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Aluminum-Backed PCBs

Don Kaufman

An aluminum-backed printed circuit board has a PCB, or substrate, attached to a machined flat aluminum layer. This layer of aluminum can serve as a heat conductive layer that channels heat out of the PCB. The aluminum can also act as a grounding layer. Aluminum-backed PCBs are common in RF technology. Cirexx only manufacturers aluminum-backed PCBs, not aluminum PCBs.

Aluminum PCB vs. Aluminum-Backed PCB

Despite their name, aluminum PCBs are not 100% aluminum. They typically contain a mixture of material, such as copper, aluminum, or alumina. Many people, however, use the two terms interchangeably to mean the same thing.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Aluminum-Backed PCBs

These types of PCBs are lightweight yet durable and environmentally friendly, since aluminum is non-toxic and recyclable. Aluminum can also transfer heat away from certain components of the printed circuit board, which can help prevent damage caused by high temperatures. Aluminum can also act as a grounding layer.

Sometimes aluminum-backed PCBs can be expensive to manufacture depending on the amount of machining. These types of PCBs are usually single-sided.

Aluminum PCB Applications

These types of PCBs are used across numerous industries and in a wide variety of devices and products, including:

  • Audio equipment
  • Power supply equipment
  • Power converters
  • Communication equipment
  • Automobiles
  • Computers
  • Lighting, including street lighting, traffic control lighting, and interior building lighting
  • LED displays
  • Electrical controls
  • Consumer products
  • RF microwave, telecommunications, and radar

Aluminum PCB Stackup

An aluminum-backed PCB is a PCB that is attached to the aluminum with an adhesive. It’s made up of the following layers:

  • Circuit copper layer
  • Dielectric (insulating) layer
  • Aluminum substrate

Types of Aluminum-Backed PCBs

The main difference between the three categories of aluminum PCBs is the composition of the dielectric layer.


Type of Aluminum Dielectric Layer Composition
Universal aluminum-backed PCB Epoxy glass fiber prepreg and copper
High thermal-conductive aluminum-backed PCB Epoxy resin and copper
High-frequency aluminum PCB Polyimide resin glass fiber prepreg, copper, and other RF-rated substrates


Cirexx’s Aluminum-Backed PCB Capabilities

Cirexx has the technology, deep engineering experience, and knowledge to help you design and build an aluminum-backed PCB correctly from the start.

If you have questions about aluminum-backed PCBs, contact us, and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Looking for an Aluminum-Backed PCB Quote?

We use a well-organized process and the right software to provide you with a quote within 24 hours. After you upload your information, including any fabrication drawings or schematics, our engineering staff will analyze the data so we can take a closer look at your aluminum PCB project.


written by
Don Kaufman
Business Development Manager

Don Kaufman is our Business Development Manager and has been with Cirexx International since 2006. He has over 33 years of sales and technical experience in the printed circuit board industry, which provides intrinsic value to customers. Don has extensive knowledge regarding integrated circuits, materials, specialty laminates, chemicals and equipment. He also prides himself on staying current with the very latest techniques and procedures in PCB Layout and manufacturing.


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