Copper Base PCB

The world of electronics and communications is changing so rapidly that technologies and devices are made possible, which was unthinkable even a year ago. The main contributor to such leaps and bounds growth of these technologies is the advancement of PCBs.

Printed circuit boards have enabled manufacturers to develop versatile devices. However, more and more manufacturers now look for PCBs with better heat dissipation and enhanced electrical conductivity.

The copper base PCB has thus emerged and dominated the printed circuit board market much. This copper PCB has the ability todelicate patterns and complex connections. Its uses are seen mostly in high-frequency circuit board manufacturing.

What is Copper Base PCB?

There’re mainly three types of metal PCBs. These PCBs are-

  1. Aluminum PCB
  2. Copper-based PCB
  3. Iron-Based PCB

Copper base PCBs are the most demanding and expensive of all the three types of printed circuit boards. It got the name because the circuit board substrate is made of copper. The use of copper makes these circuit boards highly thermally conductive and versatile.

Its less thermal resistance makes it high-demanding in projects where you need significant current carrying capacity. The copper foil used as the substrate typically has a thickness of around 35μm~280μm. Its thermal conductivity is further assured with the use of aluminum oxide and silicon powder. The manufacturer also usesepoxy resin to connect the substrate and the leading copper circuit. The epoxy resins are often filled with polymer for the secured connections.

Copper Base PCB Classification

The copper-based PCBs are classified depending on their substrate and manufacturing design. In general, you will see four kinds of copper printed circuit boards. These types are-

  1. Immersion gold copper-based PCB
  2. Silver plating copper-based PCB
  3. Anti-oxidation copper-based PCB
  4. Hot air soldering leveling (HASL) copper-based PCB

As you see, the manufacturer uses various metals to work with the copper printed circuit boards. The gold immersion plus copper PCBs are the most expensive ones and are used in high-demanding jobs. You will see their applications in the medical and military industry mostly.

HASL copper PCBs are special ones thatare soldered using hot air. It reduces any impurity of the copper and makes the copper base PCBs flawless.

Advantages and Use of Copper-Based PCBs

Copper-based printed circuit boards, as we previously mentioned, are the most demanding among all metal PCBs. But what are the benefits of the copper PCBs that make them so important and expensive?

Firstly, copper has one of the best thermal conductivity among the easily found metals. Thus, it dissipates the heat across the circuit board evenly. It is essential where the circuit board may quickly get heated due to challenging applications. Also, it has high-frequency and the ability to cope up with the changing heat of the device.

Furthermore, copper will withstand better against thermal aging and stress. It means the device made using this printed circuit board will be more durable and reliable in challenging conditions. Another benefit of these PCBs is theirviscoplastic property. Therefore, it will have the least deformity enhancing the device longevity.

Also, copper is readily available, and so you won’t have to find it challenging to get the copper in bulk to manufacture these circuit boards. But the benefits don’t end here. Copper has excellent stress-resistance and expansion capacity. You will only require 1.4 thousand 1-inch thick copper to manufacturer an entire 1-foot of the copper substrate. Thus, it brings down the production cost to a minimal level.

Thus, in short, the main advantages of copper-based PCBs are-

  1. Outstanding thermal conductivity with only 0.15 resistance
  2. Withstands thermal and mechanical aging and stress
  3. Excellent viscoplastic property
  4. Great expandability
  5. Less expensive and easy availability

The benefits of using copper printed circuit boards have made them the most popular and reliable metal PCBs in the market. Henceforth, you will see its uses in various industries.

The most common applications of copper-based PCBs are-

  1. Architectural industry
  2. Communication equipment
  3. Medical devices
  4. Aviation industry
  5. Military equipment

The use of copper PCB is on the prowl nowadays. You can hardly find any communication and electronic device where these printed circuit boards aren’t used.

SFX PCB Manufacturers the Best Copper Base PCBs

SFX PCB is ready to manufacture and supply you with the most dependable and durable copper-based printed circuit boards. We have both mass production and prototype manufacturing facility to meet your customized needs.

Also, we have excellent packages to offer you for bulk purchases and repeat orders. Therefore, you can tailor your order to meet your budget and requirements.

Our PCBs made of the copper base has the following key benefits-

Properties Capacity
Thickness 35um/70um/105um/140um/175um/210um
Board size Maximum:1200mm*480mm
Minimum:5mm*5mm
Ordering criteria Single-side prototype: 9 days
Double-side prototype: 16 days
Mass production (Single-side):10-12 days
Mass Production(Dual-side):18-20 days

SFX Thermo-electrical Separation Copper Base PCB Manufacturing Flow

Thermoelectric copper-based PCB has high density. So, it has an incredible thermal and electrical load-carrying capacity. It extends the lifespan of the lamp bead lights. It has great demand thanks to its versatility

We have a definite process flow for this-

  1. Firstly, we cut the copper substrate into a suitable size for working over it.
  2. After that, we apply micro-etching and brushing techniques to roughen the board. It helps the base to become rugged and durable.
  3. After that, we attach the photoresist base with the base film. The attachment is made under proper temperature and pressure. Ultraviolet light is used to eliminate flaws, and then the polymerization is applied over the film.
  4. Using an aqueous solution, we remove the dark or unexposed area on the film to develop the final printed circuit board.
  5. Finally, we clean and check the photo-resistant dry film for the copper base printed circuit boards.

