PCB Materials

PCB Directory has created a table with details on the most used Printed Circuit Board (PCB) materials. The table contains brief information about the different PCB materials that will help users understand their composition, properties, applications, and limitations. You can use the data in this table to make an informed decision to select the right PCB material.

Temperature-Dependent Electrical Properties Chemical Properties Mechanical Properties
Material Glass Transition Temperature Co-efficient of Thermal Expansion Decomposition Temperature  Thermal Conductivity Dielectric Constant or relative permittivity Dissipiation Factor Volume Resistivity Surface Resistivity Electric Strength Dielectric Strength Moisture Absorption UL94 Peel Strength Flexural Strength Young's Modulus Density
FR-1 (Flame Retardant 1) 130° C 0.200 W/m-K
FR-2 (Flame Retardant 2) 130° C 4.5 0.024–0.26 1 x 1013Ω-cm 1 x 10^13Ω 15 kV 0.5 to 0.75% V0 1.8 to 2.0kgf/cm 13 to 14kgf/mm2
FR-3 (Flame Retardant 3) 130° C
FR-4 (Flame Retardant 4) 125-140°C 14 to 17 ppm/°C >345° C 0.29 W/(m·K) 4.25 to 4.55 0.02 5x10^(12-14) (5x10)^(14-16) 800 to 1800volts/mil 800 to 900V/mil 0.001 V-0 1.2 > 415 MPa (60,200 psi) 24 GPa 1.850 g/cm3
FR-5 (Flame Retardant 5) 170-180°C 1.42g/cm3
FR-6 (Flame Retardant 6)
Kapton (Polyimide) 280-350°C 20 ppm/°C 315 °C 0.4[W/m*K] 3.78 0.0172 1.5 x 10^17 1.6 × 10^15 1100 Volt/mil 4,400 V/mil 0.0021 V-0 2.7 N/cm 200-300 MPa. 2.5 GPa 1.60g/cm3
Polyester 70 - 80 >150°C 0.38 W/mK 3.5 - 5.5 0.01 - 0.02
Polyethylene 100° C 10^16 to 10^17 ohm-m (at 20°C) between 0.01% and 0.20%
PTFE - Polytetrafluoroethylene 126°C 151 x 10-6 per °C >350 °C 0.3 W/m·K 2.02 3.5 or below above 10^18 (Ω. m) 10^14 40 – 80 kv / mm 1000 V/mil 0.03 V-0 0.06 N/mm 14.0 - 27.6 MPa 0.6 GPa 2.15 g / cm3
Polyimide 6x10-5 K-1 Up to 260 °C 0.52 W/(m.K) 3.2 – 4.4 33 kV/mm 275 MPa 1.95 g / cm3
Pyralux 220°C 3.4 0.002 10^17 ohm-cm 10^16 ohms 6–7 , kV/mil 0.80% V-0 1.76N/mm 6000
Teflon 160 - 280˚C 151 x 10-6 per °C 500 °C 0.35 W/(m·K) 2.02 0.0027 2x10^7 Mohm·cm 7 x 10^7 Mohm 780V/mil >1,400 V/Mil 0.05% V-0 14.3pli 276MPa 627MPa 2.7g/cm3
XPC (Phenolic) 4.7 0.017 2.0×10^8MΩ.cm 2.0×10^6MΩ 0.15 V-0 1.41 N/mm 500 LW
Metal Core (Aluminum, Copper) 470 °C 23x10^-6 327 °C 5W/(mK) 3.5 - 5.5 1.72x10-6 Ohm-cm 14.6-16.7 kV/mm 14.6-16.7 kV/mm V0 9lb/in 2.7g/cm3
Rogers (High-frequency laminates) 280°C 20 ppm/°C 350°C 1.6 W/m-K 3.0 to 6.5 2.5 to 11 1.7x10^10 Mohm·cm 4.2x10^9 Mohm 780V/mil 200 MV/m 0.04% V-0 1.05 N/mm 276MPa 300MPa 1.79g/cm3
BT-Epoxy 180 °C 27ppm/℃ 325 °C 0.35 W/m·K 3.70 @ 1 GHz 0.014 10^7 MΩ - cm 10^7 MΩ 1200 V/mil 1200 V/Mil <0.05% V-0 1.56 N/mm 99.88 MPa 31.9 GN/m2 1.2g/cm3
Cyanate Ester 250–300°C near zero ⩾450 °C 0.97 W/(m·K) 2.8–3.2 0.005 at 1 MHz 1.40% V-0 1.75 kN/m 90 MPa 1.171 g/cm3
Arlon 250˚C 55 ppm/°C 407 °C 0.2 W/m/K 4 0.01 at 1MHz 2.6 × 107 MΩ-cm 6.9 × 10^7 MΩ 50.8 kV/mm 1290 kV/in 0.26% V-0 1.1 N/mm 414 MPa 18 GPa 0.0578 lb/in³
Isola 180°C 45 ppm/°C 300°C 0.4[W/m*K] 4.2 0.016 1.33 x 10^7MΩ/cm 1.33 x 10^5MΩ/cm 45400V 45400V 0.10% V-0 1N/mm 338 N/mm2 3770 ksi 1.90 g/cc
CEM-1 122˚C 130°C 1.0-2.0w/mk 5 0.025 ≥ 104 MΩm ≥ 3 x 104 MΩ 550 V/MIL 550 V/MIL 0.3 V0 ≥ 1,8 N/mm ≥ 230 Mpa 1,95 g/cm3
CEM-2 125°C
CEM-3 125°C
CEM-4 128°C
CEM-5 130°C

A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is the fundamental unit of all electronic devices, serving as a platform for connecting and supporting various electronic components. PCBs consist of a non-conductive substrate material with conductive pathways etched or printed onto its surface, facilitating the flow of electricity between components. PCB materials play a crucial role in the performance, reliability, and functionality of electronic devices. The selection of appropriate materials directly impacts factors such as signal integrity, thermal management, mechanical strength, and overall cost-effectiveness. Choosing the right PCB materials is essential for ensuring optimal performance and longevity of electronic products.

