Understanding Heavy Copper PCBs: Benefits and Applications

When it comes to high current and high power circuit boards, Heavy Copper PCBs are the leading solution for many electronic applications. Also known as thick-copper PCBs, these circuit boards feature a copper thickness greater than 2 oz, typically ranging from 3 oz to 14 oz. The unique characteristics and manufacturing processes involved with Heavy Copper PCBs make them indispensable in various demanding industries. Here, we delve into the benefits and applications of Heavy Copper PCBs.

What is Heavy Copper PCB?

Heavy Copper PCB refers to a specific type of circuit board that boasts substantial copper thickness. Unlike standard PCBs, which have copper thicknesses of around 1 oz or less, Heavy Copper PCBs can have thicknesses ranging between 3 oz and 14 oz. These PCBs are designed to handle higher currents due to the greater amount of copper available for conducting electricity.

Manufacturing Process

Creating a Heavy Copper PCB involves sophisticated techniques such as differential etching and step plating. These methods allow the PCB to achieve its greater thickness while maintaining precision and reliability.

  • Differential Etching: Ensures that only the necessary copper is etched away, preserving the desired thickness.
  • Step Plating: Layers of copper are added progressively, allowing for the specific thickness required by the application.

Benefits of Heavy Copper PCB

Higher Current Capacity

Due to their increased copper thickness, Heavy Copper PCBs can conduct higher currents compared to standard PCBs. This makes them ideal for applications requiring substantial electrical power.

Enhanced Heat Dissipation

The thicker copper not only manages higher currents but also dissipates heat more effectively. This is crucial in preventing overheating and ensuring the longevity of electronic components.

Mechanical Strength

The additional copper layers impart greater mechanical strength to the PCB, making it more durable and reliable for use in demanding environments.

Versatile Applications

Heavy Copper PCBs are suitable for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Power Supplies: Ensuring reliable power delivery in industrial and consumer electronics.
  • Automotive Electronics: Handling the high currents required by modern vehicle systems.
  • Industrial Controls: Providing durability and dependability for factory automation systems.
  • Military Applications: Withstanding harsh conditions while maintaining operational integrity.

Applications of Heavy Copper PCB

Power Electronics

One of the primary uses for Heavy Copper PCBs is in power electronics, where they manage the high currents and heat generated by power supplies, converters, and inverters.

Automotive Industry

In the automotive industry, Heavy Copper PCBs are used in battery management systems, distribution boxes, and power modules, where they handle the demanding electrical loads required by modern vehicles.

Renewable Energy

Heavy Copper PCBs play a significant role in renewable energy systems, including solar power inverters and wind turbines, providing reliable performance under high power conditions.

Military and Aerospace

The robustness of Heavy Copper PCBs makes them ideal for military and aerospace applications, where they meet the stringent requirements for durability and reliability in extreme environments.


The advantages and capabilities of Heavy Copper PCBs make them an essential component in numerous high current and high power applications. Their ability to handle more current, dissipate heat efficiently, and withstand mechanical stress ensures they are the preferred choice for industries ranging from power electronics to automotive and beyond. By understanding the unique benefits and applications of Heavy Copper PCBs, businesses and engineers can leverage these advanced circuit boards to create more resilient, efficient, and powerful electronic systems.