Final Words

Copper base PCBs are high-demanding. These circuit boards are versatile and easily customizable for catering to different devices. When you want to get these printed circuit boards in bulk amount, you can contact SFX PCB.

You rest assured to get the best PCBs for copper base ones here. These boards are customizable with different thicknesses for your necessities.

What Is Rigid Flex PCB and Its Benefits

Rigid Flex PCB

Rigid flex PCB combines both flexible and rigid circuit boards for different electrical and communication device applications. Since it has both rigidity and flexibility, it often serves the 2-in-1 purpose for industrial applications.

The circuit board’s flexibility allows you to bend the board wherever necessary while maintaining the rigidity at the edges, so it doesn’t get damaged. These circuit boards have slim-profile, and their use is seen mostly in smart jackets, pacemakers, smartphones, etc.

This discussion includes the ABC of what is rigid flex PCB. Also, it consists of the advantages and practical applications of the flexible, rigid PCBs.

So, let’s begin the journey of knowing these ultra-demanding printed circuit boards.

What Is Rigid Flex Board?

Rigid flex printed circuit boards were initially developed to bypass the limitations of only rigid PCBs. These circuit boards are a hybrid manufacturing with a combination of both rigidity and flexibility at the same point.

The rigid circuit board is converted to the flexible ones by adding multiple layers of flex boards on the rigid substrate.  The flexible boards can be attached both externally and internally. The actual attaching design depends on the printed circuit board application.

The flexible substrates are designed in such a way that it retains the optimal flex capacity. Manufacturers use its flexibility to bend it into different curves to meet their project necessities. Since it has both flexibility and rigidity with the same circuit board, it is usable in versatile sectors. The most common use of these circuit boards is seen in electrical, communication and medical devices where you need miniature forms.

Types of Rigid Flex PCB

You will see two kinds of rigid flex printed circuit boards. These are:

  1. Dynamic flex
  2. Flex to install

The flex to install has minimal flexibility, and you can use it to flex only once during different applications. The flex can be done either during the removal or attachment of the circuit board with the device. The flex board also maintains its stability throughout the entire application. However, when you use the flex to install PCBs for high-vibration uses, it may have the least movement.

The dynamic flex, unlike the flex to install boards, has multiple bending capacities. So, you can bend and fold the circuit board at various times. While manufacturing the dynamic flex circuit boards, you have to be extra cautious to ensure the edges’ rigidity. SFX Rigid Flex PCBs are bent with an appropriate radius circle. You can use it for at least 100 times flex applications. So, our dynamic flex boards are meant to last for extreme usage without issues.

Benefits of Using Rigid Flex PCBs

Rigid flex printed circuit boards are incredibly versatile, although it comes in an expensive budget. However, you can customize these circuit boards for multiple applications in different industries because of their versatility.

The best benefit of these boards is that they are used for both commercial and susceptible applications. It includes commercial applications in cameras, cell phones, etc. On the contrary, you will also see its application in the medical sector, military devices, and aerospace.

Its benefits include-

  1. These boards are incredible shock-resistant. Also, it is protective against high-vibration uses. Thus, the circuit board will survive extreme conditions with big shock and vibration resistance and assure greater durability.
  2. Manufacturers, including SFX PCB, develop these printed circuit boards with high accuracy and precision. Thus, industry experts prefer these boards in dangerous situations where a connection failure can be hazardous. Also, high-precision manufacturing ensures better reliability.
  3. These printed circuit boards are space-saving since it features highly dense design. So, it is usable in the smallest space. It results in lower cost and more margin for other parts for assembling into the device.
  4. The rigidity of these boards makes the assembly safer and easier than the regular flex boards. Thus, you can be more assured with these boards for assembly.
  5. The assembly of these printed circuit boards has been made simple. Its rigidity and flexibility combine for such an easy assembly application.
  6. Rigid flex boards will reduce the overall cost for the assembly applications in different devices. Thus, you will see its use in daily life too.
  7. You can improve the optimization and customization of these circuit boards with developed mechanical complexity. Its tailored application means it is usable in sensitive industries.

Rigid Flex PCB Applications

These circuit boards improve the controlled impedance. Also, it boosts the signal transmission ability of the circuit boards. Furthermore, you will see a considerable reduction in connection problems, including cold joints.

Thus, you will see its use in regular commercial products. Furthermore, you will see its aircraft weapons applications with the guided systems, electrical devices, and medical sectors. The most common uses include-

  • Guided aircraft weapons
  • Cell phones
  • Digital cameras
  • Smart jacket and cloths
  • Pacemakers and CT scanners

Rigid Flex Circuit form SFX PCB Comes with Maximum Customization Facility

SFX PCB manufacturers some of the most advanced and innovative rigid flex circuitry in the market. With over 10+ years of circuit board manufacturing experience, we bring the most detailed works on these boards. You can use them directly on your components instead of spending time building them unnecessarily.

