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How To Design A High Current PCB

Designing a High Current PCB is the concern of many designers. This is because many people are stuck when it comes to using high applications for their designs. For beginners, it may be quite challenging at first. However, with regular practice, one can become an expert. One needs to thoroughly study how it works effectively designing a high current PCB. The challenge for most designers is that they do not even know about high current PCB.

There are guidelines on how to use high current applications for your PCB designs. Some people stumble on it and end up thinking it is hard to use. The purpose of this article is to simplify how to design your high current PCB. Read with all openness as you would learn so much from this piece.

You can improve your PCB designs by reading this article too. Here, you shall learn more about the features, benefits of a high current PCB and how to design one. Also, you get to learn about the amps your PCB should be able to handle.

Steps in Designing a High Current PCB Design

high current pcb design

When it comes to design, you need to understand that the Printed Circuit Board needs extreme attention and care. In this part of the article, let us focus on how High Current PCB works. You do not just design without knowing the basics of how it works. You can follow the tips below to know how to appropriately design a high current PCB. You need to follow through with this process the best way you can. You must ensure you stick to the processes; else, one may not get the intended result.

Using Shorter Traces

When designing using high current applications, you need to know that shorter traces are more likely to work better. One thing is this, if the trace is longer, there are chances that you may experience bigger resistance. This implies that a longer trace may slow down your work. You do not want to experience any form of delay while working. This is why you have to be so cautious of the traces you use. You have to restrict the loss of any form of power. As a result of that, maintain the traces. Since you are into high current PCB design, it is paramount to go for the shorter traces.

The Need For A Heavy Copper

If you are designing a high current PCB, you should be aware of the standard. The default layer or density of your PCB is at least 17.5 microns in each of its square feet. This is mostly around 1 oz. Interestingly, the high current PCB design possesses heavier copper. This is what many designers do not know. The reason for the heavier copper is to diminish your trace width. In doing so, it still flows within the same range of tendency or current.

Note that a smaller trace size only occupies a little amount of space you have on your board. As a result, the smaller trace makes it possible for enough space. The higher copper density may be nothing less than 35- 50 microns. This is more likely to be within 3 to 4 oz. This is in each square foot. This occurs when one is working at more than 10 amps.

Suitable Mounting

You must ensure that you position the current flow on the board rightly. If one is using some singular electronic parts of high current, it could be possible to get some larger size of thermal column force. It is however, important for designers to note that the large energy parts of the high current must not be positioned to face your board’s edge.

This accumulates heat. And it also increases the temperature by a reasonably great amount. Having your microcontroller close to the center helps the heat disperse from one side of the board to the other. It is best advisable to disperse the heat if you are using a high current PCB design.

Thermal Separation

Electrical energy you get via the power terminal can be transformed into another form. This form is heat energy. The heat energy is dispersed to any outlying area or environment. The boards that transport a bigger volume of current unavoidably generate a bigger volume of thermal column energy.

Designers should know that some parts like amplifiers, voltage references, converters, regulators, among other electronic transmitters could be drastically responsive to motion or pressure in their direct surroundings.

If these electronic circuitries discover any insulation occurrence in their immediate surroundings, it can abruptly neuter signals they create. As a result of this, the board becomes open to certain errors. It, therefore, makes it unreliable. It is very crucial to specifically separate the responsive parts to guard them against the harsh effects of extreme thermal energy around their environment.

Remove Solder Mask

As a designer, one can remove the solder mask of the board. The high current PCB design requires that the board is always receiving connection. One method that guarantees that a trace transports a larger volume of current on the board is by eliminating one’s mask.

As a result, it reveals the basic copper matter. Some additional soldiers can help raise the thickness of your copper. This will then reduce the general resistance of the current transporting to the PCB. In the long run, your PCB can then adapt to some larger volume of current. It would not in any way raise the trace width.

Thick Boards

The boards that are viscous are noted in some cases. If a designer adds to the trace width of his PCB in a situation whereby it uses a higher volume of copper, it can adapt when the board is thick. The viscous boards help one to put one’s traces around some thickness of your board. It enables the board to copy with some dispersed heat around the traces.

Polygon Pours

The polygon pours have their role. One thing is that it is capable of raising the board’s current transmitting capacity. It helps with the thermal separation of responsive parts of your board. It is noteworthy that one can place polygon pours related to some traces underneath some chip.

How to Improve Some Layout Effectiveness In  PCB Design

It is one of the concerns of people when it comes to high current designs. One thing is that a high current PCB design can come out successfully. However, one can always improve on the layout one conceptualizes. Below are a few ways to improve on it.

Use the DIY Method For Your Schematic

In the layout of PCB design, a designer can adopt the DIY method. In making your schematic, the DIY approach helps you improve your layout effectively. Many tools are quite instrumental in creating a great schematic.

Adequately Space Your Components

It is crucial to space your components. Do not muddle up your components. On no account should you place the components without putting space.

Avoid Placing Traces At The Right Angle

If you truly want to improve on the layout of PCB design, do not put your traces at the right angle. Placing it at the right angle makes it challenging to make the traces uniform. You can place the traces at preferably 45 degrees. This guarantees space and avoids overcrowded design of your PCB.

Various Wiring Positions Can Be Used Between Layers

It is also important to use various wiring positions between your layers. This is most likely between two layers. The consecutive layers always need different directions.

Carefully Pick Your Line Width

Many do not know that the line width also counts. If you carefully select it, your line width will allow the flow of your current smoothly. Allow the circuit board to perform effectively by the careful selection of your line width. It is a perfect way of maximally using the layout. A designer needs to always remember this when working.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much of an Amp Can My PCB Handle?

Many people want to know about the PCB of their designs. To know about the amp of a PCB, the trace current transmitting capability determines that. Each PCB has varying degrees of capacity. The PCB can however handle different amps depending on the board and width of the trace.

What should I look out for in a high current PCB?

A high current PCB should have a high-quality base material, a copper clad having tolerance in accordance with international standards, hole wall thickness, solder resistant material, and a positional tolerance on circuit boards.


A lot has been discussed in this article. You can optimize your high current PCB design by following the tile given above. However, you should note that the more you design the better you become. When placing a high current on your PCB, this needs certain design modifications.

The main factors relatively connected with high current PCB designs are; the trace width, layout rules, copper thickness or viscosity, dispersion of heat produced, eliminating the solder mask, making proper use of the internal layers of high current flow, and others. Carefully follow the design process stated above. Read through and you can improve on your high current PCB design.

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