All You Need to Know About What Is Copper Clad Laminate

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CCL, also known as Copper Clad Laminate, is a lamination copper foil on resin-impregnated glass fabric sheets. The lamination has to be on both sides of the fabric sheets. So, you might have an idea about What Is Copper Clad Laminate? It is a part of the process because every electronic device consists of an electronic board. CCL laminates the board wiring and makes it more durable.

CCL is the first layer you will fabricate on the PCB. after that, and you will connect more components on the board. The CCL layer will connect all the components of the board. It allows them to work properly without causing any problems or facing any other hurdles. Understanding the concept of CCL and preparing it will not be easy, but let's try to understand the whole CCL concept overall and in PCB.

We have talked about CCL. What Is Copper Clad Laminate? We will discuss it in detail, so you will be able to understand the whole concept.

Why is CLL an important part of the PCB manufacturing procedure?

Every electronic device consists of an electric board, and to keep the material intact on the board, and it requires laminate. There will be different sizes and 96densities of electronic products like small, thin, light, high-density, and multi-functional. So, the number of items integrated into the PCB also depends on the type of electronic product.

Whether the model of PCB is complex or simple, both will require safety, and CCL provides that safety. CCL fabricates the PCB. It is a lamination material in which you will soak your electronic glass fiber with resin. You can also reinforce the material with copper clad on both sides of the electronic fiberglass.

Mostly CCL is used for the PCB installed in mobiles, computers, radios, television, and many other electronic devices.

How to prepare copper-clad laminate?

For preparing copper-clad laminate, manufacturers usually use prepreg. Prepreg is a reinforcing material already impregnated with a resin that contains a perfect curing agent. You get the resin in pre-dry and unhardened form. These fabricator who prepares the CCL will use heat to melt the resin and place it in the mold. They sandwich the resin between two copper foil layers.

Materials of CCL

To get the answer to What Is Copper Clad Laminate, you should also know the material first, so let's talk about the material of CCL in detail now:

  • Copper foil

It is a cathodic electrolyte material that gets deposited continuously, and the layer has to be thin. It will get deposited on base of PCB as it will be a very thin metal layer. It will bond easily to the insulating layer, making a protective layer and creating a pattern with corrosion.

  • Prepreg

Fiberglass infused with resin is known as prepreg. You will dry the resin, but it shouldn't get too hard. So, it will flow, stick, and completely immerse whenever you heat it. An adhesive layer will strengthen the fiberglass prepregs. It is same as the fiberglass type which is manufactured with FR4 material.

The thickness of the prepreg depends on the choice of the manufacturer. They will choose the thickness of the prepreg. You should know that there are different versions of prepreg. Yes, you can go for medium resin, standard resin and high resin, depending upon the content of the resin.

To choose the best type of prepreg, you should choose the one with the perfect thickness, layer structure, and impedance once you prepare the product.

PCB

Types of Copper Clad Laminate by reinforcing material

If you are still unsatisfied with the details of CCL that we have mentioned above, answer the question: What Is Copper Clad Laminate? It would help if you learned more about the types of CCL. Yes, there are types of CCL based on different factors. So, let's explore those types and factors on which the CCL has been divided:

Type of Copper Clad Laminate by applied insulation resin

  • Glass fiber cloth base CCL
  • Compound CCL
  • Special material base CCL
  • Paper base CCL

Types of Copper Clad Laminate performance

  • Epoxy resin CCL
  • Phenolic resin CCL
  • Polyester CCL

Types of Copper Clad Laminate by mechanical rigidity

  • CCL with high heat resistance
  • CCL with low CTE
  • General performance CCL
  • CCL with low dielectric constant

Types of Copper Clad Laminate by mechanical rigidity

Below are two types.

Rigid CCL

In rigid boards, CCL is also known as PCB laminate. It is a substrate material that laminates both sides of a printed circuit board with a thin copper lamination. It depends on the types of PCB and whether you need to do the lamination on one or both sides. It will be a single-side CCL or double-sided CCL.

Flexible CCL

CCL is a core material when it comes to flexible printed circuit boards. Flexible copper-clad lamination consists of polyimide and copper foil. Both these materials are used as an insulator and as electrical conductors. If you want the coating on a single side of FCCL, it is single-sided FCCL or double-sided FCCL.

Copper Clad Laminate benefits to know about

You might be thinking that why CCL is important for PCB. As we have said above, it is a part of the procedure of preparing any PCB. Without CCL, no PCB will get manufactured. There are other benefits of CCL that we are going to discuss now:

  • Low dielectric constant
  • High heat resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Environmental performance
  • Available in different thicknesses

Now you have to understand that there are a lot of benefits when it comes to copper-clad laminates. Without these benefits, the fabricator won't be able to hop onto the next step of manufacturing a PCB. It gives your PCB strength and connects all the materials that you will attach to your PCB. You get to choose the perfect CCL according to your need for the PCB. So, you will get your desired results.

How to make the best CCL?

You can make the best CCL or the worse as well. So, it depends on your experience and how professionally you get the work done. So here are a few tips for preparing the best CCL:

Size of CCL

CCL will be the base material of PCB, so you must be careful to fabricate a very thin layer that will meet the requirement of your desired design. For a successful application of all the material on the board, the size of the CCL on the PCB has to be perfect. Otherwise, you might have to face difficulties while applying the components.

CCL appearance

There will be a list of issues that you will face if you don't pay attention to the appearance of your CCL. During the manufacturing process, different problems occur due to unexpected elements. Following are the problems we are talking about:

  • Resin points
  • Scratches
  • Dents
  • Bubbles
  • Wrinkles
  • Pinholes

Well, we haven't mentioned all the problems yet. If these things happen to your CCL, it will affect its performance. Yes, it will perform poorly, and you will notice its reflection on the printed board.

Environmental performance

It would help if you considered a few common environmental aspects of CCL: corrosion resistance and water absorption. If your CCL meets these two requirements, you have done the right job perfectly.

Chemical performance

One of the most important features of a CCL is its electric performance. It is necessary to meet protection requirements for chemical resistance, flammability, dimensional stability and thermal expansion with Z-axis coefficient

Electrical performance

You need carefully design the electric performance because it is important for the PCB. The requirements for making the best CCL are surface, insulation and volume resistance, dielectric loss tangent, dielectric constant, electric strength, arc resistance, and Comparative Tracking Index. Keep these aspects in mind while you are making the CCL.

Physical performance

Regarding the physical performance of CCL, there are a few requirements like elasticity, dimensional stability, heat resistance, punching quality, and Peel Strength.

PCB fabrication and CCL

You can customize your PCB according to your requirements. It doesn't have to be a complex model if you make it for a simpler electronic device. The different types of CCL you can have for your PCB manufacturing are:

  • Resin epoxy with FR-4 CCL
  • Microwave PCB CCL
  • Copper core CCL
  • Aluminum core CCL
  • Radio Frequency (RF)

All the types we have mentioned above for PCB fabrication come with amazing features. It would help to choose what you think would work for your PCB manufacturing. Plus, it depends on the electronic device for which you prepare the PCB.

Final Words:

Now you might have got the answer to your question What Is Copper Clad Laminate? It has a list of benefits; you will need it to prepare your PCB. Just be very careful while you are making a CCL. We have discussed the aspects you need to keep in mind while preparing for CCL. Otherwise, your CCL will affect the working of your PCB.

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