Some of the best capabilities of our rigid flex PCBs are listed in the below table.

Product Details Essential Features
Layers 2 to 16
Thickness Thickness
Inner layer thickness 3mil
Outer layer thickness 4mil
Impedance control ability 10%
Aspect Ratio 10:01 for mass production; 16:01 for low-volume production
Coating OSP, immersion silver or tin and ENIG

Final Words

The electronics and communication worlds have advanced leaps and bounds. Similarly, the medical, military, and smartphone industries have seen unimaginable developments. All these improvements have been possible due to the severe progression of the printed circuit board industry. A fair share of such excellent contribution will go too rigid flex PCBs.

We understand their critical applications in compassionate projects. Thus, we always put our best expertise to provide you with the best rigid PCBs in low-volume and bulk amount to meet you project necessities.

Can A Motherboard Get Wet

Can A Motherboard Get Wet

Many people, especially beginner PC and laptop users, ask, “Can a motherboard get wet?” Sadly, I have to say that, yes, water can dampen your computer motherboard or circuit board.

A motherboard will get wet with water, and a damp motherboard is a major cause of the damaged motherboard. So, what happens when a computer gets wet?

The answer is pretty simple- a wet computer with a motherboard will most have damaged components or parts that will ask for fixing. However, if you are lucky, a computer will survive a spill of water without much damage.

Then again, you need to know how to dry the motherboard.

The following discussion will help you in this cause.

Can A Motherboard Get Wet?

Yes, spills of water can easily make a motherboard wet. And trust us, using a damp motherboard is like inviting a bull to attack you for a final assault. Hence, it is necessary to identify a wet computer ASAP to start fixing it.

When a drop of water on the motherboard happens, you have to consider two things-

  1. Firstly, if your computer is turned off and the components aren’t energized, there is the least chance of damaged motherboards. Also, it becomes easy to wipe out the water and keep the PC in dry condition.
  2. Secondly, if your computer is turned on, a water drop can have severe complications from damaged components to entirely destroy the circuit board.

But have you ever asked yourself why water damages circuit boards like these two are arch-nemesis? Well, water often comes in contaminated conditions and carries electrolytes. Hence, as soon as it touches any energized electric component, water becomes a highly effective conductor. So, electrons try to pass through it and the wet parts.

The sudden flow of excessive electrons causes short circuits that eventually damage your PC or laptop.

Computer water damage symptoms:

When your desktop computer got wet, it may start acting strangely. You need to know these water damaged symptoms of the computer to fix it. The most common and apparent signs of a malfunctioned computer due to water spills include the following.

1. Spilled water on pc won’t turn on:

When water drops cause malfunction on desktop computer parts, it won’t turn on properly. And even if it starts, you may experience irregular functioning of the PC or laptop. It may include abrupt turn on and off of the PC.

2. Sticky keys:

You will observe that the desktop keyboard is feeling sticky or watery. It happens mostly when you spill sugary liquids such as coke, juices, wine, or soda on the keyboard. The good news is that most laptop keyboard comes with a protective backing.

The backing prevents water from dripping inside the main components. So, your laptop should be fine with small water spills.

3. Water-detection stickers:

These days, many desktop PC manufacturers use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect water drops on the essential parts. These PCs or laptops will then highlight a water-detection sticker on the monitor. Some have a pre-activated sticker that changes color ASAP. It detects any water damage in the PC circuit boards.

4. Malfunctioning:

When a part of the computer is damaged due to water, it will act rather strangely. For instance, it will start and then turn off automatically after a few moments or minutes. Also, you may see problems on the screen if it gets damaged.

How To Dry Motherboard

To prevent water damaged motherboard, you need to act in the fastest and quickest possible ways. The steps to dry and fix a wet motherboard of a PC or laptop include the following steps.

Step 1: Safety first

As soon as you drop water, turn off the computer to prevent extreme damage. It may help your laptop survive the cracks, and you might not need to replace any components. Please turn off the computer switch and unplug it from the electrical sources.

However, make sure you don’t have water on your hand. It is crucial since a wet hand may cause you electric shocks.

Step 2: Preparing the outside

Your desktop exterior has a few components attached to cables. First off, you need to remove them safely. Detach the keyboard and mouse from the PC (in a laptop, you will only need to remove the keyboard).

Then unplug the speakers if you have any and the modem too.

Step 3: Inspection

Now, inspect the exterior components thoroughly. If you see any water spillage on it, quickly wipe it off using a dry towel or microfiber clothing.

Step 4: Getting into the components

Now, follow the laptop user manual to break down the parts carefully to investigate the inside. The process is relatively easy with a standard desktop PC. Remove the nuts and bolts of the casing using a screwdriver.

Then carefully detach the motherboard and take the parts out of the casing. Hold them in bright light and inspect where the liquid has dripped. Once you find the water dripping areas on the motherboard and other parts, use a microfiber clothing to wipe out the wetness.

