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Glass Printed Circuit Boards - New Product Option for PCB Designers

PCBONLINE Team

Fri, Dec 10, 2021

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icon PCB prototype icon 988

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icon PCB prototype icon 988

glass PCB board

The above is a Glass PCB manufactured by PCBONLINE. Glass substrate printed circuit boards are new PCB products serving thermal dissipation and light transmittance purposes.

Glass PCBs provide a new option for PCB designing in regards to thermal dissipation and optoelectronic integration. Explore glass PCBs from the below now.

Part 1: Glass PCBs - A Shift from Ceramic Substrate to Glass Substrate

Once, we accepted a PCB manufacturing order, and the circuit boards are not designed to be glass substrates but ceramic substrates.

In the PCB prototyping project, the customer orders 3 sizes of the same circuit and 3 pieces for each. The largest size of the PCBs is 170mm × 170mm.

At the ceramic PCB factory of PCBONLINE, the ceramic circuit boards in the two smaller sizes are manufactured successfully without flaws. However, when we manufacture the 170mm × 170mm ceramic PCBs, the PCB surface breaks.

The reason for the 170mm × 170mm ceramic PCBs breaking is that, during the PCB lamination process, the prepreg in the circuit board is squeezed and overflowed, and then the PCB surface breaks.

Our experienced engineers quickly find a solution to large-size ceramic PCB breaking: change the PCB substrate from ceramic to glass!

The PCB substrate change doesn't change the boards' features or affect the PCB performances at all. We explained the PCB substrate change to the customer, and when he approves it, we start the fabrication at once. All three pieces of glass circuit boards are manufactured successfully.

Part 2: Glass PCB Material Specifications and Features

The substrate material of glass printed circuit boards is ultra-clear float glass.

glass PCB material

You may wonder about the specifications and features of the glass PCB substrate materials specifications. The glass substrate PCBs have excellent performances. The glass PCB core materials' specifications are below.

Ultra-clear float glasses (Low iron on-Line low-eradiation)
Light transmittance (%
External reflectivity (%)
Internal reflectivity (%)
Thermal transmittance
Thermal reflectance (%)
Thermal absorption (%)
Solar factor
Shading coefficient
U-value (W/㎡K)
1 to 3mm ultra-clear2#
85.63
11
11
76.86
13
15
0.75
0.86
3.90
4mm ultra-clear 2#
84.85
11
12
75.67
13
17
0.74
0.86
3.80
5mm ultra-clear 2#
84.95
11
12
75.58
13
20
0.72
0.83
3.80
6mm ultra-clear 2#
83.68
11
12
74.57
13
22
0.71
0.82
3.80
8mm ultra-clear 2#
83.23
12
13
74.00
11
24
0.69
0.81
3.80
10mm ultra-clear 2#
82.82
12
13
72.64
11
29
0.65
0.75
3.80
12mm ultra-clear 2#
82.65
12
13
70.53
11
32
0.55
0.65
3.80
15mm ultra-clear 2#
82.00
12
13
69.14
12
33
0.73
0.84
3.60
6mm+12A+6mm ultra-clear 3#
75.00
15
16
59.00
13
28
0.64
0.73
2.00
6mm ultra- clear+12A+6mm ultra-clear 3#
77.00
14
16
60.00
14
26
0.67
0.76
2.00

Features of glass PCB's core material - float glass are below.

  • Excellent thermal dissipation
  • Waterproof, moisture-proof, dust-proof
  • Best corrosion resistance in harsh environments
  • Good flatness, low expansion coefficient
  • High reflectivity, good looking
  • Feasibility to laminate with other materials such as metals, high-frequency, high-speed, FPC

Part 3: Applications of Glass Substrate Circuit Boards

Currently, glass PCBs are mainly used in fields that require high thermal dissipation and light transmittance.

Solar power equipment and systems

Solar power equipment, such as photovoltaic inverters, solar power batteries, requires the PCB boards to dissipate heat efficiently. Otherwise, the accumulated heat affects the chips and lowers the photoelectric conversion efficiency, and the lifespan of electronic components will also be shortened.

Glass substrate circuit boards can quickly transfer heat from the chips. And they have a small thermal expansion coefficient. Besides, the manufacturing costs will also be lowered because glass replaces the expensive semiconductors.

Glass LED display screen

LED display screens need to have excellent light transmittance. Glass PCBs carry the circuits and are transparent. The application of glass PCBs makes the LED display screens thinner and reduces the space.

New-energy electrical and electronics devices and systems

The thermal management system of new-energy electrical equipment and devices mainly includes batteries, power components, motors, air condition, etc. The increase of power leads to higher thermal dissipation requirements for circuit boards, and glass PCBs can handle the thermal dissipation needs.

Optical instruments and devices

glass PCB optical application

The application of glass printed circuit boards in optical instruments and devices realize optoelectronic integration. Glass PCBs make the optical instruments and devices smaller and smarter.

Part 4: Glass Circuit Board Manufacturing One-Stop-Shop Solution

PCBONLINE is a one-stop advanced PCB manufacturer founded in 1999. We provide PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, electronic components sourcing, value-added services such as conformal coating, end-product assembly.

Besides ceramic PCBs and glass substrate PCBs, from PCBONLINE, you can order any other type of printed circuit boards, such as rigid-flex PCBs, flexible PCBs, HDI PCBs, high-frequency PCBs, aluminum PCBs, heavy-copper PCBs.

Ordering glass circuit boards and any other PCBs from PCBONLINE, you will enjoy these benefits:

  • Free one-on-one engineering support and DFM, DFT, DFX for your project.
  • High-quality PCB manufacturing and assembly compliant to ISO, IATF, RoHS, REACH, UL, IPC standards.
  • All PCB/PCBA manufacturing and electronic component sourcing processes are traceable.
  • One-stop PCB services and complete tests. No need to test the products on yourself.
  • Competitive PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, electronic components prices.
  • Short lead time and fast logistics services.

Please feel free to contact PCBONLINE by email at info@pcbonline.com or online through the chat window.

Will Glass Substrate PCB be a Trend Product?

Glass PCBs could be one trend of PCB boards. Decades ago, rigid-flex PCBs were not used frequently. As the electronics products get smaller and smarter, the applications of rigid-flex PCB continue to soar as it provides dynamic stability and reduces space dramatically. In the future, when electronic products require higher power and better thermal dissipation, glass circuit boards will also get popular.

Conclusion

Glass substrate PCBs are newly-developed circuit boards and are not used in many fields yet. Glass PCBs have good thermal dissipationand high light transmittance. Now the applications of glass PCBs include solar power devices, glass LED display screens, optical electronics, and new-energy electronics. If you want to know more about glass PCBs or have glass PCB needs, do not hesitate to contact the glass PCB manufacturer PCBONLINE.