You will find the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in many electronics. The concept of using the PCB Board in balancing the electrical connection of electrical components is buoyed by the need to ensure that no wires are lying about.
Besides, the application of the PCB Board makes it possible to solder the electrical components into the board.
Worthy of mention is that the popularity of the PCB Board is not just because of the impressive inputs is makes in the electrical and electronic aspects of manufacturing. The board has since been adopted in many industries, such as in the aviation, electronics, and defence industries.
What Is a PCB Board?
What is this PCB Board that has been making the news lately? What does it mean? How does it work? Are there any benefits that come with using the board?
First, the PCB Board is an abbreviation for the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). The PCB Board is a board that contains lines, pads, paths, and tracks. It is those elements as mentioned that are used to connect the various points or components of the board together.
Second, the PCB Board allows the soldering of the components onto the board with the aim of connecting the board to the mechanical and electronic components.
The third point to note is that the PCB Board creates a room for the passage of power and signals ahead of their routing between physical devices.
Fourth, the PCB Board is made up of substrate. It is atop this that the copper material will be laminated as a way of creating the needed connection route between the different components of the PCB Board.
Methods of Designing Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) has come a long way. It is the final outcome of a series of technological advancements aimed at bolstering the connection of electronic and electrical components in any appliance.
Contrary to the last invention (Wire Wrapping), the PCB Board happens to offer many other impressive upsides over the others. So, it is not out of place to posit that the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) stands a better chance in the market.
With that in mind, PCB has now taken different forms. Currently, there are two (2) ways to go about it. The first is called Through-Hole Technology. The second is called Surface Mount Technology (SMT).
We will explain each of those briefly.
- Through-Hole Technology
Through-Hole Technology is the first method of designing Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs).
It involved the mounting or placement of electronic components by leads. These leads will, on the one hand, be inserted through the holes on the side of the board. On the other hand, the leads will be soldered onto the copper traces on the other side of the board.
In as much as the Through-Hole Technology is now “obsolete,” it had a swell time when it was in vogue. It was because of the use of this method that PCB Boards manufactured at the time often had wires passing through the holes before getting soldered to the required components on the board.
- Surface Mount Technology
The Surface Mount Technology (SMT) is the second and the most advanced process of designing and manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs).
In this case, the components or the required parts of the PCB Board are directly mounted on the surface of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
Worthy of mention is that the electronic devices made from the use of the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) are called the Surface Mount Devices (SMD).
The Surface Mount Technology is not only faster. It is also affordable and makes use of the latest PCB innovations.
Types of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
It is no news that many people tend to confuse the PCB methods (as discussed above) with the PCB types.
We would like to point out here that they are different. On the other hand, the methods of PCB involve the two major processes involved or used in the designing and manufacturing of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). On the other hand, the types of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) have to do with the different variants which the PCB Board can come in.
So, we are going to look at the different types of Printed Circuit Boards. You will discover how each of them works, and what makes each of them different from the others.
- Single-Sided PCBs
As the name suggests, the Single-Sided PCB Board has only “one side.” Hence, it only has one layer of the base material, which is called the Substrate.
Single-Sided PCB Boards are ideal for people who are just starting out in the PCB industry. The non-complex circuitry makes it one of the fastest ways to master how to design and manufactures PCB Boards.
Metal is usually used to laminate one side of the base material of the Single-Sided PCB Board. The lamination helps to create a path for the building of electrical connection between the different electronic components that have or will be soldered on the board.
Protection of the board is done by placing a solder mask atop it.
When it comes to creating a conducting path, copper metal will be used. The choice is because of the fact that copper metal has low resistance and doubles as a good conductor.
Benefits of Using Single Sided PCBs
There are many benefits or upsides that come with using the Single Sided Printed Circuit Boards.
Some of the benefits are:
- Easy availability, which creates a room for mass production
- Doesn’t involve complex circuitry
- Can be used in many applications and use cases, such as printers, stereo components, power supplies, and calculators
- Double-Sided PCB Boards
You can easily guess that the Double Sided Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are the advanced form of the Single-Sided PCB Boards. They also tend to have two “two sides.”
That is not all there is to the Double Sided PCB Board. It will interest you to know that the board has an exception to the features of the Single-Sided PCB Boards. The exception is that it has copper materials on both sides of the substrate material.
Now, the components used on this board are connected using both the Through-Hole Technology and the Surface Mount Technology (SMT). The circuits positioned on one side of the board will also be connected to the ones on the side of the board. This will be done by making use of holes, which will be drilled on the board.
Benefits of Using Double-Sided PCB Boards
The Double-Sided PCB Boards have many amazing features, which will have you yearning to have one.
Here are some of the benefits of using the board:
- Uses the two major technologies in PCB design and manufacturing
- Has many advanced use cases, such as HVAC System, LED Lighting, Amplifiers, Vending Machines, and Automotive Dashboard.
- The Double-Sided PCB Board has a moderate level of complexity, which makes it ideal for beginners, intermediates, and experts in the PCB industry.
- Multilayer PCB Boards
The Multilayer PCB Boards comprise both the properties of the Single-Sided PCB Board and those of the Double Sided PCB Board.
In this instance, the Multilayer PCB Boards make use of multiple layers. Also, the incorporation or addition of more layers is meant to serve as a preventive measure. The additional layers, among many other benefits, help to prevent the electromagnetic interferences, which are commonplace in this type of PCB Board design.
Besides, additional security measures are in place. This is clearly seen in the placement of a piece of insulation between each of the boards. This insulation helps in protecting the electronic and electrical components on the PCB Board from getting burnt when the heating process is ongoing.
Benefits of Using the Multilayer PCB Boards
What are the benefits or the advantages of using the Multilayer PCB Boards? Discover them below:
- This type of PCB allows for the designing of complex and thick designs
- The extra layers help to stop electromagnetic lapses in the course of the design
- Multilayer PCB Boards are used in far advanced applications. The potential use cases are in analyzing weather, GPS Technology, and File Servers
How Are PCB Boards Made?
You want to know the processes involved in the designing and the manufacturing of PCB Boards. You are not alone on this.
We will summarize the processes of making Printed Circuit Board.
- Making the Substrate
The substrate will be made via many processes. The most outstanding of these procedures is the dipping in and spraying the substrate with epoxy resin.
It will later be rolled to get the desired thickness. The next step will be to get the needed solidity by placing it on the oven.
- Bonding the Copper Layers
The copper layers will be bonded on the surface of the substrate. This can be done in many ways, such as:
- Applying adhesive and fixating the copper layers to the surface of the substrate
- Applying pressure
After this, the other necessary components will be integrated, especially by using the soldering iron. Some of the components that can be incorporated here are:
- Solder Masking
There will be the final step of applying the solder mask. The solder mask performs man functions, such as protecting the metal parts and ensuring the smooth flow of currents to the relevant points in the PCB Board.
The PCB Board manufacturer will then remove the unnecessary parts and materials still stuck to the PCB Board.
You then have your PCB Board on your hands.
The use of PCB Board saves time, improves the efficiency of the electronic materials, and saves costs.
Always make sure you hire the services of a PCB Board manufacturer that understands the job, and who can follow your instructions to the letter.