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How to choose different types of printed circuit boards

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Fri, Oct 25, 2019

A printed circuit board or the PCB can be considered as more beneficial in comparison to the older ways that were used for building the electronics. Considering the past of electronics, large wires were used for the connection. Similarly, things were placed anywhere they could be fitted. The approach of the printed circuit board is more effective, modernized, and less messy. Through the PCBs, the components are mounted with the non-conductive board. It also uses the small pathways called the traces to connect. They are usually designed through a computer. In this way, the printed circuit boards fit many components in a small amount of space.

How to choose different types of printed circuit boards

Types of the printed circuit board

There are different types of printed circuit boards according to their characteristics. The design differs due to the copper rails that connect the various components. Other than that, the special tools that are required in the PCBs add to the special aspects. Here is the information that can help you in understanding the various types.

Single-sided PCBs

This least complicated type of PCB uses only one layer of the substrate that acts as the base material. This one layer is filled with a thin and proper layer of metal because copper is an extremely efficient electricity conductor. There is another solder mask that increases the efficiency of this PCB. The additional silkscreen coat results in the complete look of the board. This one works effectively with simple electric items and costs extremely little. The electronic components are located on the single side of the board and don't support all electricity items.

Double-sided PCBs

Double-sided PCBs are commonly used due to their high usage properties. The two bases have metal layers that connect to both sides. The components are spread evenly along with the holes on the whole board that makes things easier. Both the technology of surface mount and through-hole can be used. Leads which are tiny wear slides through the hole to go to the other side. Numerous small leads are soldered on in this type. It helps in increasing the functionality and efficiency of the board. However, it can be dangerous to handle in certain cases.

Multilayer PCBs

The multilayer PCBs utilizes the latest technology in the double-sided boards. More than two layers of the substrate are used on the board in the multilayer PCBs. The insulating material is present on each layer. It uses the same technology as the double-sided board, however, it helps in saving more space. The addition of layers can take place in this type of PCB. They are considered technical and require professionalism. In case of the inability of understanding the technicality, it can make the whole board useless.

Rigid PCBs

Apart from the layers and the side, the PCBs differ on other bases too. Other than the number of layers, the rigid PCBs differ based on varying the rigidness. This type of PCB is based on the usage of the solid substrate material. This substrate material is inflexible and strong. For this type of PCBs, the usage of fiberglass is highly recommended. It can be considered as it prevents the chances of damages and bending of the board.

Flex PCBs

Flex PCBs refers to flexibility like this type of printed circuit board. This type of PCB uses flexible plastic that is layered on the base. The usage of flexible plastic as the substrate material allows fixing in various shapes. They are highly recommended due to the usage of all the latest equipment. Other than that, they are extremely lightweight. The board can also be bent and it remains safe in all the conditions. However, it is extremely costly in comparison to the other types.

Rigid-flex PCBs

The last type of PCBs called the rigid-flex PCB is both rigid and flexible at the same time. The main concept behind the usage of these boards is that it can be used with an item that requires strong board assistance. The circuit board is rigid, however, it gets connected on to a single layer of the flex circuit board. This type of PCB can address the majority of the requirements and can be considered useful. However, they are extremely complex to make.

Factors to be considered

Before selecting any particular type of circuit board, it is important to consider your requirements. Here are some of the factors that should be considered while choosing the PCBs

Consider   the   material : It is important to evaluate the material that is going to be used in designing the PCB. Buy the material before working on the PCB.

Instrument   requirement : Instrument plays a vital role in the designing and functionality of the PCB. Therefore, consider the instrument.

Usage : Most importantly, consider where you are going to use the PCB. Does the usage require flexibility, rigidness, or both? Is the usage simple or more technical in nature? Consider all these aspects and you will be able to find the right PCB.

Budget : Evaluate the price of the various types and components associated with them. Choose the one that goes well with your budget.

Circuit   board   requirement : Consider the need for the power and strength that is needed for the circuit board. Consider all the designing rules in your mind while building the board. Do not forget any element.

Lastly, recheck all the considerable factors. In this way, you will be able to attain the right printed circuit board among the six types that are compatible with your needs.