How Much Current Can a High Current PCB Via Handle?
The uses of PCB vias is an effective process to distribute heat in different layers of a circuit board. High current PCB vias take the thermal distribution and flow of electricity. In general, a PCB of 200 mils trace width and 450C trace temperature can handle almost 8- 10A current.
Its biggest current rating depends on some dimensional properties.This aspects is related to the PCB trace dimensions.You need to also consider that temperature change affects the current flow in a PCB via.
What Are the Advantages of High Current PCBs?
The most notable advantages of high current PCB as belows:
1.Components are tolerant to extreme temperatures because of superior thermal management.
2.Delivers the highest degree of freedom to electronic appliances
3.Design is supportive of the SMD assembling process: enables designers to do miniature devices
4.Compatible with a wide range of electronic applications
5.Contains effective dielectric materials that ensure high insulation in PCB projects
6.High current PCB connectors provide impressive mechanical strength.
Where Do You Use a High Current PCB?
A High Current PCB has countless uses in several commercial sectors. Most signifcantly as belows:
4.Telecommunication devices&Advanced gaming consoles
5.Military equipment&Medical Instruments
6.Aerospace gear&Defence industry
7.Wireless communication&Smart Home appliances
Venture is a professional manufacturer of high-quality high current PCB for more than 10 years.
We can manufacture a wide range of high current PCB for different industrial use.
Through the years, Venture becomes professional in the manufacturing of all types of high current PCB in China.
We can also give you the best quality high current PCB that will suit your needs.
Your Leading High Current PCB Supplier in China
Venture high current PCB is manufactured for different industrial use.
Venture is a professional high current PCB manufacturer in China for more than 10 years.
As a leading manufacturer, we can produce a high current PCB with various advantages:
- High reliability
- Good mechanical strength at connectors
- Utilization of high-temperature components without risk
- Greater trace current carry capacity
- Greater via current carrying capacity
- Accommodation of different circuit current levels on the same layer or PDN
- Does not require increased trace widths
Designing Venture high current PCBs is not the same as for typical low power electronics boards and neither is the manufacturing process.
Our reliable high current PCB ensures to meet your industrial PCB development requirements.
Venture high current PCBs are all about a careful design process.
Also using space on board and all features in an efficient manner.
Venture high current PCBs have become more common in recent times and will continue to be so.
For more than 10 years, Venture became the best high current manufacturing factory provider in China.
So, we can provide unmatched customer services.
We have the best delivery conditions along with speed, price, and possibilities.
If you are ready to have your design manufactured, try now our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files.
For more information, you can contact us immediately, and we are happy to serve you.
High Current PCB: The Ultimate FAQ Guide
This guide answers all your questions about high current PCB.
Whether you want to learn about the features, specifications, material type or design – you will find all information right here.
Keep reading to learn more.
- What Is High Current PCB?
- How Many Amps Can High Current PCB Handle?
- Why Is Heavy Copper PCB The Best Type Of High Current PCB?
- Which Is The Best High Current PCB Materials?
- What Are The Key Considerations When Designing High Current PCB?
- Which Are The Main Components Of High Current PCB?
- What Is The Role Of Decoupling Capacitor In High Power PCB?
- What Is The Preferred Copper Thickness In High Current PCB?
- What Are The Important High Current PCB Design Guidelines?
- Why Should You Have A Power Or Ground Plane Between The Inner And Outer Layer Of Multilayer High Current PCB?
- What Are The Applications Of High Current PCB?
- Does The Hole Size Affect High Current PCB Performance?
- Why Is Specifying A Specific Trace Width Crucial In High Current PCB?
- What Are The Factors To Consider In High Current PCB Layout Design?
- How Do You Enhance Layout Efficiency In High Current PCB Design?
- What Are The Advantages Of Extreme Or Heavy Copper Routing In High Current PCB?
- Why Is Trace Dimension Important When Designing High Current PCB?
- How Should You Perform Trace Routing In High Current PCB?
- Which Are The Common Problems In High Current PCB?
- What Are The Techniques Of Ensuring Effective Thermal Management In High Current PCB?
- Why Should You Thermally Isolate The Sensitive Components Of High Current PCB?
- What Are Some Of The Safety Features You Can Add To High Current PCB Design?
- Which Is The Essential IPC Standard For High Current PCB?
What Is High Current PCB?
This is a type of PCB used in applications that involve the transfer of high-power loads.
Constructed using heavy copper substrate, high current PCB provides added resistance to thermal variations that may go with high currents.