Step 5: The final drying process

If you have spilled sugary liquid on the motherboard, use distilled water to remove the stickiness. You don’t need to worry about the use of distilled water since a little amount of it won’t ardently do any harm to the computer parts.

If you are yet too concerned, you may drip a microfiber rag in distilled water and use it to wipe out the components. Then, use a hair blower from a distance to pass dry air and remove the computer’s final dampness.

Final Words

Even after drying your wet computer motherboard, it continues to show signs of damage; you must contact the technician and sort out the issue. It will help you eliminate the risk of costly repairs and fixing at ease.

We hope ardently and sincerely that by now you have got the answer to ‘Can a motherboard get wet?” Well, the most elusive good news is that you won’t have to repair the desktop or laptop even if you have spilled water on it. Most likely, your machine will survive the spillage without much damage if you dry the components ASAP.

What Are The Parts Of A Circuit Board

What Are The Parts Of A Circuit Board

If you are a beginner in the electronics and electrical industries, a printed circuits board parts diagram will seem overwhelming to you.  Also, it might seem intimidating even to some professionals. And it is natural since a circuit board will at least require 13 components to build up the entire circuitry board for different purposes.

When you know what are the parts of a circuit board and their primary usage, you can identify the faults in it and also, use the PCB with enhanced effect. Hence, we will discuss these essential components to build a circuit board for commercial purpose properly.

How To Identify SMD Components In Circuit Board?

SMD components most commonly refer to the Small Mounted Devices and are electronic parts. These are used on a circuit board with soldering. It uses surface-mount technology for the soldering process.

Depending on the SMD components setup, they serve different purposes. The industry experts have setup different SMD components sizes standard for various purposes.  The most common SMD components include Chip Resistor(R), Network Resistor (RA/RN),  Capacitor, Transistor (Q), LED, Diode and so on.

These are also the fundamental parts of a circuit board that we will discuss in the following detail.

What Are The Parts Of A Circuit Board?

Many people continuously ask us about circuit board components and what they do to understand the circuit board diagram better. And it is a worthwhile question since without knowing the parts and their applications, you may not use the circuit board properly.

So, in the following sections, circuit board components explained briefly.

1. Resistors:

All types of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) use resistors as the current control foundation. Resistors are two ends of electronic components and allow a controlled current flow through them at ease. As the two terminals permit current flow, it generates the required voltage for the circuit board operation.

A resistor controls the current flow or restricts it by converting the voltage into heat. Once converted into heat, the resistor dissipates it to cool off the entire circuit board diagram. You can find several materials used for resistors manufacturing, but the most common is a carbon film. It is often found in the axial style, and the different color coding means various levels of resistance from the component.

Color Codes Resistance Level (In Thousands)
Black 0
Brown 1
Red 2
Orange 3
Yellow 4
Green 5
Blue 6
Violet 7
Grey 8
White 9

 

2. Capacitors:

A capacitor of the circuit board functions as the location to store energy. While PCBs use the resistor to control the adequate electric charge, the function of a capacitor is to keep the charged energy temporarily.

Hence, many people compare them to batteries. Also, a capacitor I fully charged and emptied within a spilt of seconds. The capacitor uses two metal conducive ends and store both positive and negative charges. It releases the temporarily stored charge when the circuit board needs electricity supply when need be.

Depending on the conductive metal plate used to build the capacitor, you will find several types of capacitors in the market. However, most PCB builders will use radial, polyester or ceramic capacitors for the circuit board.

3. Transformers:

The transformers in a circuit board do what they meant to do- transfer power or electricity from one source to another. They do the power transformation with the use of induction technology.  The PCB transformer continuously decreases or increases the voltage as part of its electricity transformation into different parts of the circuit board.

Likewise, the resistor, a transformer also regulates the flow of the electricity. But the difference between a resistor and transformer lies in their functioning. A transformer isolates the electricity flow to control it.

There will be ardently at least two or more separate windings or inductive circuits in a PCB transformer along with a soft iron core. The primary winding works as the source terminal to dissipate the energy. The secondary winding works as the energy receiver.

4. Transistors:

The circuit board transistor works as the foundation block for the most modern-day electronic components. A PCB transistor works to amplify the small charge coming from the batteries and enables the PCB to work finely.

You will most usually see a bipolar transistor in the circuit board. It has three pins and three locations to store and amplify the electric charge. NPN and PNP are the two kinds of transistors. These consist of the following parts:

  • Base: it works as the foundation of the entire transistor.
  • Collector: As the name suggests, the collector accumulates the charger carrier.
  • Emitter: The charge is emitted or released in this area.

There are both N-type and P-type areas on the transistor.

5. Diodes:

The purpose of the diode is to redirect the electrical energy in the circuit board. It works similarly as the one-way street to shift the power from one end to another. The component has two terminals. One end blocks the electricity flow, and the other end forces the one-directional flow of the electricity.

The flow direction is from the anode (positive terminal) to the cathode (negative terminal). The diode has a similarity with the resistors since it controls the electricity flow. The most common diode system is a Light Emitting Diode or LED.

