides of copper: single
Thermal conductivity: 2.0W/mK
Flammability rating: 94V0
UL file number: E206580



Our standard finish is white solder resist, black legend and immersion silver. Other finishes are available.

PCB Train

Single sided aluminium based copper clad PCBs are now available to be quoted and ordered online from our PCB Train service.  These are manufactured to a standard specification at very reasonable prices.

Call us to discuss your project...

Jacqui Giles

Sales / Quotations

01635 403479

Zandra Forder

Production & Quality Manager

01635 40347

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