Before stating the information, you must be aware of what exactly is a circuit board. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the boards used as the basis in most of the electronics. They can be used as a physical support piece or the wiring area for the surface-mounted and socketed components. PCBs are mostly associated with computers, but they can be found in many other electronic devices like digital cameras, cell phones, and televisions. Even the things we use daily, such as digital watches, operate its function through a printed circuit board.
Uses of PCBs in Different Fields:
Use of PCBs is common in high-powered industrial machinery. Thick copper PCBs can be used in industry for motor controllers, high-current battery charges, and load testers.
Most medical devices now use high-density PCB to create the smallest and densest design possible. It helps develop devices that are lightweight and small in size. Examples of medical devices with PCBs include pacemakers, X-ray equipment, and CAT scan machines.
LED-based lighting is in trend now because of their low power consumption and higher levels of efficiency. Aluminum-backed PCBs are used to make these lighting, and they act as heat sinks allowing for higher levels of heat transfer than standard PCB.
Automotive and Aerospace Industries:
These industries use flexible PCBs to withstand high-vibration environments. Using PCBs to design them can make it lightweight, which is necessary when manufacturing parts for transportation industries. They also help conform to tight spaces that might be present in these applications, such as inside instrument panels.
PCB Fabrication Process:
For the PCB to be functional in a device, all the electrical and electronic parts are fixed together. This process is called PCB fabrication. The printed circuit board should be given mechanical support and electrical conductivity to function correctly. If you want to make a top-quality batch of PCBs and ensure an error-free PCB fabrication process, you can hire a proficient PCB manufacturing company. The steps of manufacturing are,
● PCBs are designed and printed with the help of programs in the initial stage. The relay paths, number of constituents, and type of segments get stipulated for the process of fabrication.
● Chemicals are used for sealing inner sheets of the PCB. Ultraviolet treatment is done to strengthen the shielding material of the PCB.
● Then the PCB is laminated before being hard pressed.
● Piercing through the PCB board is done, then it is plated with copper for coating the PCB exterior
● It is followed by a soldering mask and the computerized scrutiny.
● The last step is to coat the board using immersion gold before performing a computer numerical control.
Types of Printed Circuit Boards:
Few of the types of printed circuit boards are mentioned below,
This type of PCB is made out of a single layer of substrate or base material. The base material has one side coated with a metal, mostly copper. Copper is used because it is known as an excellent electrical conductor. After the coating, a protective solder mask and a silk-screen is applied to point out all the elements on the board. They are easy to design and available at a low-cost for high-volume orders. Their application includes calculators, cameras, printers, power supplies, etc.
Flexible PCBs consist of materials that can easily flex and move like plastic. They come in single, double, or multilayer format and they cost more for fabrication as they needed to be printed on a flexible material. They can be used in areas that can be subject to environmental hazards. For this purpose they are made using materials that might be waterproof, resistant to high-temperature oils, or corrosion-resistant.
They refer to a general PCB design element. High-frequency PCBs are circuit boards that are designed to transmit a signal over one gigahertz. PCB materials of this type include FR-grade glass-reinforced epoxy laminate, polyphenylene oxide resin, and Teflon.
Aluminum-backed PCBs use aluminum or copper substrate boards and are designed in the same way as their copper-backed counterparts. They are used in applications that require a high degree of mechanical stability or where PCB can be exposed to high levels of mechanical stress.
What Makes Aluminum-backed PCBs More Special than the PCBs with a Fiberglass?
● Aluminum is cheap to mine as it is one of the most abundant metals on earth, making up 8.23% of the planet’s weight. It reduces manufacturing expenses.
● Because of its non-toxic nature and easily recyclable material, it is considered as environmentally friendly. Using aluminum for PCB manufacturing is an excellent way to conserve energy.
● Aluminum is known as one of the best materials for dissipating heat away from essential components of the PCB, transferring heat out in the open air.
● Aluminum is more durable than fiberglass or ceramic. The use of sturdier base materials helps in reducing damage during installation, manufacture, and shipping.
Things To Look For When Designing A High-Frequency PCB are:
● Dielectric loss affects the quality of signal transmission, and even a small loss could make a small amount of signal wastage.
● If the materials used to make high-frequency PCB are not the same, they can separate from each other because of temperature changes.
● If the PCB is used in wet environments, high amounts of water can affect the dielectric constant and dielectric loss of PCB.
● Materials used for making high-frequency PCB should be heat resistance and resistance to hazardous chemicals.