Top 5 Best Performing Substrate Materials for PCBs

Substrate Materials for PCBs
Top 5 Best Performing Substrate Materials for PCBs

Substrates are dielectric composite structures that provide a platform for physically holding circuit components. These base materials determine the quality and reliability of PCBs, and helps manufacturers in achieving the best possible function, longevity and cost efficiency. The performance and vital attributes of PCBs are highly dependent on the type of substrate material used in the board design. In order to meet the requirements of today’s innovative products and market trends, substrate materials for PCB units are available in several types, which in turn make the right selection a daunting process. This post is thus intended to list a few of the most popular PCB substate materials that are in trend right now.

Popular Substrate Materials for PCB 

Choosing the right substrate materials for PCB units holds a great significance as the material used impacts the overall performance and determine the insulation resistance, dielectric constant, dielectric loss and electrical properties of the board. Amongst the several substrates available, the following types are largely chosen for PCB fabrication due to their effectiveness when using in boards meant for demanding applications.

  • FR4: FR (Flame Retardant) 4 epoxy glass substrates are generally used in single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layered boards owing to their low cost and versatility. Available in a wide range of operating temperatures (50°C to 115°C) and high Tg values (about 180°C), the substrate material offers several beneficial physical and mechanical properties. Made up of woven fiberglass cloth with an epoxy resin binder, they find immense applications in high-frequency designs, demanding good strength-to-weight ratios and zero water absorption.
  • CEM: Composite Epoxy Materials (CEM) are a group of composite materials, known for providing excellent electrical and mechanical properties. Produced from non-woven glass, and woven glass fabric surfaces, CEM offers superior flexural strength and ability to handle physical stress. The CEM category of PCB substrate material includes CEM-1, CEM-2, CEM-3, CEM-4, and CEM-5.
  • Teflon: Teflon, also known as PTFE material, is widely used in high frequency PCB manufacturing owing to its numerous beneficial features. This material offers impressive thermal characteristics, good dielectric properties, high electronegativity, low chemical reactivity, good flame resistance, and high physical strength. Due to these features, Teflon is mainly chosen for PCBs that are meant for handheld cellular devices and WIFI antennas, telematics and infotainment devices, radar systems, and aerospace guidance telemetry, among others.
  • Polyimide: Polyimide is a flexible material widely used for flex and rigid/flex boards due to their amazing electrical properties. Available in various forms like low-flow polyimides, filled polyimides, and pure filled polyimides, they work best in various operating temperatures ranging from -200 °C to 300 °C. In addition to being resistant to heat and chemicals, polyimide is also strong and resistant to warping. These advantages make them a choice for PCBs for military, electronics, and automotive industries that demand extreme stability and flexibility at the same time.
  • Rogers: Made from woven glass reinforced hydrocarbon, Roger’s PCB materials come with a stable temperature and a high-quality dielectric constant. Low electrical signal losses, high thermal management ability and improved impedance control make them ideal for high-frequency and high-speed circuits. Rogers 4350B, Rogers 3003, Rogers 3006, Rogers 3010, Rogers 0588, Rogers 6002, Rogers 6010, Rogers 4003 are the popular grades available for mission-critical applications in the defense and aerospace sectors.

The list of substrate materials for PCB units is not limited to these, but extend to several more. However, as they play an integral role in determining the overall performance, choosing the best performing material is of utmost importance. Here comes the relevance of associating with leading PCB manufacturers like Twisted Traces who is experienced in making the right substrate selection as per the application requirements. With over 30 years of PCB manufacturing experience, Twisted Traces has worked with almost all substrate materials, which gave the firm the confidence in recommending the best substrate to suit the customers’ requirements.

PCB Online Quote  PCB Quote

Customer Evaluation