Some Basic Questions & Answers Related To Printed Circuit Board -PCB

Some Basic Questions & Answers Related To Printed Circuit Board -PCB

Q1. What does pcb mean?

A. PCB stands for Printed Circuit Board. It is a copper clad board that is etched to form the desired circuit and drilled, if necessary. Components are placed on the board and soldered to form an assembly.

Q2. How to make a pcb?

A. PCBs are made by etching copper clad boards. First it is necessary to decide on the schematic diagram to be used. A circuit layout is them prepared based on the schematic. The layout is them transferred on to the copper clad board, and all unwanted copper is etched away. If necessary, the board is drilled, and a protection of green solder mask is added.

Q3. What is pcb chemical?

A. PCB chemical is used for etching. It reacts with the unwanted copper on the board and removes it from the surface of the board.

Q4. What is a pcb assembler?

A. PCB assembler is a pick-and-place machine for assembling printed circuit boards. The machine picks up the tiny surface mount components individually from their packaging and places them on the board with the correct orientation and positional accuracy.

Q5. How to solder pcb?

A. PCBs can be soldered by soldering irons, hot air soldering gun, wave soldering machines, or reflow soldering machines. All the machines produce heat for melting solder to bond the components to the board.

Q6. How to design a pcb?

A. PCBs are designed on computers with PCB CAD software. First, a schematic diagram is prepared that shows the entire circuit. Depending on the components used, footprints and placed and arranged properly. Tracks are then routed to interconnect the components according to the schematic. Gerber files are prepared from the layout and sent to the PCB manufacturer, who fabricates the PCB.

Q7. How to clean pcb?

A. De-ionized water is the best solution for cleaning PCBs.

Q8. How to remove solder from pcb?

A. Use braided copper wire or manual solder pump and soldering iron, or hot-air solder remover. The soldering iron melts the solder, and it can be removed by the braided copper wire or the manual solder pump. Hot-air solder remover melts the solder and removes it by sucking it away from the board.

Q9. Why pcbcolour is green?

A. PCBs are covered with a green solder mask for protection. The green mask protects the copper tracks from being oxidised and corroded by oxygen in the atmosphere.

Q10. How to drill a pcb?

A. Use a drilling machine and suitable drill bit. For small PCBs, a hand-held drilling machine is enough. Larger PCBs require a CNC drilling machine. For complicated PCBs, laser drilling is a more effective method.

Q11. What is multilayer pcb?

A. A PCB having more than two layers. When it is necessary to fit a large circuit on a small PCB, there is not much space available on the board for routing the tracks. By increasing the number of layers, more routing area is made available, as tracks can be placed on the inner layers also.

Q12. What is pcb assembly process?

A. PCB assembly process includes solder paste deposition, component placement, and reflow soldering. Solder paste is deposited on the PCB pads using a stencil. Surface mount components are them placed on the solder paste using pick and place machines. This assembly is then passed through a reflow machine where hot air melts the solder paste and it bonds the component to the pads on the PCB.

Q13. What is hdipcb?

A. High Density Interconnect printed circuit board. It is a special type of board with fine traces and spaces, and features high component density with laser drilled vias. HDI PCB is essential for complex components like the computer motherboards.

Q14. What is silkscreen pcb?

A. Silkscreen printing allows printing of component designators and other information on the PCB. This is very helpful for the assemblers to know which component is to be placed at a specific location. It is also helpful in deciding the polarity of the component to be placed. The silkscreen provides additional mounting information also.

Q15. How to test pcb?

A. PCB testing can involve the use of Multimeters, testing jigs, or flying leads. With a multimeter one can basically test the PCB for electrical continuity and shorts. Testing jigs and flying leads can test passive components. Functional testing can test the proper functioning of a PCB mounted with components.

Q16. What is pcb designing?

A. PCB designing involves schematic capture, footprint library, component layout, stackup design, and routing.

Q17. How to make connections on pcb?

A. Connections on a PCB are already made with the copper tracks present on it. If two PCBs are to be interconnected, it is best to use a connector and wire assembly.

Q18. Which PCB design software is the best?

A1. Protel (Altium Designer) — May be expensive

MultiSIm / Ultiboard

Proteus

CADSoft Eagle

Q19. Where PCB is used?

