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What Function Does the Copper Layer PCB Serve?

Once the etching is finished, copper layers can be considered as a circuit board with copper on it. Typically, this consists of tracks and pads or power and ground layers.

We’ll talk about the uses of a copper layer PCB in this post. We will also go over how to create output files suitable for the copper layers, among other things.

Why Do Printed Circuit Boards Use Copper?

When it comes to PCB design, two terms become crucial.

These consist of copper balancing and copper thieving. Despite the fact that they are frequently used interchangeably, in this post, we shall highlight the key differences between the two.

Copper Balancing

copper layer PCB

The combination of the copper areas and non-conductive patterns into the circuit board is known as copper balancing. This prevents the board from potentially bending while manufacturing is taking place. Additionally, asymmetrically constructed PCB layer stackup might cause the board to warp during fabrication.

Additionally, because of excessive heat used for soldering, any uneven copper included in the board’s structure may twist during assembly. Your PCB CAD’s design system will assist in adding area fills as well as pours to the sparse sections of your board to help the copper in balancing your design to combat this.

Copper thieving

Introducing non-conductive patterns of copper to the circuit board is known as copper thieving. But in situations like this, the only options are to thieve as well as discharge some of the electrical current used for the board plating.

Additionally, the current applied into the board in order to facilitate plating can become more concentrated and targeted towards the characteristics on its board regions that contain isolated as well as lonely traces.

The scenario may result in the trace being under-etched, producing a “mushroom”-like profile instead of the expected clean and squared edges. The cross-section of this trace can show significant undercutting, and the right-side trace is then squared off as you would like.

Choosing the Best Copper Material for Copper Layer PCB


Copper Foil

The cathode component of your electrolytic material can be called the copper foil. On the base of the circuit board, this substance is placed onto the continuous, as well as thin layer of metal foil. Additionally, it is simple to attach onto the insulating layer, accepting the protective layer, coupled with a corroded nature so as to form the pattern of your circuit.


Prepreg is an abbreviation for pre-impregnated. Also, t his is referred to as resin-impregnated fiberglass. Although the resin is usually pre-dried, it has not yet been solidified. As a result, when heated, this adheres, flows, and becomes completely submerged. In order to strengthen the prepregs, fiberglass is added via a specific adhesive layer, similar to FR4 material. Prepreg names are all derived from the type of fiberglass utilized.

Standard Thickness of Copper Layer PCB

The most commonly used units for determining copper layer PCB thickness in circuit boards.

However, the majority of individuals are unaware of the type of thickness it has. Undoubtedly, not everyone thinks in mils before converting to their favorite measurement system utilizing the conversion tool of choice.

Additionally, the bulk of Circuit boards are typically built with a copper layer that is 1 ounce thick. Whenever the customer fails to provide particular specifications for PCB production, the manufacturer often assumes the standard 1 oz when quoting and creating the design. Additionally, it is wise to increase its copper’s thickness and the width of the traces if that customer suddenly decides their design requires more current compared to the standard 1 ounce can carry.

Yes, the price will increase if the copper is thicker. However, there really are times when this is absolutely required. Additionally, the price increase is not solely due to the higher cost of the raw materials, but also to the longer processing times required for heavier weights of copper. In addition, handling and performing it could be a little bit trickier.

Processing the Copper Layer PCB Thickness


Etching is used to create the copper traces on the board. The interior layers and the surface are both the same in this regard. Etching is a crucial process in the production of PCBs. This laminate sheet, that is completely covered in copper, is the first layer to be constructed. Etching is the process of removing extra copper using an ammonia-based solution from traces and other locations, such as component pads and annular rings to serve the vias.

This copper thickness is usually where the sheets begin. To meet the required specifications, this thickness can be increased, etched down, decreased, or plated up. Due to the manufacturing technique used to create these sheets, the surface has a certain type of roughness that aid the bonding onto a dielectric material.

Additionally, this can have a detrimental impact on its signal integrity and at a greater frequency.

Additionally, for frequencies higher than 100 MHz, there is a skin effect that causes current to flow more frequently at the interior surface of the trace than through the middle part of this conductor. This causes the effective resistance of the trace to increase as well as oppose current flow.

How to Create Output Files for the Copper Layer PCB

Use “flashes” for this pads whenever you create data files. This prevents “painted/drawn” pads from being used. Additionally, avoid “painting” or using little draws to fill in the bigger copper planes and sections. Use contours or polygons to create areas or planes whenever possible.

Gerber X2 output as well as other formats includes these as standard features. Additionally, be sure to include your board layout each time you are outputting that copper layer of a PCB. This makes it easier to spot any errors with rotation, mirroring, as well as data alignment.

The easiest way to do this is to utilize a certain narrow line, the center of which is the outline of the board.


We believe we have adequately outlined the purpose of a copper layer PCB. Should you have some questions, please contact us at any time.