6. Battery:

We all know the purpose of using a battery on the circuit board. The PCB battery stores the energy in the chemical formation and then converts it into electrical energy.  The battery uses an external circuit. It permits the flow of the electrons from one end to another.

In this way, an available current is produced, but it is constrained. The transistor then amplifies the limited electrical power.

The most recommendable battery used in the PCBs is a rechargeable battery.

7. Integrated circuits:

It is the powerhouse most commonly used for the PCBs. An integrated circuit board comprises of resistors, transistors and capacitors in millions and has a tiny wafer shape.

Since it has millions of transistors, capacitors and resistors, the integrated circuit works as an oscillator and amplifier for the PCBs. The ICs are integrated into the PCB base with the miniature technology that has seen widespread use lately.

ICs have silicone construction and plastic housing. Ideally, you will see analog and digital ICs and both have widespread use in the PCB manufacturing industry.

8. Inductors:

Working as a linear passive component, the inductor is another integral part of the circuit boards diagram. It is a two-terminal component, likewise the capacitors. It uses a magnetic field to store the energy before dissipating it to other parts.

Inductors are also widely called as reactors, chokers and most popularly, coils. The insulated wire is wrapped within the core. The higher the core wrapping or coiling of the insulated wire, the higher the magnetic field and energy will be.

The inductance promptly of the inductor is formulated by the ratio of voltage and current rate change within a certain period.

9. Oscillators:

The oscillators work like a clock or programmable timer in the PCBs. It generates an electronic signal periodically. The piezoelectric material used within the oscillators produces resonance, and it dictates the electric signal frequency or oscillation.

The most common piezoelectric material used to manufacture the oscillator is the quartz crystal.

10. Switch:

The primary function of a switch in the Printed Circuit Board is to control the electricity flow through on/off functions.

When pressed down the switch open ups the entire circuit board and permits the other functions to take place within it, and when you turn off the switch, the whole of electrical operation comes in a standstill.
Manufacturers choose from literally tons of options for switches used in the PCBs.

11. Potentiometer:

A potentiometer has three terminals and serves as a variable resistor. It dictates the voltage or electric potential of the PCBs and allows you to control the voltage flow.  There two main types of the potentiometer in the market.

These are, firstly the linear and secondly, the rotatory ones. Rotatory potentiometers are more familiar than the linear ones. Also, these use a knob to control the variable resistance. The potentiometer controls the amplifier voltage.

You will see them mostly in the volume control mechanism of any devices.

12. The SCR:

The Silicon Controlled Rectifier or SCR has four silicone layers and is placed in a PCB to control the high amount of electricity and voltage. The easiest way to define an SCR is to imagine two transistors which are cooperating for the voltage control.

However, manufacturers will use them where a regular transistor may not work. One such example could be the circuit boards used in the ACs.

13. Sensors:

The sensors are placed in a PCB to dictate the minimal changes in the surrounding and act accordingly. It senses heat, noise, motion, moisture, light, etc. The changes are carried to the PCBs through an electrical signal. Also, some programmed sensors display these changes in a display with readability for humans.

Where Can I Buy Circuit Board Components?

You will get the components for circuit boards, mostly in the nearby hardware and electronics shop. So, sourcing the elements is pretty easy. Also, you can choose any reputed online store to buy these components.

Conclusion

Since now you know what are the parts of a circuit board, you should find it pretty straightforward to collect them and build the first circuit board of your life. The best part of these 13 circuit board components is that they are easily gettable and none would cost you much. So, what’s your plan on manufacturing a circuit board with these parts?

How To Check A Circuit Board For Faults

How To Check A Circuit Board For Faults

A circuit board is a major component in all electronics and electrical instrument. It has changed the world forever. However, a faulty printed circuit board is prominent, even if you are not using it for technical requirements. 

So, for the proper use of your instruments, it is beneficial to know how to check a circuit board for faults. A circuit board is made of many components, and so, an array of defects may appear on the board diameter. 

Generally, you will see the below-mentioned faults in a circuit board-

  • A brunt circuit component 
  • Fluid leakage 
  • Connection shorts in the PCB
  • Power related issues 
  • Soldering problems

Although the list may seem a long one, you can quickly check the faults with a multimeter. So, we will discuss the methods of using a multimeter to inspect the PCB for electrical faults. 

How To Check A Circuit Board For Faults

A multimeter is a piece of dependable equipment to check for shorts and electronic faults almost in all electrical devices. Using the multimeter circuit board, you can inspect for resistance, capacitance, current, fuse shorts, AC and DC voltage, etc. 

Since it performs so much testing jobs at once, it is widely known as a combination of multimeter, ammeter and voltmeter. 

Before you can use a multimeter for the electronic fault finding methods, it is necessary to go through two more inspections of the printed circuit board. These are:

Method 1: Visual Inspection

Thorough visual checking of the entire circuit board will reveal any burnt or damaged components at ease. The burnt and eroded component is a sign that there are either chemical fluid leakages or severe overheating issues on the board. Also, it signals the most apparent reasons for a PCB malfunction. 