A. In all equipment that use electronic components, especially, surface mount components.

Q20. How PCB is made?

A. PCBs are made from copper clad laminates. These have copper foils on both sides of the laminate, which also acts as an insulator. The fabricator transfers the circuit layout to the copper foils, drills holes for vias, and etches away the unwanted copper. After washing the board, they electroplate to form the vias. Then they cover the copper tracks with a solder mask layer to protect them from being tarnished. The pads where the components will be soldered are not covered by solder mask, but by surface finish. This helps to protect the exposed copper pads and, at the same time, allows soldering also.

Q21. How PCB works?

A. Assemblers solder SMD components to copper pads and copper traces on both sides of the board to connect them according to the schematic design. Vias interconnect two sides of the circuit electrically. When the user applies power to the PCB, all the components start to work according to their function in the schematic.

Q22. How PCB is designed?

A. A designer prepares the schematic according to the way they want the circuit to function. They assign footprints to each component and generate a net list. Using the net list and the footprints, the designer then prepares a layout of the components within the boundary of the PCB. They use a PCB CAD software tool to route each net between the components following a set of rules.Once the layout is ready, the designer transfers the design files to a standard Gerber format and sends these to the fabricator.

Q23. How PCB board works?

A. Power and signals supplied to the PCB board by the user enables it to function properly. The board has electronic components that act as passive or active devices to control the power and signals. Copper traces on the board connect the electronic components, supplying them with power and signals. Vias on the board allow electrical connections from one side of the board to the other.

Q24. How PCB Vias are made?

A. The fabricator drills holes in the PCB for placement of vias. Then they electroplate the board to create the barrel of the via. The barrel interconnects pads on the two sides of the PCB, connecting them electrically.

Q25. What PCB stands for?

A8. PCB is an acronym for Printed Circuit Board.

Q26. What PCB contains?

A. A PCB contains the board on which the assembler mounts surface mount or through hole components and solders them.

Q27. Why PCB is Green?

A. The green color is because of the solder mask the fabricators put on the PCB to protect the copper traces from tarnishing. Although the common color of the solder mask is usually green, the fabricator may use other colors also, like white, red, and blue.

Q28. Why PCB is required?

A. An equipment may contain over 1,000 electronic components requiring connections in a very specif way to allow them to function properly. A PCB helps by allowing the assembler to mount the components in a specific way, and to solder them in place to keep them anchored. The user can easily test the board if it is not functioning in the right way. A PCB increases the reliability of the equipment substantially.

traditional pcb vs flex pcb

Which circuit is the best for use: Traditional Printed Circuits vs. Flexible Circuits

Which circuit is the best for use: Traditional Printed Circuits vs. Flexible Circuits

A Printed Circuit Board, PCB, offers mechanical and electrical connection to electronic components by using pads, conductive tracks, and other electrical features which are etched from copper sheets laminated on non-conductive substrates.  Just like any other electronic components, PCBs have experienced tremendous changes and improvements, especially with technological advancement. One of these achievements is the invention of the flexible PCBs which are basically vast arrays of conductors bonded to thin dielectric films. To be precise, the flexible circuits were actually an advancement of the traditional circuits due to their special flexibility feature. Surprisingly, flexible circuits constitute a very small portion of the PCBs in the market all over the world. This is due to the fact that flexible circuits are still are a mystery to electronic manufactures.

flex pcb

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Which PCB is better the best for your use? Can a flex Printed Circuit sustain several amperes of current? Can heavy copper bars be used in a flex circuit just like the traditional circuits? Please join us as we seek to answer these questions and many more thus bringing you to the lime-light about the best PCB that you should use for your domestic or industrial purposes. We are among the leading Printed Circuits manufacturers in the world with our customers boasting of explicitly unique but perfect PCBs delivered within the agreed time span. How can I order a PCB from RUSHPCB? This is quite simple thanks to technological advancements and e-commerce. You don’t have to physically visit our workshops to order and collect your products. Please visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/ and place your quote today. Our team of engineers will be ready to assist you from the initial part of designing your product to the delivery stage.

