Materials Used for High Tg PCBs: A Comparison and Selection Guide

Materials Used for High Tg PCBs: A Comparison and Selection Guide

High Tg PCBs are becoming increasingly popular in various industries, including aerospace, defense, and medical devices. These applications require PCBs that can withstand high temperatures and have high thermal stability. In addition, high Tg PCBs offer improved mechanical and electrical properties compared to standard PCBs. However, selecting the right material for a high Tg PCB project can be challenging, given the wide range of materials available in the market. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison and selection guide for different materials used for high Tg PCBs.

Comparison of Different Materials Used for High Tg PCBs

FR-4: FR-4 is the most commonly used material for high Tg PCBs due to its low cost and availability. It is a composite material made of woven fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin, with a Tg value of around 140°C. However, FR-4 has limitations in terms of high-temperature performance, mechanical strength, and dielectric loss.

Polyimide: Polyimide is a high-temperature resistant material that can withstand temperatures up to 260°C. It is commonly used in aerospace and defense applications where extreme temperature fluctuations are expected. Polyimide also has excellent mechanical properties and high dimensional stability, making it suitable for applications that require tight tolerances. However, polyimide is more expensive than FR-4, and it can be difficult to process due to its high melting point.

PTFE: PTFE, also known as Teflon, is a high-frequency material that has excellent electrical properties, including low dielectric constant and loss. It is commonly used in microwave and radio frequency applications, such as antennas and satellite communications. PTFE has a Tg value of around 120°C, which limits its use in high-temperature applications. PTFE is also a difficult material to process due to its low surface energy and non-stick properties.

BT: BT is a low dielectric loss material that offers good electrical performance at high frequencies. It has a Tg value of around 180°C and is commonly used in telecommunications and networking applications. BT has good mechanical properties and can be processed easily. However, it is more expensive than FR4

Next, we will take a closer look at the two most commonly used high Tg PCB materials – FR-4 and polyimide – and compare their properties and suitability for various applications.

FR-4 High Tg PCBs: FR-4 is a widely used glass-reinforced epoxy laminate material that is commonly used for high Tg PCBs. Its Tg value ranges from 130-180°C depending on the specific grade of material used. FR-4 is cost-effective and offers good mechanical strength, electrical insulation, and chemical resistance. Additionally, FR-4 has good processing characteristics, making it easy to work with during the manufacturing process.

Polyimide High Tg PCBs: Polyimide is another popular material used for high Tg PCBs, with a Tg value ranging from 250-400°C. Polyimide offers excellent thermal stability, high mechanical strength, and good chemical resistance, making it an ideal choice for high-temperature applications. Additionally, polyimide has low dielectric loss and excellent dimensional stability, making it a preferred material for high-frequency applications.

Comparison and Selection Guide

When selecting between FR-4 and polyimide for high Tg PCB applications, several factors should be considered, including:

  1. Tg value – FR-4 materials typically have lower Tg values compared to polyimide. Therefore, if your application requires high-temperature performance, polyimide may be a better choice.

  2. Mechanical strength – Both FR-4 and polyimide offer good mechanical strength, but polyimide typically has better dimensional stability and resistance to impact and bending.

  3. Chemical resistance – Both materials have good chemical resistance, but polyimide may be a better choice for applications that require resistance to harsh chemicals and solvents.

  4. Dielectric properties – Polyimide has better dielectric properties than FR-4, making it an ideal choice for high-frequency applications.

  5. Cost – FR-4 is typically less expensive than polyimide, making it a more cost-effective choice for applications that do not require high-temperature or high-frequency performance.

Tips and best practices for working with high Tg PCB materials

  1. Precautions and guidelines for handling and processing high Tg PCB materials:
  • High Tg materials are more brittle and sensitive to thermal shock than standard FR-4 materials, so it is important to handle them with care to avoid damage during manufacturing processes.
  • When drilling, routing or milling high Tg PCBs, it is important to use sharp tools and avoid high speeds to reduce the risk of delamination or cracking.
  • High Tg materials can also be more sensitive to chemical exposure, so it is important to use the correct chemicals and follow recommended processing times and temperatures.
  1. Recommended manufacturing processes for each material type:
  • Each high Tg material has its own recommended manufacturing process, so it is important to work with a supplier who can provide guidance and support based on the specific material being used.
  • Generally, high Tg PCBs require higher temperatures and longer processing times than standard FR-4 materials. For example, a typical curing cycle for a high Tg material may be 180-200°C for 2-4 hours, whereas a standard FR-4 may only require 150-170°C for 1-2 hours.
  1. Tips for optimizing design and layout to maximize performance of high Tg PCBs:
  • High Tg materials are typically chosen for their improved thermal and mechanical properties, so it is important to optimize the design and layout to take advantage of these benefits. For example, using copper planes and thermal vias to dissipate heat, or increasing the thickness of the board to improve rigidity and reduce warping.
  • It is also important to consider the impact of high Tg materials on the design rules for the board. For example, high Tg materials may require larger trace widths or spacing to prevent issues with signal integrity or reliability.
  • Finally, it is important to work closely with the PCB manufacturer to ensure that the design is optimized for the specific high Tg material being used, as each material may have its own unique requirements and limitations.

By following these tips and best practices, you can help ensure the successful manufacturing and performance of high Tg PCBs.


In conclusion, selecting the right high Tg PCB material depends on your specific application requirements. Both FR-4 and polyimide offer unique advantages, and the choice between the two will depend on factors such as temperature, mechanical strength, chemical resistance, dielectric properties, and cost. It is essential to work with an experienced PCB manufacturer who can help you select the right material for your application and provide high-quality, reliable PCBs that meet your specifications.

JHYPCB - China Leading PCB & PCBA Manufacturer

JHYPCB - China Leading PCB & PCBA Manufacturer

JHYPCB is a China leading printed circuit board manufacturer, offering high-quality, cost-effective, and quick-turn PCB manufacturing and Assembly services from prototype to high-volume production. We understand that our customers must have on-time manufacturing and delivery of their boards. Let us help you launch products faster and more efficiently.

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