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A Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) is a type of printed circuit board that contains a base metal material. The core is designed to redirect heat away from components which produce a substantial amount of heat. In contrast to FR4 and CEM3 printed circuit boards, a Metal Core Printed Circuit Board uses a base metal to increase the thermal conductivity of the PCB. The metal core is composed of a metal plate with an appropriate thickness to dissipate heat.


The main goal of a Metal Core Printed Circuit Board is to dissipate heat. This avoids the overheating of any components that are mounted to the circuit board, and surrounding hardware within the device that houses the MCPCB. It also maintains optimum levels of performance while increasing the lifespan of the components. A typical FR4 PCB is eight times less efficient at rapid heat transfer than a Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB). Due to the high degree of heat that is generated in certain applications, general cooling such as that accomplished via fans may not be sufficient – in which case a Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) is a superior option.


Certain applications render a Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) necessary, such as Solid State Lighting (SSL) related products. Devices that utilize Light-Emitting Diodes (LED’s) and High Power Light-Emitting Diodes (HP LED’s) are known to generate enough heat that the operation of the LED’s would be negatively affected if the heat was not diverted away from the LED’s. In such cases, the dissipation of heat that a Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (MCPCB) provides is essential.

There are a nearly unlimited number of applications for this technology, including desktop and notebook computer back light LCD displays, medical and industrial monitoring systems, general lighting and automotive lighting.

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