Traditional or rigid PCBs have been in use since the 1940s, especially for industrial and military purposes. They have been used in consumer products since the 1950s and the large-scale production of these circuits has been practiced since then. The Printed Circuit Boards industry is full of experts who specialize in various stages like the design, assembly, fabrication, and manufacturing who tend to ignore the appreciable differences between the traditional and flexible circuits. Flexible circuits however tend to be more tedious to manufacture and fabricate, unlike their traditional PCBs counterparts. Such differences are easy to understand this one is able to differentiate between the best choices of Printed Circuit Boards that they should adopt.

Traditional PCBs can be easily subjected to automate assembly since they are less complicated to design and assemble compared to flexible ones. This is due to the fact that they are rigid and they can easily endure wave soldering and IR (Infrared) reflow soldering. On the other hand, flexible circuits pose a problem in automated assembling due to the complicated nature of the circuits thus wave soldering can’t be used in such circuits. Sequentially, the flexible nature of these PCBs makes automated assembling a problem since it can be tedious to take them through all the assembly stages.

Just like the Traditional PCBs, flexible circuits absorb moisture fairly well and they should be baked out before being taken through high temperatures. The same solder paste screening procedure is also the same for both the traditional and flexible circuits. However, after the solder paste screening point, care must be taken since the procedure involved in each of the circuits is quite different. The next procedure will be the pick and place step which mounts some pressure on the circuits. Flexible circuits should be protected during this procedure to provide for stability and for reliable placement of the components. The stability of flexible circuits is also needed in the soldering process where all the components are soldered into their designated positions. After the components are soldered into place, they are cleaned, re-worked, and inspected. After this procedure, stability is no longer crucial for the flexible circuits thus the stability figure that was added during can be eliminated for the completion of packaging and shipment tasks.

The following are some of the frequently asked questions which will help you understand the differences between traditional and flexible circuits better.

  • Is impedance control achievable on a flexible circuit?

Yes! The calculations carried out to achieve impedance control are the same for both traditional and flexible circuits except for the thickness and the dielectric constant of the material used. Equally important, the spacing between traces, the distance between layers and the trace width are other factors that should be taken into consideration. After these calculations are carried out, it’s possible to design a flexible circuit like a rigid one.

  • Can a flexible circuit handle several amperes of current?

Yes! Flexible circuits possess the same current carrying capacity for copper traces tables used for traditional PCBs since the copper used is of the same rating and the operating conditions including the ambient temperature conditions are fairly the same. The same copper thickness can also be used for both printed circuits. The typical thicknesses commonly used are  oz, 1 or 2 oz.

  • Is it possible to provide EMI shielding on a flexible circuit?

Again, the answer is yes! The same design techniques used for a traditional PCB will still work for a flexible Printed Circuit Board. Loops and ground layers can be easily used in the same manner so as to keep noise in and out of the sensitive areas.

  • Are there components that can’t be used on flexible circuits?

No! Any component that is used in traditional come rigid printed circuits can also be used in flexible PCBs. However, some components demand serious modifications before being used in flexible circuits. Such components are the chip on board and the BGAs.

  • Can flexible circuits be automated and panelized?

Yes! Flexible circuits’ panels require special tooling or fixtures so as to run through the automated lines. However, there is no need to worry since flexible circuits can be taken through mass assembly just like their traditional PCBs counterparts.

With over 20 years’ experience in the PCB world, we understand the complexity in designing flexible circuits especially for the electrical characteristics. We, therefore, recommend that you consult some experienced manufacturer who will help you in all the stages of manufacturing a flex circuit. As an international company, we have highly skilled engineers who work round the clock to ensure customer needs are satisfied by having the PCBs function as directed. You might have tried a different PCB manufacturer who disappointed you. Please visit us today and we promise to make you smile. Place a quote with us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/

Emerging trends in printed circuit boards-compressed

Emerging Trends In Laminate Materials for Printed Circuit Boards

Emerging Trends In Laminate Materials for Printed Circuit Boards

Laminate materials are used in the fabrication of Printed Circuit Boards especially for advanced electronic applications. These materials mainly have a low dissipation factor, a range of dielectric constants and manageable mechanical prices. Some of the commonly used laminate materials are FR4, modified epoxy, polyimide, PTFE/Cer and phenolic. However, with the rapid changes in the electronics world have led to numerous changes in the laminate materials’ properties and their applicability in different PCBs. PCBs with larger bandwidths and transmission speeds to increase data traffic rates and enhance the performance of the boards have been developed to aid in satisfying the ever changing demands. All this depends on the application of the PCB which the laminate is used. If you have any problems choosing the right laminate material for your PCB, please feel free to contact us and our team of experts will guide you. This article shall discuss the emerging trends in laminate materials for PCBs.

