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I am kind of confused about, the difference between copper traces and copper cladding in PCBs.

Are they the same thing?

Is it necessary for a PCB to have them?

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Cladding is the copper layer applied to the surface of a board substrate: it's the starting material. This layer is selectively etched away to form traces in the finished PCB.

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Same thing. Copper clad means the fiberglass PCB substrate is clad in copper foil which is etched away to make traces.

I guess it's not necessary for a PCB to have copper cladding. Instead of a PCB with copper traces on a fiberglass substrate, you would a bare fiberglass substrate with components mounted on it with the electrical connections being made by something like wire wrap or point-to-point wires.

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