Differing in complexity and industry, there are several applications that need high current printed circuit boards.
High Current PCB
How Many Amps Can High Current PCB Handle?
The current transmitting ability of the circuit board traces determines the amounts of amps of high current PCB.
Every board has differing capacities based on the type of board and trace width.
Why Is Heavy Copper PCB The Best Type Of High Current PCB?
There are many benefits of using Heavy copper PCB for your high current applications, making them popular in electrical industry.
The following are some of the advantages of heavy copper PCB:
- You will enjoy decreased production cost despite the relatively high heavy coper PCB cost.
This is due to the decreased usage of copper wiring on the high current PCB.
- Heavy copper circuit board allows high heat conductivity.
Therefore, it prevents temperature-sensitive components from heating up through diffusing the heat from the parts.
- Heavy copper PCB structure is comparatively strong, though the number of layers is limited.
Consequently, this type of high current PCB is exceptionally simple and unsophisticated.
Heavy Copper PCB
- There are no complicated wire arrangements.
- The circuit boards feature exotic materials that are helpful in improving its mechanical properties.
- Heavy coper PCB boasts of enhanced thermal resistance and endurance.
- The circuit board conducts high currents effortlessly without any issues.
- Fabricated by blending varying copper weights in a single PCB to develop a manageable, solid size.
Which Is The Best High Current PCB Materials?
High current PCB design requires the utilization of materials having specific properties.
Thermal conductivity (TC) is among the important features to consider, with conventional PCB materials like FR-4 having TC of around 0.20 W/m/K.
For high current applications, where you need to reduce temperature increases, it is ideal to employ specific PCB materials, like Rogers RT laminate.
Having a TC of about 1.44 W/m/K, this Rogers PCB materials can manage high current levels with negligible temperature rises.
Additionally, the fabrication of high current PCB must be done using thermal and conductive materials having equal coefficient of thermal expansion.
This ensures that any contraction or expansion happens at similar rate, reducing mechanical stress within the PCB material.
What Are The Key Considerations When Designing High Current PCB?
You should design high current PCB in a manner that it supplies clean power having as minimal noise as possible.
Owing to that, here are the main factors that you should consider during the designing of high current PCB:
- Current: Since the circuit board will be handling high current levels, ensure to employ sufficient copper weight and trace widths to manage the current.
- Noise: To minimize the possibility of noise generating EMI in the high current PCB, you need to use the following:
- Most compact packages practicable
- Tightest and highly optimized component placement
- Shortest routing
- Best grounding strategy
- Heat: High current circuit board will become hot, therefore ensure it is designed to dissipate as much heat as possible.
Trace Widths Are One Of The Key Considerations To Look At In Design
Which Are The Main Components Of High Current PCB?
The following are the key parts that you will find in a standard high current PCB:
- Voltage regulators
- Voltage converters
- Voltage references
- Power transistors
High Current PCB Assembly
During PCB component placement, keep the components close together to reduce length of their traces and near elements receiving the load.
Furthermore, you should mount the parts such that there is short power path and direct across the parts.
What Is The Role Of Decoupling Capacitor In High Power PCB?
There is possibility of the active components of high current PCB to cause hazardous phenomena like ringing and ground bounce.
This will occur if a power rail is spread and shared between several parts of the circuit board.
Consequently, there can be voltage drops near the power pins of the PCB components.
To solve this problem, you use decoupling capacitors.
One of the capacitor terminals must be located as near as practical to the component pin getting the power supply.
On the other hand, you must connect the other terminal straight to a low-impedance ground plane.
The aim is to minimize impedance between the ground and power supply rail.
Decoupling capacitors serve as supplementary source of power, supplying parts with the current necessary during every transient (voltage noise or ripple).
There are a number of parameters to consider during the selection of a decoupling capacitor.
The factors consist of choosing the right capacitor value, geometry, dielectric material, and position relative to the PCB components.
The usual decoupling capacitor value is 0.1μF ceramic.
What Is The Preferred Copper Thickness In High Current PCB?
Copper thickness refers to actual thickness of high current PCB traces. Typically, the standard copper thickness is 17.5 microns.
With higher copper thickness, you will need a less wide trace to conduct the same current.
Often, high current PCBs utilize thicker copper to decrease the trace width for similar current amount.
As a result, this decreases the space taken up by the PCB traces. Thicker copper thicknesses span from 35 – 105 µm, normally applied for currents higher than 10 A.
However, increased copper thicknesses do incur extra cost though can be instrumental in saving space on the high current printed circuit board.
