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How to calculate maximum current density(J) for a copper pcb trace.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Check out this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are tables and online calculators such as eeweb.com/tools/external-pcb-trace-max-current Also there are tools such as saturn saturnpcb.com/pcb_toolkit \$\endgroup\$
    – BD_CE
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Depends on how the heat is removed. Air flow good. Underlying planes ---- less good. Only flowing along the trace, and trace is long.....very not good. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 3:36

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In addition to the other comments above, a general and easily-remembered rule of thumb for max current in wires is to not allow more than 500A per cm^2 (cross-sectional area). So, for example, if you want a quick calculation for a trace to carry 1A, then the trace will need a minimum cross-sectional area of 1 A / 500 (A per cm^2) = 0.002 cm^2. Very long traces will have greater losses due to resistance, so should be beefed up beyond that.

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