To begin with, laminate materials with a better cost and higher efficiency are being introduced in the market. The numbers of companies producing these materials have constantly increased with countries like Taiwan, Korea and China joining Japan in this market. However, the materials used to manufacture the laminate materials are different though the application is still the same. Luckily, they provide a variety of materials with limited background and data with the sampling rate approaching S20 at a frequency of 10GHz.

Current trends in FR4 Class laminate materials

In PCB laminate materials, FR4 is used as the standard for comparing the behavior of other laminate materials and their processability. As a laminate, FR4 is usually preferred due to its low cost and a high thermal-mechanical strength which is associated with HDI fans. Moreover, FR4 has to operate within some electrical performance limits so as to oversee a high transmission rate. Equally important, FR4 materials with around 5 to 6 gigabytes per seconds (Gbps) whose signal depends on the routing lengths and trace widths have been introduced into the market. However, the major inventions and changes related to FR4s came up when the international standard requiring the use of lead-free solder excursions was enforced. This led to the creation of a sub-class in the FR4 class.

As if that is not enough, FR4 resins have been recently modified in a way that there is a third reduction of the rated Df compared to the traditional ones. The quality of Df continues to improve thus more modified FR4s have been introduced into the market at a cheaper cost. Moreover, the effect of halogen-free Dfs on FR4s has led to the introduction of non-brominated replacements requiring lower resin contents for their effectiveness. Consequently, such FR4s can conform to UL9540 flame and have DF ratings of 0.01 to 0.016 at a cheaper price.

The use of over-engineered materials for design is often the case when new cheaper off-springs offspring are introduced. As the market for FR4s continues to expand, the use of such laminate materials becomes unnecessary. This has led to the mitigation of the Z-differential timing skew. The lower profile copper options which are smoother than RTF are yet to be introduced in the market because greater trace loss benefit can be achieved by the use of other lower DF resin systems. Recently, lead-free FR4s are being used in high speed applications for reducing power cost, stack up hybridization and other non-critical layers to improve the thermal-mechanical performances.

Low Df/Dk laminates class

Low Df/Dk laminates class have a Dk values less than or equal 3.7 and Df ratings below 0.005. With technological advancement, m id Df/Dk laminates materials can achieve this Dk range if they are enhanced with low Dk glass. The current standardizers of these laminates materials are Panasonic’s Megatron-6 and the Rodgers 4000 series of ceramic hydrocarbons. The thermal-mechanical characteristics of these materials are vital since they are used for complex HDI-type designs and they should endure a couple of lamination cycles at a lead-free temperature. The materials used in this class gave a proprietary resin formulations thus it’s not possible to determine their content. However, the modern ones like Taconic and Rogers have a measurable content of PTFE.

Since cost is a major consideration in the design of laminates, the PTFE laden materials are rarely used in the market. However, they are sometimes used for the sake of mitigating attenuation over traces over a distance of about a meter. Lower loss materials are also being used to increase the transmission rates to about 20 to 25 Gigabytes per second.

Mid Df/Dk laminates class

Mid Df/Dk laminates materials have a lower dielectric constant that that of FR4 and a DF rating ranging between 0.007 to 0.013. However, with the introduction of RoHS where highly modified epoxy materials are used (blended with cyanate), the mid Df/Dk laminate material have been modified to provide excellent performance even at higher temperatures. However, HDI has become more complicated with the plated over via and BGA pitches getting smaller hence the laminated board designs are most common today. As a result, most of the laminate suppliers have introduced more robust and new systems which not only address the thermal-mechanical problems but also chip away at better DF values thus more expansive options of copper smoothness offerings and spread weaves. Consequently, a new class within a class (of mid Df/Dk materials) has been introduced. This class performs at a cheap cost and has a performance better that of the ultra-premium low class Df/Dk laminates.