This is because you will require smaller trace width due to higher viscosity.
What Are The Important High Current PCB Design Guidelines?
Application of high current PCB designs is getting more and more popular every day.
Therefore, it is essential to address problems related to this PCB type and hazards accompanying poor thermal management and monitoring of these boards.
By applying the guidelines below, you can design and manufacture a high current PCB in an efficient and successful way.
The following are some of the essential tips for designing high current PCB:
Using Heavy Copper
High current PCBs often employ heavier copper so as to minimize the track width and yet enable it to conduct similar current amount.
Reduced trace widths consume small space, avoiding crowding on the circuit board.
As already indicated earlier, higher copper thickness varies from 35 to 105 microns when operating at above 10 amps.
An alternative to utilizing heavy copper thickness is soldering copper bus bars onto the board pads for high current and power.
Although their width may be equal to that of standard PCB traces, they can higher currents since they are thicker.
First, it is crucial to determine the position of high-power parts on the circuit board.
These components, such as power transistors or voltage converters, are responsible for producing large quantity of heat.
You should not mount high-power components close to the PCB edges, since this results in heat accumulation and a substantial increase in temperature.
Greatly integrated digital elements, like FPGAs, processors, and microcontrollers needs to be located in the middle of the high current PCB.
This allows even diffusion of heat throughout the circuit board, leading to a temperature decrease.
In any instance, you should never concentrate the power components in a specific location to prevent creation of hot spots.
Instead, it is recommended you adopt a linear type configuration.
Placement needs to begin from the power modules. It is essential to keep their traces as short as practical to avoid unnecessary ground loops and noise production.
Generally, you should observe the following PCB component placement guidelines:
- identify and minimize current loops, specifically high current paths.
- Reduce resistive voltage drops and additional parasitic phenomena between high current PCB components.
- Position high power circuitries far from sensitive circuits.
- Ensure good grounding measures.
In some scenarios, it might equally be advisable to mount components on various different boards. You can do this provided the device’s form factor permits.
Component Placement in High Current PCB
Portion of electrical energy from the source of power is transformed to other forms like heat energy.
Consequently, the PCB dissipates this energy into the surrounding space.
For that matter, high current PCBs will inevitably generate high quantities of thermal energy too.
Most of the PCB components are exceptionally sensitive to variations in temperature in their immediate surrounding.
This implies that any substantial thermal changes can modify the signal produced by these components.
In turn, it can open the high current PCB to errors and decrease the device reliability.
Therefore, it is vital to thermally seclude these sensitive PCB parts to guard them from the likely dangerous effects of excess thermal energy.
It is important to note that longer PCB traces lead to higher resistance.
Therefore, your aim should be to reduce the power loss and keep as much power as possible in the traces.
Consequently, you will maintain the longevity and reliability of the high current PCB.
To ensure this, you need to keep the PCB traces very short when they are conducting high currents.
Via stitching refers to a method where you use vias to connect multiple layers of PCB.
This extends the same trace with similar width via the various layers.
Moreover, you can use thermal vias to direct heat energy flow in a package from the sensitive parts. Consequently, you maintain their performance and integrity.
The vias are capable of absorbing the heat generated by the high current flowing across the circuit board by basic conduction.
After the heat transfer to thermal vias, the PCB can be made to transmit to a thermal landing.
Basically, the thermal landing is a metal plate found at the base of the high current PCB where there exist no failure spots.
Here, also the crucial package components are shielded from the adverse effect of high current.
Using polygon pours ensure thermal isolation of delicate components of high current PCB, coupled with increasing current carrying potential of a specific package.
These polygon pours associated with the power traces can be placed under the chip and connected to the board with the help of vias.
Remove Solder Mask
Eliminating the high current PCB solder mask is a way of allowing the traces to transfer larger quantities of current.
Removing the solder mask exposes the underneath copper material that you can supplement with extra solders.
Adding the solders increases the thickness of copper and reduces the general resistance within the current carrying parts of the circuit board.
Due to this, the high current PCB is capable of accommodating higher energy carrying potential without the need to increase trace width.
You can accommodate wider traces by forming space within the high current PCB thickness.
This is important when there is need to expand the trace widths by employing higher copper amounts.
Rather than stretching the horizontal surface, you can use thicker circuit boards.
Thus, it is possible to put the traces inside the board thickness and enable it to manage the tracks heat dissipation as well.
Why Should You Have A Power Or Ground Plane Between The Inner And Outer Layer Of Multilayer High Current PCB?