Method 2:  Physical checks

You can find more useful and practical insights into the malfunctioning PCB with an in-depth physical inspection.  It is helpful to identify the burnt or damaged components, which otherwise would be impossible with visual inspection only. 

You can use an oscilloscope for even better results. 

Method 3: How to check PCB with multimeter PDF

Suppose you want to check for the major problems or faults in a circuit board such as glass PCB or ceramic PCB. The best part, you don’t need to be an expert for using a multimeter to check for the shorts and fuses on the PCB.

Step 1:

Before you start examining the PCB for any malfunctions, could you turn it off for safety precautions? Find the AC outlet and disconnect the cord from it. It will ensure there is no direct electricity supply in the PCB anymore. 

Step 2: 

Start with the checking of the fuses of the circuit board. You can use nose pliers to pull out the fuse and check for its damage. Also, check the filament inside for a glass fuse.  You will see a broken filament within a damaged fuse. 

You will need to use the multimeter to check the ceramic fuse. At first, set the multimeter promptly in the continuity function. Then, touch the probes of the multimeter with the metal ends of the fuse. If the fuse is in ideal condition and continuity, the meter will beep. 

Step 3: 

Once you have checked the fuse, you may proceed to inspect any shorts in the PCB. Although at times, people say the steps of how to test a circuit board for a short is complicated, you can quickly accomplish it with a multimeter. 

Connect the multimeter socket with the multimeter ‘s lead plug. The lead plug is colored red for easy identification.  The black colored lead plug needs to be connected with the ‘COM’ socket. Finally, set the multimeter effectively in its continuity test. 

The continuity test position is easily identifiable with a diode icon and few parallel lines on the multimeter display. 

Step 4:

This is the continuation of the shorts finding procedure on the PCB. At first, please turn on the multimeter and check its continuity position. If appropriately set, the multimeter will beep when you connect the two probes (lead plugs). 

If you fail to hear any beep sound, it may be due to either of the following reasons:

  • The continuity position isn’t set correctly. 
  • The multimeter battery is finished and needs replacement. 

Once you sorted the issue, check for the continuity position again. If all goes planned, you can quickly proceed to the next step. 

Step 5:

Now connect the two probes with the first and last position of the problematic trace. Many people say you need to touch the negative pole of the multimeter with connector and positive pole with the NPN transistor base. 

However, it doesn’t matter. No matter, which probe is connected with which end, you will get similar readings. You need to press the probe firmly with the traces to set the electrical connection correctly. 

A beep sound means there are presences of shorts in the PCB trace. You may repeat the process for all the susceptible traces. 

Step 6:

Now, you can check the wires and cables attached with the printed circuit boards. At first, set the digital multimeter in ‘resistance’ mode. 

Then, connect the two terminals of the multimeter with the cables and wires. Check the readings. An ‘OΩ’ suggests that the cable connection is in good condition. On the other side, ‘infinity’ reading means the cables are malfunctioning. 

What to Do With a Faulty PCB?

A faulty PCB may be hazardous for all types of electronics devices. So, you need to either repair the damaged circuit board or replace it with a new one to avoid any hazards from the damaged parts according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

So, it is recommended ardently that you consult an expert electrician to replace the circuit or the copper traces with shorts for the proper functioning of the unit. 

Conclusion

 A printed circuit board is made in a smaller copper trace and is connected with precision. So, even the slightest defect may ruin the whole device. That’s why for user’s safety and long-lasting performance of devices, you should know how to check a circuit board for faults. 

And when you identify any malfunctioning, you can quickly resolve it on your own or consult an expert for further assistance. 

What Is Polyimide PCB

What Is Polyimide PCB

Although FR4 boards still dominate the traditional PCB market, recently polyimide PCB has made its mark in the industry with its versatility, and multipurpose usage. So, it’s not surprising that many manufacturers have developed a keen interest in polyimide PCB.

So, many electronics, as well as military weapon makers, ask, “What is polyimide PCB?”

To put it shortly, these boards are made with plastics that are built with incredible temperature endurance and strength. The manufacturing, however, requires the use of a variety of materials which affects its types and application.

And today, in our PCB discussion, we will know the real definition of polyimide PCB along with its types, applications and lastly, the difference with the conventional FR4 printed circuit boards.

So, are you ready?

What Is Polyimide PCB?

To understand the real meaning of polyimide PCB, at first, you will have to know about the ‘polyimide’ properly.

The word polyimide consists of two sub-phrases that includes, ‘poly’ which typically refers to polymers and ‘imide’ which refers to the advanced imide monomers. Together they create a diverse polymer group.

Moreover, the polymer group is manufactured using either natural or synthetic process. However, for now, forget about the natural polymers and focus on the synthetically manufactured polyimides. These polyimides are used to build the PCBs, hence the name polyimide PCB.

The synthetic polyimide used in manufacturing PCBs is resourced from different chemicals with imide structures. This manufacturing process is known as polymerizing to us. These polyimides are then used in making PCBs.

