Author Archive: Paige Chen

The Printed Circuit Board and its Methods

Printed-Circuit-BoardThe printed circuit board is a board where very little pieces of electrical components are connected together to form a circuit. These components when working together would provide a function for certain gadgets or electronics. In this modern age, most of the things used by people involve these printed circuit boards. Sometimes, people would even call it microchips. It is important to note that these boards are not just manufactured in a standard way. Each “chip” is designed in a different way and would provide a different function when compared to other PCBs.

The process of manufacturing a printed circuit board is called PCB fabrication

During the early years, those who designed PCBs did it manually and drew everything on paper before soldering each component individually on the board. Thanks to technology, everything is now faster. A computer engineer can produce hundreds of unique printed circuit boards through the use of computer-assisted design software. He would only point, click and type in things to design different boards used for cellular phones, laptops, coffee machines and even modern refrigerators.

PCB fabrication may sound easy to do but there are many things to learn before even putting the electric components together. People who build PCBs would even need to learn about Chemistry and Math. Chemistry is needed to find the best material to use for the board. Some materials would need certain chemical mixtures in order to function properly. Math is also needed to accurately measure the needed spacing in between components. Beside the logical knowledge, PCB fabrication also requires the right skills in performing the methods of PCB manufacturing. To know more about it visit Pcbnet.com.

One method in fabricating the printed circuit board is through etching

This is a method wherein the person would remove the copper residue from the board through the use of chemicals. Since the copper is used to carry the current of the electricity from component to component, it is important to be accurate when printing the copper. In the case that one makes a mistake, he would need to put a tape or a copper-resist formula to prevent the right copper from being removed. The chemicals used for the removal can be ferric chloride or ammonium persulphate, although most people would recommend using the latter because it is less messy. If you plan on doing this type of method, it is important to practice safety measures; you have to wear protective goggles and heavy duty gloves to protect your skin from getting burned.

PCB

Another PCB fabrication method is laminating the copper pattern onto the substrate which is the board. This method is used if you have an inkjet printer and a photo copying paint. Basically, it’s very simple because once the layout has been designed using the CAD software, it could be printed right away. Using the spray photo sensitive-resist, spray it onto the fiberglass (FR4) board. Always make sure that the board does not have scratches or dents to make the circuit board work. For some engineers, they use a press-paste type of sticker which the layout is printed on. The PCB is finished by just pressing the design on the board.

The last PCB fabrication method to be discussed is drilling

This may be the most complicated and most expensive part of the process. The vias or holes are made through the board to insert the connection of the different copper layer. By using very small drill bits, a hole is punched through and printed with the number designation of each vias. Some type of boards would require smaller holes that no drill can ever make. In this case, some vias are punched through by using laser beams.