In multilayer high current PCB, there should be a power or ground plane between the inner and outer layer.
You should place the plane between the inner layer having sensitive signals and outer layer having power supply parts and routing.
The plane serves as shield to guard the sensitive signal tracks from noisy power elements and the outer layer routing.
What Are The Applications Of High Current PCB?
The uses of high current PCBs involve applying them in the following equipment and industries:
- Power converters
- Power supplies
- Solar arrays
- Heavy machinery
Does The Hole Size Affect High Current PCB Performance?
Yes, it is recommended you use larger holes in the high current PCB since they are equally better in conducting heat.
Moreover, using several holes rather than one hole is also preferred for high current circuit boards.
The larger the width of the board, the bigger the annular ring of the drilled holes need to be.
This provides more space for drill bit to bore via the thicker high current PCB material.
Why Is Specifying A Specific Trace Width Crucial In High Current PCB?
The purpose of traces is to link any form of electrical signal from a particular junction to the other.
PCB trace width is usually measured in mils and conventional trace width for regular signal might range from 7 to 12 mils.
The trace length can be a few inches.
However, there are several parameters that you should consider when determining the length and width of traces.
The use will normally dictate the type and width of a trace in a high current PCB design.
At certain instances, there is often a balance with respect to board size/density, fabrication cost and PCB performance.
When a circuit board has particular design specifications, trace widths and variety may be more significant than optimizing for PCB fabrication cost.
High Current PCB With Differing Trace Widths and Kinds
Typically, the following trace-associated specifications will influence the cost of high current PCB fabrication.
The costs get significantly higher because of restricted PCB tolerances and more end tools necessary to both fabricate and test/inspect the boards:
- Trace widths smaller than 5 mils
- Trace spacing tighter than 5 mils
- Via holes having a diameter less than 8 mils
- Trace thickness thicker or thinner than 1.4 mils (1ounce)
- Controlled trace impedance or lengths and differential pairs.
HDI high current PCBs involving exceptionally fine pitch BGAs may need trace widths as slim as 2.5 mils.
They might as well require special variety of vias like laser-drilled micro-vias having 6 mils and below diameters.
On the contrary, certain high current circuit boards may need very broad planes or traces occupying a whole layer.
These will have thicker ounce pours in comparison to standard PCB types.
What Are The Factors To Consider In High Current PCB Layout Design?
You should consider the board layout from the initial phase of high current PCB design.
An essential practice that is applicable to any high current circuit board is establishing the path taken by the power.
The location and quantity of power conducting across a circuit board are vital parameters in determining heat amount the PCB should dissipate.
The primary parameters affecting the high current PCB layout comprise of:
- Level of power flowing throughout the circuit board;
- Operating ambient temperature of the board;
- Air flow amount affecting the PCB;
- The substrate material used in the high current PCB fabrication;
- Density of components mounted on the printed circuit board.
When changing traces direction, you should avoid right angles, instead use curved lines or 45 degrees angle.
Nevertheless, this is less important in modern high current PCB applications.
How Do You Enhance Layout Efficiency In High Current PCB Design?
Layout efficiency is one of the main concerns in high current PCB designs.
Here are some of the ways you can improve the high current circuit board layout:
Apply DIY Technique For The Schematic
You can employ the DIY method in the high current PCB layout design. Adopting the DIY approach in developing your schematic enables you to improve the layout.
There are several tools available that are helpful in developing an exceptional schematic.
Sufficiently Space The Components
It is critical to adequately space the high current PCB components. You should not clutter the parts in one location.
Furthermore, at no instance should you mount the parts of PCB without sufficient spacing.
Apply Different Wiring Positions Between PCB Layers
It is equally vital to utilize varying wiring positions between the layers of high current PCB. The alternate layers normally require different directions.
Do Not Place Traces At Right Angle
Placing the PCB traces 90 degrees angle makes it difficult to form uniform traces.
For that matter, it is recommended you lay the tracks at 45 degrees angle, which guarantees space and prevents overcrowding in PCB design.
Carefully Select The Trace Width
The trace width counts as well, and that is why you should cautiously choose it to enable smooth flow of current.
Selecting the right line width will guarantee effective performance of the high current PCB.
What Are The Advantages Of Extreme Or Heavy Copper Routing In High Current PCB?
Some of the benefits of extreme/heavy copper routing in high-power PCBs include:
- High reliability
- Higher current carrying capacity of the board traces
- Greater current carrying capacity of the vias
- Handling of different levels of circuitry current on a single layer
- Does not need increased trace widths
- Good connectors mechanical strength
- Use of high-temperature PCB components without danger
Extreme Copper Routing Offers Higher Current Capacity
Why Is Trace Dimension Important When Designing High Current PCB?
