In electronics, printed circuit boards, or PCBs, are utilized to mechanically support electronic components which have their connection leads soldered onto copper pads in surface install applications or through rilled holes in the board and copper pads for soldering the element leads in thru-hole applications. A board design may have all thru-hole parts on the leading or part side, a mix of thru-hole and surface install on the top only, a mix of thru-hole and surface area mount elements on the top side and surface area mount components on the bottom or circuit side, or surface area mount parts on the leading and bottom sides of the board.
The boards are likewise used to electrically connect the required leads for each element utilizing conductive copper traces. The element pads and connection traces are engraved from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Printed circuit boards are created as single sided with copper pads and traces on one side of the board just, double sided with copper pads and traces on the leading and bottom sides of the board, or multilayer designs with copper pads and traces on top and bottom of board with a variable variety of internal copper layers with traces and connections.
Single or double sided boards include a core dielectric material, such as FR-4 epoxy fiberglass, with copper plating on one or both sides. This copper plating is engraved away to form the actual copper pads and connection traces on the board surface areas as part of the board manufacturing process. A multilayer board includes a number of layers of dielectric product that has actually been fertilized with adhesives, and these layers are used to separate the layers of copper plating. All these layers are lined up and after that bonded into a single board structure under heat and pressure. Multilayer boards with 48 or more layers can be produced with today's technologies.
In a common 4 layer board style, the internal layers are typically utilized to supply power and ground connections, such as a +5 V aircraft layer and a Ground plane layer as the 2 internal layers, with all other circuit and element connections made on the leading and bottom layers of the board. Very complex board designs may have a a great deal of layers to make the various connections for different voltage levels, ground connections, or for connecting the lots of leads on ball grid selection devices and other large integrated circuit plan formats.
There are generally 2 kinds of material utilized to build a multilayer board. Pre-preg material is thin layers of fiberglass pre-impregnated with an adhesive, and remains in sheet form, normally about.002 inches thick. Core material is similar to an extremely thin double sided board because it has a dielectric product, such as epoxy fiberglass, with a copper layer deposited on each side, generally.030 density dielectric material with 1 ounce copper layer on each side. In a multilayer board design, there are 2 approaches utilized to develop the preferred variety of layers. The core stack-up method, which is an older innovation, uses a center layer of pre-preg product with a layer of core product above and another layer of core product listed below. This mix of one pre-preg layer and two core layers would make a 4 layer board.
The movie stack-up method, a newer innovation, would have core product as the center layer followed by layers of pre-preg and copper product built up above and below to form the last number of layers required by the board style, sort of like Dagwood building a sandwich. This approach allows the manufacturer flexibility in how the board layer thicknesses are integrated to fulfill the completed item density requirements by varying the variety of sheets of pre-preg in each layer. Once the product layers are completed, the whole stack undergoes heat and pressure that causes the adhesive in the pre-preg to bond the core and pre-preg layers together into a single entity.
The procedure of manufacturing printed circuit boards follows the actions listed below for most applications.
The procedure of figuring out products, procedures, and requirements to satisfy the client's specs for the board design based upon the Gerber file info supplied with the purchase order.
The process of transferring the Gerber file data for a layer onto an etch withstand film that is placed on the conductive copper layer.
The conventional process of exposing the copper and other areas unprotected by the etch withstand movie to a chemical that removes the unguarded copper, leaving the secured copper pads and traces in location; newer procedures use plasma/laser etching rather of chemicals to eliminate the copper product, allowing finer line meanings.
The process of lining up the conductive copper and insulating dielectric layers and pressing them under heat to trigger the adhesive in the dielectric layers to form a solid board material.
The process of drilling all the holes for plated through applications; a second drilling process is utilized for holes that are not to be plated through. Details on hole place and size is consisted of in the drill drawing file.
The process of using copper plating to the pads, traces, and drilled through holes that are to be plated through; boards are put in an electrically charged bath of copper.
This is required when holes are to be drilled through a copper location however the hole is not to be plated through. Avoid this procedure if possible because it adds expense to the finished board.
The process of applying a protective masking product, a solder mask, over the bare copper traces or over the copper that has actually had a thin layer of solder applied; the solder mask secures versus environmental damage, offers insulation, secures versus solder shorts, and secures traces that run in between pads.
The process of coating the pad locations with a thin layer of solder to prepare the board for the eventual wave soldering or reflow soldering process that will take place at a later date after the parts have actually been put.
The process of applying the markings for element classifications and element outlines to the board. Might be applied to just the top or to both sides if components are mounted on both leading and bottom sides.
The procedure of separating numerous boards from a panel of identical boards; this process likewise permits cutting notches or slots into the board if required.
A visual assessment of the boards; also can be the procedure of inspecting wall quality for plated through holes in multi-layer boards by cross-sectioning or other methods.
The process of looking for continuity or shorted connections on the boards by means using a voltage in between numerous points on the board and figuring out if an existing flow happens. Depending upon the board complexity, this procedure might need a specially developed test component and test program to integrate with the electrical test system utilized by the board maker.