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Old 01-31-2011, 03:38 AM   #4264 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bga View Post
Heavy copper tracks.

A good way to beef up the wide copper tracks on a power PCB is to solder heavy gauge solder wick or copper strands along the track. The track has to be mostly bare copper, free of resist, to do this.
Most commercial boards have a solder mask coating. This is very difficult to mechanically remove without damaging the copper layer. Using solvent is considered an even worse option -- it damages the board and wicks under the foil, breaking down the adhesive all along the trace.

Remember that adding metal lowers the resistance, but does not increase the surface area thus doing nothing to improve the cooling. Doubling the thickness results in less than a 1.4x increase in current carrying capability. And since solder has about 10x the resistance of copper, you should only count the copper added when estimating the increased cross-section.

Last edited by DJBecker; 01-31-2011 at 10:37 AM..
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