Trace dimension is very crucial in high current printed circuit boards.
You know that power loss in a board trace transforms into heat thus, you avoid this by using thicker traces.
Additionally, having PCB traces that cannot manage the rated current could lead to heat spots and physical destruction to the copper.
To establish the minimum thickness of trace for the specified current, you can refer to IPC-2221 chart or employ PCB trace calculator.
Depending on that, to enlarge the trace thickness, you can either utilize thicker copper or extend the trace width.
Moreover, it is critical to maintain the traces of high current PCB as short as practical to reduce the resistance.
How Should You Perform Trace Routing In High Current PCB?
Some high current PCB manufacturers do trace routing as they mount components, whilst others route after finishing the component placement process.
Irrespective of the technique chosen, the routing needs to complement components mounting with short direct PCB tracks.
Make sure you utilize traces that are broad sufficiently for current, and place rounded corners or 45 degrees rather than right angles.
Also, refrain from utilizing vias for power tracks since they add inductance.
Nonetheless, because the primary power components are often on the same PCB side, this will not be an issue.
Furthermore, you should also desist from routing additional signal traces beneath the power components of high current PCB.
Which Are The Common Problems In High Current PCB?
High current PCBs that are designed incorrectly for the current amount they are handling will be susceptible to failures.
Often, these failures are classified by:
The circuit board will have heat spots if its planes and traces are not broad adequately for the current passing through them.
This may impact the steady distribution of current across the high current printed circuit board.
In turn, the phenomenon could compel other PCB parts to function beyond their designated temperature ranges.
Consequently, there is higher probability of PCB failure as more components function at greater than specified temperatures.
Functionality And Reliability
Raised operating temperatures will not only influence the correct functioning of high current PCB, it can also manifest other mechanical issues.
In some instances, the high currents can cause board deterioration when it is not improperly designed for the current levels being conducted.
For example, the high current PCB materials could eventually melt, or traces may burn out like blown fuse.
Therefore, the high current PCB design must consider its rated current. Moreover, you need also to understand the power path of the design during PCB layout.
What Are The Techniques Of Ensuring Effective Thermal Management In High Current PCB?
The first step in solving the heat issue in high current PCB design is adopting wider board traces having higher copper weight.
Nevertheless, there exist other means of making sure there is efficient thermal management in the circuit board.
Further, you should isolate power components that get hot from sensitive circuitries.
These parts need to be also mounted towards the PCB center for better dispersion of heat and seclusion from other hot PCB elements.
You can mount hot running components to take advantages of any natural flow of air across the high current circuit board.
In addition, you can as well consider thermal relief vias, heat sinks and cooling fans.
It might equally be appropriate to employ a thicker PCB width or distinct PCB materials, which can endure and dissipate higher heat amounts.
Why Should You Thermally Isolate The Sensitive Components Of High Current PCB?
As you already know, most of the components of high current PCB are reactive to variations in surrounding environment temperature.
If they sense significant fluctuations in thermal conditions, they can cause alteration is the produced signal, causing flaws and decreasing reliability of PCB.
Owing to that, it is essential to thermally insulate the sensitive parts.
This makes sure that the heat generated on the high current circuit board does not affect the insulated components.
What Are Some Of The Safety Features You Can Add To High Current PCB Design?
The problem of overheating in high current PCB is real.
This is in addition to the possible short-circuiting of the load and eventual drawing of excess current from the regulator or MOSFET.
To sense these incidences, you can incorporate suitable safety elements in the high current PCB design.
A temperature sensor can play an instrumental role when installed among the heat-producing components of the high current circuit board.
The sensor activates alerts if the temperature of the PCB surpasses an acceptable limit.
To ensure short-circuit protection, Install fuses at the output of the high current PCB.
The fuses cut off the connections instantly if there is rise in current beyond a safe threshold.
Temperature Sensors And Fuses Are Some Of The Safety Features One Can Employ In High Current PCB
Which Is The Essential IPC Standard For High Current PCB?
Never guess when it involves designing a high current PCB. There exist several online current calculators at your disposal, in addition to industry standards.
The IPC-2152 standard acts as a general guideline on the connection between conductor size temperature and current.
You can apply it to establish the correct trace size to employ on the high current printed circuit board design.
For any questions or inquiry about high current PCB, contact Venture Electronics.