This article provides an overview of PCB materials, covering various types of materials used in different layers of the PCB stack-up. It will delve into substrate materials, briefly discussing properties, applications, and selection criteria. The article will examine the factors influencing material selection, emerging trends in PCB materials, and real-world applications.

Why are PCB Materials instrumental?

Selecting the right PCB material for an electronic circuit is very important, as it can directly influence the performance, reliability, and functionality of the final device. These materials play a crucial role in maintaining signal integrity by minimizing signal loss, impedance mismatch, and electromagnetic interference (EMI). High-quality materials with specific electrical properties, such as low dielectric constant and low loss tangent, are essential for ensuring clean signal transmission, especially in high-speed digital and RF applications. Similarly, effective thermal management is vital for preventing overheating and ensuring the longevity of electronic components.

PCB materials with good thermal conductivity help dissipate heat generated by active components, such as processors and power amplifiers, reducing the risk of performance degradation and premature failure. PCB materials also contribute to the mechanical stability and durability of electronic devices, especially in applications subject to vibration, shock, or flexing. Robust substrate materials, such as FR-4 or polyimide, provide the necessary strength to support components and withstand mechanical stress during assembly, handling, and operation.

Advances in PCB materials have enabled the development of compact and lightweight electronic devices with higher component density and functionality. Flexible and rigid-flex PCB materials allow for intricate designs and integration into unconventional form factors, facilitating the development of wearable electronics, IoT devices, and miniaturized gadgets. These materials influence the overall manufacturing cost of electronic devices as well. While high-performance materials may come at a premium, selecting the appropriate materials based on the specific requirements of the application can optimize cost-effectiveness without compromising performance or reliability.

Application-specific Requirements

Different applications have unique requirements that dictate the selection of PCB materials. For example, High-frequency applications like telecommunications and RF/microwave systems, demand materials with controlled impedance and low loss tangent to minimize signal distortion. Similarly, Harsh environments, such as automotive or industrial settings, require PCB materials with enhanced thermal and mechanical properties to withstand extreme temperatures, moisture, and chemical exposure. Additionally, Consumer electronics and mobile devices prioritize lightweight, flexible, and cost-effective materials that enable sleek designs and portability without sacrificing performance.

In totality, PCB materials are integral to the design, functionality, and performance of electronic devices across various industries.

Emerging Trends in PCB Materials

High-Frequency Materials for 5G and Beyond:As the demand for high-speed data transmission continues to rise with the deployment of 5G networks and beyond, there is a growing need for PCB materials capable of supporting higher frequencies and faster signal propagation. High-frequency materials, such as specialized laminates with low dielectric constant and loss tangent, are being developed to minimize signal loss and distortion in RF/microwave applications. These materials enable the design of high-performance antennas, RF modules, and communication systems crucial for next-generation wireless technologies.

Flexible and Stretchable Materials for Wearable Electronics:The increasing popularity of wearable electronics, including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and medical devices, has spurred the development of flexible and stretchable PCB materials. These materials allow for the creation of lightweight, conformable circuits that can bend, flex, and stretch without compromising functionality. Flexible substrates, such as polyimide and PET (polyethylene terephthalate), combined with conductive inks or stretchable interconnects, enable the integration of electronics into clothing, accessories, and even the human body, opening new possibilities for wearable technology.

Environmentally Friendly Materials (e.g., Halogen-free): With growing environmental awareness and regulations governing the use of hazardous substances in electronics, there is a shift towards environmentally friendly PCB materials. Halogen-free laminates and solder mask materials are becoming increasingly popular due to their reduced environmental impact and compliance with regulations such as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances). These materials offer comparable performance to traditional counterparts while minimizing the release of toxic gases during manufacturing and recycling processes, contributing to sustainable electronics production.

Integration of Nanomaterials for Enhanced Performance: Nanomaterials, characterized by their unique properties at the nanoscale, are being explored for their potential to enhance the performance of PCB materials. Graphene, carbon nanotubes, and other nanomaterials are being incorporated into composites and coatings to improve conductivity, thermal dissipation, and mechanical strength. By leveraging the exceptional properties of nanomaterials, such as high electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and mechanical flexibility, PCB manufacturers can develop materials with superior performance and reliability for various applications, including high-speed computing, automotive electronics, and aerospace systems.

These emerging trends in PCB materials reflect the evolving needs and technological advancements in the electronics industry, driving innovation and paving the way for the development of next-generation electronic devices and systems.

Click here to view PCB Materials from the leading manufacturers on PCB Directory.

Web Analytics