Different Types of Polyimide PCBs

Likewise, metal PCB and ceramic PCB, the polyimide made printed circuit boards also have multiple types. These classification has been made by determining the material used in synthesizing the amide polymer or polyimide.

The most common polyimide PCBs are:

Pure polyimide or 2nd generation polyimide:

This is the simplest PCBs and lacks additional features such as brominated flame retardants. While the word ‘lacking’ is used negatively for most materials, pure polyimide has used it positively. The lack of flame retardants makes it extremely stable while still being flexible enough to use in different electrical and communicating devices. The polyimide is also occasionally called as polyimide flex PCB, mainly because of its useful flexibility.

Although it is the oldest of all polyimide PCB types, pure polyimides have widespread use. It is made possible thanks to the extreme endurance against temperature change and thermal stability during challenging situations.

3rd generation polyimide:

It is an updated version of pure polyimides. Also, it has additional additives which effectively make it more flammability resistance. The flammability resistance is crucial because it comes forward in stopping accidental electric fires.

However, the 3rd generation polyimide lacks the thermal stability of pure polyamides which can be a disadvantage for it. On the contrary, it is easy to manufacture, which propels the production line faster than any other polyimide flexible PCB.

So, you can manufacture the 3rd generation polyimide in bulk which lies in its vast favour.

Filled polyimide:

This type of polyimide is similar to multilayer PCBs since it comes with more than one filler materials. The additional filler lowers the resin shrinkage.

The resin shrinkage resistance is vital since due to the shrinkage, many printed circuit boards become frail and cracks down during the drilling and curing proceedings. Also, the shrinkage resistance helps the filled polyimide maximize its long-term usage.

Low-flow polyimides:

The low-flow polyimides are made without the flexibility of the standard PCBs. So, sometimes people also refer to it as the rigid polyimide PCB.

The rigidity of the low-flow PCB comes useful when PCBs require stiffness to stay strong during the challenging conditions. So, when the traditional flexible PCBs fail, the low-flow polyimides come forward to solve the tough situations.

Benefits of Polyimide PCB

Since the polyimide PCB is a particular type of printed circuit boards, it is mainly used on special occasions. So, it would help if you understood when to use the polyimide PCB and when not to. Use the polyimide made PCBs when you need either one or all of the following characteristics:

  • Stable flexibility: The greatest benefit of the polyimide PCBs is its extreme stability and flexibility at the same time. It is a perfect combination of rigidity and flexibility which regular PCBs lack.
  • Tensile strength: Polyimide PCBs have excellent resistance against warping. It is made possible thanks to the flexibility of the polyimide materials. So, if you want durability for the PCB applications, the superior tensile strength and durability will be beneficial for you.
  • Thermal stability: Polyimide materials are known for having superior thermal endurance and resilience. So, the polyimide made PCBs are capable of working even at 260° temperature. Furthermore, thermal conduciveness prevents thermal damage during manufacturing and repairing jobs.
  • Extreme durability: Polyimide has resistance against various chemicals and temperature. So, it enjoys enhanced durability. The durability is essential to endure extreme physical stress which is a necessary benefit for PCBs.

Versatile Usage of Polyimide PCB

Both the rigid polyimide PCB and polyimide flexible PCBs are widely used in different industries. The most common applications of the polyimide PCBs are:

Computer and laptops:

Modern-day laptops and computers suffer from heavy-duty usage and go through the extreme thermal rise of the components. Thus, the thermal conduciveness of the polyimide PCBs is beneficial for laptops and PCs.

Also, the flexibility and rigidity of these circuit boards come forward to enhance the overall durability of the computers.

Automotive electronics:

Out of all electronic components, automotive electronics face the most challenging conditions. They need to function both in extreme cold and summer along with continuous jostling f multiple components.

Naturally, these automotive components ask for a durable PCB, which only the polyimide can supply.

Military and aerospace:

Both the aerospace and military industry uses the most advanced electronics for their superior performance and safety requirements. Also, in both industry electronics component operates in the most hostile environment.

So, the durability and thermal stability of polyimide made PCB is essential to safeguard these components, which can be the ardent difference between life and death of millions.

Medical industry:

Various medical treatments and diagnosis such as advanced imaging, implants and prosthetics require high-efficiency applications. This useful and high-performing efficiency will only come from the polyimide PCBs.

Differences Between FR4 and Polyimide PCB

When you know the factual distinctions between polyimide PCB and FR4, you will be able to pick the perfect printed circuit board for your desired jobs.

FR4 circuit boards are made of epoxy glass resin and laminated copper. So, it is rigid and not as flexible as the polyimide material. Also, polyimide is lightweight and more durable. Besides, polyimide also has better chemical and heat resistance compared to the FR4.

Last but not least, polyimide boards are more expensive the FR4. But its durability and widespread usage balance the overpricing to a greater extent.

The Bottom Line

We conclude the discussion on what is polyimide PCB with a high hope that you have a clear idea on the definition, usage and benefits of the polyimide PCBs. We built and supplied high-quality polyimide PCB that you can use in high-performing automotive, aerospace, military and daily electronics usage.

