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What makes up a printed circuit board?

Posted In Industrial & Technology - By Techtiplib on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 With No Comments »

In the past, there were many issues with faulty wiring. This was especially the case as wiring aged, and short circuits became more common. There was a need for changes to be made, and they came, with the introduction of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). This made the system of manufacturing electronic devices more efficient, and reduce the amount of costs involved.

printed circuit board?

The PCB industry keeps expanding, with specialists such as Allegro Services providing PCB solutions for industries as diverse as telecommunications and mining. So, what actually makes up the PCBs that industry relies on so heavily?

Knowing what a PCB is

Before we take a look at what makes up a PCB, it’s important to understand what it is. Put simply, a PCB is a board which consists of several layers which are formed into one object using adhesives and heat. The board contains a series of pads, and components which are soldered to the pads.

The layers of a PCB

The central layer of a PCB is generally made of fibreglass; other materials are used on occasion, but fibreglass is the most durable option. This is what gives a PCB the rigidity that it needs. The PCB is then constructed from this central layer, with the next layer being made from copper. Normally, a weight of approximately one ounce of copper per square foot is used. Once the copper is in place, a layer of soldermask is placed on top of it. The soldermask is what gives the colour to a PCB. The next layer to be put in place is the one which provides all the information about the PCB. This is a layer of silkscreen which contains a variety of significant numbers and letters. All of these layers come together to form a functioning PCB.

Elements of a PCB

Various elements are placed on a PCB, in order for it to function effectively. These elements include:

  • An Annular ring – This is a ring of copper which is used to surround various through holes on the circuit board.
  • A Pad – Pads are pieces of metal which are placed on a PCB so that components can be soldered to them.
  • Drill hit – These are areas of the board which are marked out during construction, so that holes can be positioned correctly.

All of the elements involved in PCB construction are necessary, in order to create an effective final product.

It’s important that a PCB design does not contain any errors, which is why designs are checked using a Design Rule Check. This is a software solution which helps to identify any issues that are present. If a design is error free, it should result in the creation of an efficient PCB.

You can see that there are plenty of things to remember when creating a PCB. It’s important that all of the features we have mentioned are put together in the right way, in order for the PCB to work at an optimum level.

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