In applications where a lot of heat is generated it’s very important to dissipate this heat safely. The disadvantages of forced cooling are that it often gives rise to noise, vibrations and increased energy use. Using heat-sinks increases the costs and makes assembly more difficult, and the extra weight and volume can cause problems.
It’s often a much better solution to use specific printed circuit board constructions. A solution that is frequently used is a metal core structure. Using this solution, the printed circuit board consists of an aluminium plate bearing the pattern of tracks. A thermally conductive electrical insulator is used between the tracks and the plate so that the heat can pass through to the aluminium.
The increased use of LED lighting, whereby the heat dissipated by the LED must be removed, has lead to a massive increase in the use of PCBs with aluminium cores.
Copper may be used as an alternative.
Detailed specifications for AL-core PCBs