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Custom PCB - optimal thickness of the copper conductor layer

Custom PCB - optimal thickness of the copper conductor layer
Custom PCB - optimal thickness of the copper conductor layer


Summary :
Learn how to determine the optimal thickness of the copper conductor layer on your custom PCB.

How to determine optimal thickness of the copper conductor layer on your custom circuit board


PCB’s connect us with the world

A printed circuit board, (PCB) is a wafer like board found in electrical devices and equipment including: TV’s, small electronics, home appliances, and cars. Typically made of fiberglass or other thin material, PCB’s keep your computer, your home and your car connected through electrical wires or pathways “printed” onto the board. These electrical wires are typically made up of copper. Current runs through the copper wires sending instructions to the central processor, components and microchips on the PCB.


Important choices in PCB design

Electrical engineers and manufacturers make two important choices when designing PCB’s for their projects. First, they need to decide whether to purchase a ready-made board or a custom designed board. Second, product developers must select the proper thickness of the copper conductor layer that will be used on the PCB.

At Electronic Interconnect, we understand PCB’s, and we have the expertise to help you make the right choice in both board and copper wire thickness selection.


Custom vs. ready made PCB’s

Electrical engineers and product developers often need to decide whether to develop a customized PCB or purchase one ready-made. If a designer fastens expensive components onto a ready-made board only to see it crack, they have wasted precious timeand expensive components. A cracked board means they will need to start designing their project from scratch. Ready made PCB’s are less expensive initially, but custom PCB’s offer several advantages over the long haul depending on the life cycle of the product. http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/479821/Whitepapers/Viewpoint-Embedded-Systems-Development-White-Paper.pdf?t=1439482011116 According to Viewpoint, which published a paper on PCB design, developers gain


advantages from using a custom PCB.

  • Smaller size - Custom PCB’s will be more compact
  • Added convenience – Developers have more choice on where to put space on theboard.
  • Additionall Strength - Custom PCB’s typically are stronger because they contain fewer holes.

Thicker copper increases current carrying capacity

Copper is the conductive material that connects the circuits on the board to its components similar to the way roads and highways transport people to their destinations. If an electrical engineer selects a copper conductor that is too thin, the PCB may not be able to withstand the high heat generated by the electrical current and crack under the pressure. Heavier copper increases the current-carrying capacity and can handle the heat generated from the electrical current on the PCB.


Copper thickness can be specified as units of length (in micrometers or mils) but is often specified as weight of copper per area (in ounces per square foot), which is easier to measure. One ounce per square foot is 1.344 mils or 34 micrometres thickness.

At Electronic InterConnect we use Powerlink technology, which allows for the use ofmultiple copper weights.



Powerlink offers the following advantages of using heavier copper weights.

  • Protects against circuit failure
  • Reduces the number of circuit connectors
  • Allows increased mechanical strength
  • Higher current carrying capacity
  • Higher temperature dielectric
  • Size reduction


If you need help with your PCB deesign, Electronic Interconnect can help. We meet all your custom PCB manufacturing needs from single-sided to complex multi-layered PCB"s and from prototype through production. Since 1985 Electronic Interconnect offers customers precise craftsmanship through production and testing. Located near the world’sbusiest airport, Electronic Interconnect offers same day shipping in many cases.

Check out our online quoting capabilities https://www.eiconnect.com or call Electronic Interconnect today at phone: (800) 364-4844 www.eiconnect.com or send us an email at sales@eiconnect.com

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