New Standard: IPC-2152 "Standard for Determining Current-carrying Capacity in Printed Board Design" - Surface Mount Technology
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New Standard: IPC-2152 "Standard for Determining Current-carrying Capacity in Printed Board Design"

(October 13, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released IPC-2152, "Standard for Determining Current-Carrying Capacity in Printed Board Design." The 97-page document sets a standard for determining the appropriate sizes of internal and external conductors as a function of the current-carrying capacity required and the acceptable conductor temperature rise.

Replacing the conductor sizing charts that currently exist in IPC-2221 (which were based on data sets more than 50 years old), the new IPC-2152 standard provides guidance on how thermal conductivity, vias, power dissipation, printed board material and thickness, and most importantly, the presence of copper planes all factor into the relationship between current, conductor size, and temperature.

Michael Jouppi, chairman of the IPC 1-10b Current-Carrying Capacity Task Group that has worked on developing the standard since 1998, noted "the temperature rise of a printed board conductor is a complex problem that required a significant amount of testing as well as the development of computer simulations to improve the understanding of how certain variables impact the temperature rise of a conductor. But the need was to provide general design guidelines that were simple and accurate."

To meet these needs, IPC divided IPC-2152 into two sections. The main document establishes general, conservative guidelines for sizing conductors and contains simple charts that show testing results for both internal and external conductors in air and vacuum environments. The document’s appendix provides more specifics, giving clarity and insight into how variables impact the temperature rise of a conductor and presenting detailed charts based on copper weights.

IPC members may request a free, single-user download with digital rights management of IPC-2152 by e-mailing [email protected] within 90 days its release; after 90 days, the price for members is $50. The nonmember price of IPC-2152 is $100. Additional formats of IPC-2152 are available. Visit for details. For more information on the work completed by the IPC 1-10b task group, contact John Perry, IPC technical project manager, at [email protected].

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