Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS)

The use of IMS circuit boards for simple single-layer circuits is a special but very effective method of heat dissipation for components across circuit boards. These generally consist of aluminium supports, insulation layers and copper foil. The base materials are available in different design versions.


  • LED technology: Illuminated signs, displays and lighting
  • Automotive industry: LED headlights, engine control and power steering
  • Power electronics: DC power supply, inverters and engine control
  • Switches and semi-conductor relays

Better heat dissipation than FR4

The heat generated by components such as LEDs and transistors can be easily spread and transmitted. Compared with conventional FR4 materials, the heat conductance value of the insulating layers between the copper layer and metal carrier is 5 to 10 times higher.

Technical specifications
Manufacturers Arlon, Bergquist, DENKA, Laird, KinWong, Ventec
Carrier material Aluminium, copper, stainless steel
Metal type Aluminium: 1100H14, 5052H34, 6061T6
Copper: C1100, C1220
Stainless steel: SUS430
Panel size Normal: 600*457 mm
Maximum: 1200*550 mm
PCB thickness 0.4 - 3.2 mm
Tolerance of PCB thickness +/- 0.10 mm
Standard metal thickness 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.6 mm, 0.8 mm, 1.0 mm, 1.2 mm,
1.5 mm, 2.0 mm, 2.5 mm, 3.0 mm
Thickness of insulating layer 0.05 mm - 0.20 mm
Heat conductance value 1 W/mK - 8 W/mK
Dielectric strength 6 kV AC
Copper thickness 18 µm, 35 µm, 70 µm, 105 µm
Track width ≥ 150 μm
Conductor spacing ≥ 150 μm
Final diameter 0.5 mm - 6 mm
Hole tolerance +/- 0.075 mm
Positional tolerance of drilled hole +/- 0.10 mm
Aspect ratio 5:2
Solder mask dam ≥ 100 μm
Solder mask clearance ≥ 50 μm
Via clearance ≥ 100 μm
Conductor coverage ≥ 50 μm
Tolerance of outer outlines +/- 0.10 mm
Max. external dimensions Length: 1200 mm, width: 530 mm
Surface finish HAL, LF-HAL, OSP, ENIG, Immersion Silver, Immersion Tin, ENEPIG

Manufacturing process

1. The copper foil is laminated onto the metal carrier using prepreg
2. The copper foil is structured
3. Solder mask is applied
4. Surface finish
5. Mechanical processing