As a leading producer of PCBs products and services, we are dedicated to overseeing the introduction of better laminate materials in the market. This is because we appreciate the role of technology to humanity. In the event that you have problems choosing the best laminates materials for your PCB, please don’t hesitate to visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/and interact with our team of experts. Equally important, we offer services like Printed Circuit Board assembly, design and fabrication. Our products are of high quality and unique so we assure you of a perfect experience when you work with us.

Errors which cause PCB Assembly Holds

Mistakes Which Cause PCB Assembly Holds

Mistakes Which Cause PCB Assembly Holds

As an international PCB manufacturing and design company, RUSHPCB is determined to ensure that its boards adhere to customer’s specifications. Such specifications determine the applicability thus the general operating characteristics of a Printed Circuit Board. To do this, we ensure that we understand what each customer wants. However, to avoid discrepancies and poor work output due to wrong designs, we hold a job if there are any differences between an order and the parts or files which the customer provided.

This protocol is used in the entire PCB design and manufacturing industry since all PCBs design demand explicit precision. Moreover, Design Rule Check (DRC) errors should be avoided to ensure specifications like minimum via hole diameter and copper-to-copper spacing are given. It is for this reason that we recommend that you double-check your order to prevent delays due to holding in the assembly stage. Fortunately, we are all proud when your product is delivered to you on time with no errors at all. This is why we came up with some of the most common errors which lead to PCB assembly holds. Please join us as we discuss or visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/blog/ for questions or to place a quote. We are always ready to serve you.

  • Mismatch between the footprint and the BOM

In this case,a component placed in the Bill of Materials (BOM) happens to be too small, too big or simply the wrong component for the designated position. This could include the size of a drill bit to be used to create holes or the size of copper layers to be used. The BOM is usually accompanied by the Excellon drill file which defines the drill. The drill file specifies where the holes are to be placed. In some cases, there is a conflict between the components in the BOM and what the design needs. To avoid confusion and design of the wrong board which does not meet your specifications, we hold the assembly process until clarifications are made.

  • Mixing different orders

As an international and one of the best PCB manufacturer, fabricator and designer in the world, we deal with thousands of orders in a day and we welcome customers to place as many orders as they can. However, care should be taken to ensure that the components in one order in the Bill of Materials are clearly differentiated from the others by marking by a tape or a reel or placed in a single troy come bag. This eradicates chances of confusion which may lead to PCB assembly holds since we cannot design a PCB whose components are not clear. Do you have any question so far or would you wish to know us better? Please Contact Us .

  • Missing components

Customers provide the list of tools or components which they need the manufacturer to use in coming up with their design product. A tool list is embedded in the Excellon drill file or it can be sent as an independent file. Using the tool list which is provided on the fabrication is not professionals since it eliminates automatic verifications and may cause some errors in data entry. We highly recommend that you provide minimum overages so as to compensate for any assembly attrition. Failure to do this might lead to holding of the assembly of the board.

  • Failure to update the Bill Of Materials to meet recent design changes

After coming up with a clear idea of what one needs to design, there are some changes which one might need to incorporate in the design to make it more appealing or effective. We welcome any design changes from our customers provided they don’t interfere with an already ongoing PCB assembly for the same board. We, therefore, encourage our customers to ensure that design changes in the BOM, assembly files, materials and instructions are updated on time so as to give us humble time while designing the board. However, we consider the interests of our customers so in the event that you find yourself in such a situation, we will listen to you and find the best way out.

  • Non-marked polarities

In PCB assembly, there are many components used like the diodes and batteries which have polarities. These polarities ought to be clearly marked so that our experts might distinguish between the cathode and anode. This is because connecting the wrong polarity to the wrong terminal leads to a short-circuit which might blow up the whole circuit or destroy some components due to thermal discharges. Always ensure that the polarity of each component you provide is clearly marked. Please note that we have most of the PCB assembly components in our stores so to avoid such dubious mistakes, please pay us a visit at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/ and place your quote.

