PCB industries always do their best to make products with the best performance and the least possible signal loss.
High-frequency circuit boards continue to gain popularity and are now commonly used in different areas like telecommunications, data transfers, etc.
For optimal performance of PCB boards, several factors matter, one of which is a smooth copper foil layer. Different copper foil types based on roughness are used in high-frequency PCB designs. Moreover, the copper foil thickness also varies based on your use.
Let’s have a detailed look at copper foil and its use in the PCB field.
What is Copper Foil, and What Part Does it Play in PCBs?
Copper (Cu) is one of the most common metals used in industrial applications, and by no surprise, it is also popularly used in the PCB industry. Here, copper foil comes in rolls used for making PCB circuit boards.
Copper Foil is a negative electrolyte material used on the PCB base layer to create a continuous metal foil layer. This copper serves as the PCB conductor.
Copper foil is applied as the base copper on the outer and inner layers. Before pressing, the laminate manufacturer attaches the copper foil to the base material core or onto the multilayer circuit board.
Copper foil is a cathodic, thin, continuous electrolyte material that serves as the conductor for the PCB boards, offering a pathway for signals on the PCB.
One of the commendable features of the copper foil material is its adhesion to the insulation layer, acceptance of the printing protective layer, and the formation of the circuit pattern.
Types of Copper Foils for PCB
When discussing copper foil for PCB materials, one barely thinks about the suitable type. What matters is the roughness.
Yet, when working with high-frequency materials, the type of copper foil is essential. Here are the kinds of PCB copper foils.
- Electro-deposited Copper (ED)
ED, or electrodeposited copper, has a general vertical-grain structure. A great variety is available regarding its grain structure, surface roughness, treatment, etc. Electro-plated copper is red and is more tensile and robust mechanically compared to other types.
So, this copper is ideal for applications where mechanical stress is important.
- Reversed Treated ED Copper and LoPro Copper Foil
As the name suggests, this type of copper is created by treating electrodeposited copper. These thin layer coatings improve the adhesion of base foil to the dielectrics and enhance corrosion resistance. Moreover, it makes the copper’s shiny side rougher.
- Rolled-Annealed Copper (RA)
Rolled-annealed of RA copper is widely used in flex circuits manufacturing. This copper type offers a smooth surface and grain structure, making it suitable for flexible and dynamic circuitry. Being smoother than ED copper, RA copper is yellowish and provides better resistance to conductor cracking.
Rolled-annealed, RA copper is best for high-frequency tasks.
Top 5 Copper Foil PCB Manufacturers in the World
Today, multiple PCB companies worldwide offer copper foil services, but not all are the same. You’ll need to choose a reputable manufacturer to supply electronic-grade copper foil for long-lasting performance.
If you’re searching for a good copper foil manufacturer, we are with the top 5 companies!
- RayMing PCB & Assembly
Offering various PCB assembly services in Shenzen and across the company, has earned a reputable name. The company has been operating for over 15 years and provides multiple PCB services like copper foil, rigid-flex, rigid PCB, flexible printed circuit board, and much more.
RayMing PCB and Assembly provides full and partial turn-key circuit board assembly services and looks after the entire process. The printed circuit board company is known for its timely delivery services, quick response, and huge support team.
While it may seem hard to find a reliable PCB company to get good copper foil, it isn’t entirely impossible. PCBOnline is your one-stop shop for PCB manufacturing services like electronic-grade copper foil. Operating since 1999. PCBOnline offers reliable services for multiple fields, including defense, aerospace, communication, industrial, medical, electronics, etc. The company has a skilled team of software engineers, senior technicians, and hardware engineers to cater to customer needs.
AllPCB, as the name suggests, participates in designing PCB products for industries and other fields. The company covers many high-quality PCB products, each designed specifically to serve its purpose. Some PCB services include a multilayer HDI Board, multilayer thick copper printed circuit board, double-layer immersion gold PCB, and multilayer thick copper PCB, among others. AllPCB promises to provide high-quality products at lower costs and timely delivery.
- RigidFlex Technology Inc.
RigiFlex Technology Inc. is a brilliant PCB manufacturer offering innovative printed circuit board product designs and reliable implementation, testing, and development. The company uses cutting-edge technologies to facilitate its customers and cater to their needs. The company, since the start, has served various industries, including computing and storage, telecom, industrial and instrumentation, medical, military, aerospace, and network and communications.
- Seirra Circuits
Since 1986, Sierra circuits has served hundreds of customers with its reliable PCB industry-standard services. Sierra circuits offer standard to advanced PCB services to cater to every customer’s needs. Some of their PCB services include standard PCBs, Turnkey Pro, and advanced PCBs.
The company also has a reliable set of conductive copper foil PCBs. The company has served multiple fields, including automotive, aerospace and defense, medical and healthcare, industrial manufacturing, consumer and wearables, and more.
The ideal performance of a PCB board depends on the right selection of materials. The type of PCB copper foil, its surface roughness, and adherence to the material are essential factors that guarantee the performance of a PCB circuit board, especially when used for high-frequency applications.
- Is Copper Foil Used in a printed circuit board?
Conductive copper foil in PCBs serves as the pathway for signals to move across the circuit board. Circuit board patterns must have precision and high-quality copper to ensure the best performance.
- Where is Electronic-Grade Copper Foil Used in Electronics?
PCB copper foil has diverse uses in printed circuitry. Electronic grade copper foil is an essential component of printed circuit boards used in PCs, plasma displays, and mobile phones.
- What Types of Copper Foil are Used in Printed Circuit Boards?
The two types of commercial copper foils used in PCB boards are electrodeposited ED, and RA, rolled-annealed copper. These copper foils vary based on how they are treated when they are made.