We will come soon with another informative article on PCB and till then, goodbye.

Why Are Circuit Boards Green

How To Fix A Broken Circuit Board Contact

The day before yesterday evening , one of my friends was chatting with me, who worked in the electronics world. And suddenly, he asked me, “Do you ever think why are circuit boards green?”  I was so spellbound that I couldn’t answer it immediately.

I just thought that he asked it out of curiosity, and may be he was mistaken to assume that all circuit boards are green.

So, when I was free from my works, I dig deep into the matter and found that indeed most (not all) printed circuit boards, aka, PCBs are green.

As I advanced further into the matter, I also found that the circuit boards are mostly green due to the solder masking.  But there’re other factors related as well, which might evoke interest if you are working with the copper coin PCB or multilayer aluminum PCB.

So, we are putting it up for you.

The Main Reason for Why Are Circuit Boards Green?

There are many theories, hypotheses, and myths circulating the question “why PCB color is green?”

But during my  dedicated research, I found that the color of the resin used during the solder masking of the boards’ component is responsible for the green appearance of the circuit board. The solder masking is essential to prevent soldering errors and short circuits on the fiberglass core and electric board components. So, it keeps the PCB ready for use in various applications with any risk.

However, many people postulate various theories for the green color of PCBs that includes a 195-‘s USA military requirement as well.

We are going to discuss all these popular theories in the following sections.

Other Theories on Why PCB Color Is Green

PCB color is green for military requirements (as mentioned earlier), reducing eye fatigue and aiding into quality inspections. And we are describing all these in the following parts.

Comfortable to eyes for inspection:

In the early days of PCBs, quality and compliance officers would like to inspect the circuits for any faults in the component and connections. It was necessary since these imperfections might cause malfunctions in the electrical and communication devices.

According to scientific research, human eyes are the most sensitive to green and yellowish color. That’s why even these days, multilayer and flexible PCB manufacturers use the green soldering mask for their circuit boards to aid the quality inspectors to find any faults quickly.

However, this slow method of finding imperfections in PCBs has long been backdated; we consider it the primary and first reason for making the boards green.

Physical and componential superiority:

Are you still vehemently wondering as to why most of the printed circuit boards are green? If yes, here’s the second and most crucial reason.

In the beginning, due to easiness in quality maintenance, manufacturers focused on the green soldering mask heavily. It resulted in the R&D section invest more time in developing the green soldering mask more than any other colors.

Also, researchers investigated deep into the matter to find which chemical pigmentation and color combination works best for the soldering mask. And guess what who won the researchers’ race?

The green color came out with flying marks even in the research. It was found that green color has a minimal dam of about 0.1mm only, whereas other colors for soldering mask will only get to as close as 0.12-0.15mm.

And that’s where the green color comes into play. You see, that green soldering mask has less faulty imperfections compared to all colors. So, manufacturers prefer using it.

There’s no such color preference or eye-pleasing theories as such.

Military requirements in early days:

During the 1954s, the military quality inspection center at Cedar Bluffs Virginia titled, ‘National Materials and Procurement Center,’ inspected the manufactured PCBs for quality for military applications. They found that green color had a better contrast with their widely used white ink for testing the imperfections.

So, many believe that due to such old school military requirements for comfortable and quick testing of their PCBs, manufacturers built the boards with green color. And the legacy has continued till now.

Cost-cutting effectiveness:

When manufacturer solder masks a piece of PCBs, they draw the boards through oil to check for impurities and allow the board to set and cure. Then, they will bring the next board.

If the manufacturers have to use a different color for boards, they would require different oil screening for each color. It would add up to the overall costing of the boards. And it is detrimental since, over the years, printed circuit board users have built a conception that these boards will be cheap.

Better exposure rate:

During the new fabrication process, the PCBs will pass through the warm yellow lights in the exposure room.  When the boards move through the yellow glow, the green color causes better exposure.

Since the green soldering mask offers optimal visual aids, it helps the manufacturers to align the tin coating better with the components. The alignment of the tin coating is crucial since any faults here would damage the entire board.

Continuing the tradition:

During the past few decades, some manufacturers have tried to shift their focus from green-colored solder masking to other colors as well. However, it wasn’t well-received by the companies and customers.

So, manufacturers decided on continuing the green soldering to fix the issues once and for all.

Is there any other color available for PCBs?

Technically speaking, you will also get to see two to three standard colors except for green for printed circuit boards. It includes yellow, golden, or blue.

You will also see boards in deep-sea blue, white, Ferrari red, and matte black colors too.

Are there any problems regarding green color PCB?

Well, it is a complicated question to answer. The green color on circuit boards comes from the Bromine or Chlorine used during the soldering process.

And physicians speak that both chemical elements cause harm to human health. So, some manufacturers are putting an ardent and concerned effort to use other materials for the mask soldering of the boards.

Conclusion

We sincerely aspire and ardently hope that you now have a clear idea of why are circuit boards green. The main reason is the soldering mask used for the boards, which is usually green in color. Other major causes include old military requirements, testing easiness, and customer’s requirements as well.