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Aluminium backed Printed Circuit Boards

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AL-Back PCBs are Aluminium Backed Printed Circuit Boards introduced to meet the growing need for the thermal conduction of heat away from high power dissipating components.

Due to recent developments in LED technology, a range of high intensity surface mount LEDs have enabled designers to use LEDs where once they may have used conventional bulbs or lamps. While the technology continues to expand in its usage, a problem exists with the heat generated by the new components in normal running, especially when grouped closely together. This can cause premature failure of the devices, says the PCB Company .

A solution to this problem is to use AL-Back PCBs. This product is in essence a thin FR4 Printed Circuit Board bonded to an aluminium backplate. The result is a PCB where any excess heat being generated can easily pass through the FR4 of the PCB and then dissipate quickly into the aluminium, thus allowing the PCB to have its own large “heatsink” permanently attached. The use of AL-Back is not limited to PCBs using high power LEDs as it can be of used for any product where heat dissipation is important.

The aluminium backplate can be offered in varying thicknesses and can be folded, machined and/or routed according to specific requirements. Final profiling of AL-Back PCBs is generally achieved by routing, although for larger volumes the circuits can also be stamped/pressed.

The simplest form available of AL-Back PCB is Single Sided Surface Mount. Therefore, this is the most cost effective solution. For more complicated circuits, both double-sided PTH and Multi Layer PCBs can also be manufactured. Access to the bottom layer (bonded to the Aluminium) can be gained via routed openings.

AL-Back is suitable for most applications - automotive, high intensity LED Displays, military/aerospace/medical, power supplies/power control, industrial (high MTBF), mobile high shock applications are just a few examples of its many uses.

AL-Back has many benefits over conventional PCBs:

• Dissipates heat without using additional heatsinks.

• Reduces / eliminates the need for fan forced air cooling.

• Adds mechanical rigidity to product.

• Reduces the effect of thermal stress on all components, increasing life and durability.

• Cooling properties allow devices to be driven harder or de-rated to lower cost components.

• Enables PCB size to be reduced.

• Reduces semiconductor junction operating temperatures.

• Improves product MTBF

• Security - the Aluminium prevents probing to the bottom side of the board.

• Excellent EMI-EMC shielding characteristics.

• Substrate plate can be folded, machined and/or routed, assisting in PCB mounting.

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