How to Select the Right RF PCB Material

rf pcb material

If you’re designing a circuit board, there are several options for PCB material. Among them are FR4, RT, Duroid, and PTFE. Knowing which material is best for your circuit board will help you avoid mistakes and maximize the performance of your board. You can also get help from engineers in Rayming PCB and Assembly.


FR4 PCB material is a popular choice among electronic component manufacturers. However, it has a variety of drawbacks, including poor fire resistance. It is also brittle and is susceptible to cracking and breaking under stress. This can cause damage to the PCB and pose a safety hazard. Fortunately, PCB manufacturers have the expertise to help you select the most appropriate material for your project.

The main difference between FR4 PCB and other types is its manufacture. We can make FR4 PCB by stacking two or more layers of circuitry. These layers can ensure reliable preset interconnection. This multi-layer design is an extreme departure from the traditional manufacturing process. The innermost two layers are made up of double-sided panels, while the outer layers are single, independent panels. The inner substrate is drilled during the manufacturing process and then through-hole plated. We then plate the signal layer through the balanced copper ring on the inside edge of the through-hole.


When comparing high-power PCB materials, thermal conductivity is an essential factor. It describes how heat moves through the material, and we measure it in watts per meter per degree Kelvin. PCBs with low thermal conductivity are best for applications that require a high-frequency operation.

Rogers’ RT/duroid series of high-frequency circuit materials is an excellent choice. This material contains PTFE, which provides superior thermal conductivity. It is also a good choice for multi-layer board constructions. RT/duroid 6002 laminates are especially useful for microwave radio frequency PCB.

RT PCB material requires a skilled engineer who has experience in RF material. A qualified engineer should be familiar with CAD/CAM software. Also, they should have experience in building PCBs. Proper management of registration and lamination layer shirts is essential.



Duroid RF PCB material provides excellent performance for high-frequency and wide-band applications. It has low dielectric loss and little variation in electrical properties with frequency. Moreover, it offers low moisture absorption, which is ideal for use in high-humidity environments.

Its high-frequency and low-loss properties make it ideal for demanding stripline circuit applications. For instance, the RT / Duroid 5880 laminate features a low dissipation factor and coefficient of thermal expansion. In addition, it is nonmetallic and highly resistant to etching agents. It also resists high-temperature processing.

New material from Rogers PCB, RT/Duroid 5880, is designed to meet the requirements of high-frequency applications. It consists of polytetrafluoroethylene glass fiber-reinforced materials. This material has a very low dielectric constant and a low dissipation factor so that we can use it in high-power circuits.


PTFE RF PCB material is helpful for high-frequency applications. It offers excellent dielectric constant and volume resistivity. It also offers high breakdown voltage. However, when processed, the material is susceptible to damage, so proper surface preparation is essential. The surface preparation process must happen with special equipment. Avoid using bristles or composite brushes. Surface preparation methods typically involve plasma gas recycling and sodium etchants.

The use of PTFE RF PCB material is advantageous in several different situations. The dielectric constant increases by adding ceramic fillers or microfiber glass to the material. This improves signal transmission between the components. The cost of manufacturing a PTFE PCB is higher than FR4. The material also has a higher dielectric constant and coefficient of thermal expansion than FR4 PCB material.

PTFE smears at drill

When we assemble RF PCBs, the material’s coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is an important consideration. This factor determines how sturdy a circuit board is under different temperatures. Conversely, when the material’s CTE is too high, it can break during the final PCB assembly process. Hence, materials with low CTE are ideal for RF boards.

FEP, ceramic-filled PTFE, and woven glass are commonly ideal for RF PCBs. These materials have lower lamination and re-melt temperatures, which is crucial for boards operating in high thermal conditions.

PTFE is a good insulator

PTFE is an excellent insulating material for RF PCBs because it has good electrical properties. Besides, we can combine it with other materials, such as polyimide. There are four basic types of PCB substrates. The type that you choose depends on your application and budget. Most solutions offer free CADs and samples.

Teflon PCBs are resistant to water. Moreover, they can withstand temperatures ranging from -454 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also non-conductive and durable. The material is also resistant to ultraviolet rays, oxidation, and embrittlement. This makes PTFE a cost-effective material.

FR4 is the cheapest RF PCB material

FR4 is a common multi-layer PCB material. It has a Dk value of 11.0 and can be used to make RF PCBs at high frequencies. The material’s low cost makes it an attractive choice for low-stress applications. FR4 also has a lower power loss at high frequencies.

FR4 is widely used in high-frequency applications as it is inexpensive. However, it has poor performance attributes and inconsistent consistency. It is also not suitable for high-frequency, multi-GHz circuits. It has several mechanical and electrical properties, including dielectric constant, loss factor, dielectric breakdown voltage, leakage current, tensile strength, moisture absorption, and glass transition temperature.

The dielectric constant (Dk) of a material significantly impacts the size of a circuit board. Therefore, higher Dk values will produce smaller circuits. However, FR-4 is not the best choice for RF PCBs.

FR4 causes skin effect

FR4 PCB material is one of the most commonly used materials in PCB manufacturing. It provides excellent insulation between copper layers. It is a composite material made of fiberglass and flame-resistant epoxy resin. The fiberglass layer provides structural support for the material. The epoxy resin surrounding the fiberglass layer provides rigidity.

FR4 PCB material is not only inexpensive but also relatively stable. It comes in various thicknesses and is compatible with many applications. However, it is not the best choice for high-frequency applications. In these cases, a high-frequency laminate is a better option.

The thickness of an FR4 PCB board depends on its application. Thinner boards can flex, but this is not desirable for many applications. However, some applications require greater flexibility, such as medical and automotive PCBs.

FR4 is dimensionally stable

FR4 is an excellent choice for PCBs that must meet high dimensional stability and electrical reliability. It has a low thermal expansion coefficient and is very corrosion-resistant. As a result, it is an excellent insulator. As a result, it is suitable for many high-frequency applications. Among these are wireless communications and automotive. In addition, it is beneficial for multi-layer board designs. Its high Tg and electrical properties make it ideal for applications requiring high-frequency bandpass filters, microstrip patch antennas, and voltage-controlled oscillators.

FR4 is an excellent choice for various PCB applications due to its versatility and a perfect balance between cost and performance. It is ideal for both single-sided and double-sided circuit boards. Technically, FR-4 consists of woven fiberglass-reinforced sheets laminated together. The material does not have a core or prepreg. It is a rigid layer and can withstand temperature fluctuations and mechanical shocks.

FR4 can withstand high temperatures

FR4 PCB is a glass-reinforced epoxy laminate. This material has many properties that make it ideal for high-temperature environments. Low-temperature effects include matrix cracking, delamination, and fiber breakage. However, low temperatures of -30oC and below may not be enough to cause spontaneous crystalline brittleness.

FR4 is a type of PCB material with a flame-retardant property. It comprises multiple layers of glass fiber epoxy laminate, each with a distinct physical property. Because of these characteristics, FR4 PCB is a popular choice for manufacturers. It also has good electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties.

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