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Heavy Copper PCB

Heavy copper printed circuit boards are in high demand and are widely used in various electronic industries. The PCBs have become one of the hottest PCBs with a good development prospect in the PCB industry.

What is Heavy Copper PCB?

Heavy copper PCB has another name, thick copper PCB, containing more than 3 ounces (oz) of copper on the inner or out layers of printed circuit boards. The circuit board with a copper thickness from 4 oz/ft2 to 20 oz/ft2 is also considered heavy copper PCB, while copper weights above 20 oz/ft2 and up to 200 oz/ft2 are referred to as extreme copper.

With an appropriate substrate and thicker plating in the through-hole circuit, the copper weight makes these PCBs a reliable wiring platform. These boards are manufactured through a variety of etching and plating techniques. The goal is always to add copper thickness via plated holes and sidewalls.

Benefits of Heavy Copper PCB

Compared to conventional printed circuit boards, a PCB with heavy copper traces and/or planes offers several advantages.

A Simple & Strong Structure

When integrated into the PCB, high current circuits allow designers to achieve higher density and reduce the layer count. This also keeps the structure of the PCB relatively strong but uncomplicated.

Reduces Failure State

Complex printed circuit boards with high current requirements generate more heat. Copper has high heat-conducting abilities and helps to conduct heat away from vital temperature sensitive components.

Lower Production Costs

Although copper is expensive, rather than use copper cables, using PCBs with heavy copper results in an overall lowering of production costs.

Heavy Copper PCB Manufacturing Capabilities

Victory PCB is a professional pcb manufacturer that can produce high-quality thick copper PCB products. Check our PCB manufacturing capabilities in the following table.

CircuitBase Copper Thickness (OZ)1/3 OZH OZ1 OZ1.5-2 OZ3 OZ4 OZ5 OZ6 OZ
Inner LayerMinimum Trace Width   (mm)/0.100.1250.200.250.300.350.40
Minimum Trace Spacing (mm)/0.100.1250.150.250.300.350.40
Outer   LayerMinimum Trace Width   (mm)0.0750.100.1250.200.250.300.350.40
Minimum Trace Spacing (mm)0.0750.100.1250.150.250.300.350.40
Solder MaskMinimum Solder Mask Opening(single side)(mm)
Minimum Solder Mask Bridge (mm)0.0750.

Fabricating Heavy Copper PCBs

Fabricating methods for heavy copper PCBs do not differ much from  standard FR-4 PCBs. However, they do require special etching and plating techniques to suit the extra thickness of copper, including high-speed plating and deviation etching.

Using the normal etching techniques for the fabrication of heavy copper PCBs isn’t ideal. Normal etching methods produce over-etched margins and edge lines that are uneven. PCB producers now use advanced etching and plating methods to achieve straight edges.

During the PCB fabrication process, heavy copper PCBs are electroplated. This will help thicken the walls of PTH on the PCB. With this technique, the layer count shrinks and the impedance distribution reduces. When PCBs are exposed to several cycles during the manufacturing process, the plated holes can become weak.

Industries Applications of Heavy Copper PCB

Heavy Copper PCBs are generally used for high power distribution, heat dissipation, planar transformers, and power converters. Besides, the following are other applications that use heavy copper PCBs:

  • Power supplies for Radar Systems

  • power converters

  • Safety and Signal Systems

  • Welding equipment

  • Protection Relays

  • Power Line Monitors

  • Torque Controls

  • Overload Relays

  • Automotive industry

  • Solar panel manufacturers

  • Nuclear Power Applications

To know more about heavy copper PCBs or other PCBs, please call us on +86-755-86339147. If you want to know PCBs' prices, you can also use our PCB fabrication cost calculator.

Heavy Copper PCB FAQS

Q: What is heavy copper PCB?

A: Heavy copper PCB is also known as thick copper PCB, in which there are 3 ounces (oz) of copper or more on the internal and external layers of a printed circuit board.

Q: What is standard copper weight for PCB?

A: Most PCBs are manufactured using a copper thickness from 1 oz. to 3 oz. Generally, copper weight above 4 oz. is considered heavy copper and is used for: Larger current carrying capability.

Q: How do you choose the thickness of PCB copper?

A: There are two key elements to consider when determining optimal PCB copper thickness. The first is the current capacity of the barrel for acceptable heat rise. The second is the mechanical strength determined by the copper thickness, hole-size and whether or not there are any support vias.

Q: What is base copper in PCB?

A: Base copper weight or thickness is the amount of copper that is on the PCB before they do anything to it.

Q: Can we also have additional 2  x 1 Oz layers with a 4 or 5  or 6 layer 20 Oz PCB?

A: Yes, you can design 1OZ copper layer together with 20OZ layers


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