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For higher current traces, is there such a thing as a metal bar that can be used?

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NVergunst

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I am designing a power supply that has a few higher amperage traces (10A-20A DC @ 5v-12v) and it is on a fairly high density small area board. I was thinking there must be a way to make one of the traces basically all solder (like a giant pad) then solder on a metal bar or solid core wire or something of the sort. Is there a standard name for this, or is this doable/feasible?

What about doing the above sans actual metal bar? Would the added thickness of the solder paste help any or would it be detrimental without something else there?
 

alexan_e

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NVergunst

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I fill the traces with solder like in this picture (no wire)
https://www.edaboard.com/member160930-albums41-51295.html

Or you can also remove the insulation from a single core wire, place it over the trace and then fill/solder the wire

Alex
Hi,

I have done that before, but this is for a real production board. Something that will be pick-n-placed at some point after prototyping. I don't think the machines will do that. I could be wrong about that though.
 

alexan_e

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Yes, I'm using it for hobby circuits, I thought that this was your intension too.
I haven't seen any production board so far using bars or something like that but they may exist, I suppose it is a good solution but can't be automated easily.

Alex
 

mtwieg

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I've never seen something like that done on a PCB. Generally high current paths are either bus bar screwed directly onto the PCB with standoffs, or are shorts runs of wires with either terminal blocks or ring terminals.

I also wish there was a way to do what the OP is describing in a production assembly. There's no reason a reflow machine couldn't do it. But the problem is with the component placing; most machines just couldn't handle placing a long thin piece of wire on a board. It would have to be done by hand.

Maybe you could just get away with leaving a wide trace bare, and printing a layer of solder on it, and just reflowing that? Worth a shot.
 

FvM

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Orson Cart

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copper parts can be etched just like a pcb (0.2 - 0.5mm thickness) with suitable "legs" to go thru holes in a pcb to carry high current to any part of the board - the copper parts can be folded and can be quite elaborate if required (limited only by imagination of designer) or very simple - usually they are plated with solder ("tinned") - there are quite a few suppliers that do these, and can be stamped brass for high volume. Regards Orson Cart.
 

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