  • Insufficient inner clearance

Inner clearance is the minimal distance from the edge of any hole to the next unconnected inner layer of copper. In PCB design, it is vital to ensure that inner clearances are sufficient so that the drill does not short the inner copper layers which might lead to wastage of copper. This applies for both non-plated and plated holes. Most of the inner clearances are 0.010-inch inner clearance

Inner Clearance = Spacing+ Annular Ring

If you provide the above specifications, please ensure that they fit your board precisely otherwise we will have to hold the PCB assembly process. However, we advise our customers in advance if we see some of such errors.

  • Missing Aperture List and Excellon File

The aperture list gives a specification of what shape and size of an object should be drawn in a given Dcode (location). A comprehensive aperture list doesn’t have to be in the 274X format files. Different from that, the Excellon file is majorly accompanied by the drill file. This is crucial in identifying the areas which need drilling. It is significant that you provide these files to avoid the holding of your PCB in the assembly stage.

Please don’t be scared by the above points and procedures which one should adhere to so as to ensure that their board is manufactured without delays. We are professionals in the Printed Circuit Boards world thus we assure you of the best. Our team of experts goes through your orders, BOM and design specifications to ensure everything is in order. They contact you and clarify and confusing procedure before the final assembly commences. Serving you is our pleasure and we will always focus on quality and uniqueness.

Please pay us a visit at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/ or contact our sales team [email protected] or 0203 750 0201

Printed Circuit Board Finishes

6 Major Types of Printed Circuit Board Finishes

6 Major Types of Printed Circuit Board Finishes

Anyone dealing with Printed Circuit Boards must be aware that PCB’s need some finishing on their surfaces before concluding that the end product is achieved. This is because if PCBs are left unprotected; without copper finishes, copper oxidizes and deteriorates thus the final circuit board thus the service life of the whole board is shortened significantly. It is critical to recall that PCBs are designed for various applications, pressures, temperatures and other work environment parameters. However, we at RushPCB (https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/ ) ensure that all the Printed Circuit Boards we design can fit in different environments like harsh solvents or chemicals, dust and elevated temperatures. It is because of our uniqueness and quality of the products that we offer to all our clients across the globe that we came up with this article to educate you on the most common types of PCB finishes and help you identify the best.

Using leaded solder

this is the most common type of PCB finishing. It is produced by mixing lead and tin such that the solder is easily applicable and provides a comprehensive coating which lasts for many years. This method of PCB finishing is applied by the immersion of the board into the mixture of molten tin and lead. Sequentially, an air knife is used to purposively blow off the excess mixture from the surface of the Printed Circuit Board. Different from that, this technique is one of the oldest techniques of PCB finishing but it’s still widely used due to its availability and low cost. However, it can be very harmful to the environment since high levels of lead may result to lead-poisoning in the air and consequently water sources when it rains. The end result of this effect is increased cases of blood cancer (leukemia) and infertility in human.

Using lead-free solder

this method eliminates harmful lead elements from the environment thus it is the more preferred compared to the leaded solder type. In this type of PCB finishing, the PCB is dipped in a molten mixture of copper and tin. Sequentially, an air knife is used to remove the excess solder from the PCB’s surface. This method leads to shiny silver colored PCB that can last for several years. Comparatively, the method is widely available and easy to apply in many PCB designs. Significantly, this method does not use lead thus it is environmentally friendly.

Using Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG)

As of today, the electroless Nickel Immersion Gold is the best and the recommendable type of finish used in the manufacturing of Printed Circuit Boards. In the initial stages of the finishing, nickel of about 150 to 200 micro-inches is coated onto copper’s surface.  Nickel is used as a barrier to copper and it’s the surface where the components are soldered to. Sequentially, a thin layer of gold which is approximately 3 to about 10 micro-inches is applied over nickel’s coating. The gold provides protection to nickel during storage and provides an interface of low contact resistance which is requires for thin gold deposits. This coating uniquely provides a comprehensive protection to the Printed Circuit Boards from any hostile environmental conditions, is of flat surface, has no lead, is good for Plated Through Holes (PTH) and has a long life. Unfortunately, the coating is expensive, damaged by ET, has some properties of radio-frequency signal loss and islaborious to apply. Luckily, we at RushPCB have ENIG finished PCBs and we can fabricate any board depending on your specifications. Please pay us a visit today at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk

Using Immersion Silver method

in this technique of Printed Circuit Board finishing, a micron thick layer of silver element is comprehensively coated over copper’s surface though the application of the process of electroless plating.  Silver is used since it is has a high electrical conductivity thus it form excellent interconnect surface.  This technique leads to the creation of a flat surface that has outstanding solderability and is environmentally friendly since it does not use lead coating. Equally important, the PCBs finished using this technique can be used for high speed signals. However, when exposed to high humidity, temperature or mishandled, the coating becomes susceptible.

Immersion Tin

this method is also lead-free and it uses SMT assembly for PCB finishing. In this type of PCB finishing, a thin layer of tin is applied over copper layers thus leading to a whitish finish. Tin and copper have a strong affinity for each other and the diffusion of one metal into the other metal’s surface occurs inevitably. On the other hand, this method is cost-effective compared to gold and silver immersion techniques. Moreover, it is free of lead-deposits, its re-workable and the best choice for Press Fit Pin Insertion. Unfortunately, it has a very short (limited) shelf life and it has higher chances of being damaged when compared to silver and gold finished PCBs. Consequently, Printed Circuit Boards coated with tin are used for a short period of time; usually 6 to 12 months. As if that is not enough, the thickness of such boards cannot be measured easily and the technique uses Thiourea which is a Carcinogen. Do you want to know more of Tin Immersion finished PCBs? Please visit us at: https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/and feel free to ask us any question or place an order. Customer satisfaction is our pride.

Using Organic Surface Protectant (OSP/Entek)

this method leads to a green finish unlike the other methods of PCB finishing. In this method of PCB finishing, a water based organic compound is carefully applied over copper by making use of a conveyorized process. The compound not only bonds tocopper but also protects copper during the soldering process. Sequentially, in industrial environments which are aggressive; the coating protects the copper from oxidation. Additionally, the method is cost-effective and is simple to apply unlike other methods like ENIG. Are you in need of such a board? Kindly visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/

With the discussion above, you must have some questions about the best type of Printed Circuit Board finish to use. We at RushPCB have the answers to all your questions and we are ready to provide any type of finishing for you at a cheap price. Please note that the quality of the final board and consequently the product depends on the efficiency with which PCB finishing is done. This is why we recommend you to the experts; https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/contact/.

Flexible Circuits

Significance Of Flexible Circuits

Significance Of Flexible Circuits

In the electronics world, necessity is the main motivation to inventions and can be attributed to the invention, development and evolution of flexible circuits in both electrical and electronic circuits. A flexible circuit also called a flex circuit is an arrangement of printed wiring utilizing flexible base materials with or without a flexible cover layer. Flexible circuits are used in significant life processes in the heart pacemakers, digital cameras, disk drives and car stereos. Such devices require great flexibility in their design and installation. Moreover, flex circuits can be of any size thus many devices can be manufactured to suit customer specifications.

On the other hand, miniaturization is a common word in circuit designing world. In this context, there is need to develop smaller size circuits with zero compromise on their performance. This led to the need for a functional and reliable circuit alongside its flexibility. Luckily, flexible circuits were invented and they serve as a solution to several orientation and spatial constraints which were faced by fixed PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). Please join us (RushPCB) as we take you through the merits of flex circuits in the modern world where technological advancement is the order of the day.

Merits from the way flex circuits are made

A flexible circuit is made of a film of flexible polymer which is usually laminated onto a sheet of copper which is engraved to yield a given circuit pattern. The polymer is vital since the circuits can be designed or etched on either side of the film. Sequentially, another overcoat of polymer is used to insulate the circuit and protect it from harsh environmental conditions.

The polymer film which is used in the design of flex circuits is KAPTON. This polymer has many favorable characteristics like dimensional stability, heat resistance and flexural capability. Different from that, KAPTON has excellent thermal stability thus it provides a better base for the mounting of hard boards.

In the same token, flex circuits are naturally flat thus they offer considerable space and weight savings compared to the traditional wire harnesses. Their thickness is usually as low as 0.2mm and a weight reduction of 75% is achievable using these circuits.  Are you satisfied with the explanation? Please pay us a visit at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/blog/

Merits from the Uses of flexible circuits

It is possible to design several double or single-sided flexible circuits with shielding, complex interconnections and surface mounted devices all in multi-layer designs. Alternatively, the multi-layer can be combined with rigid Printed Circuit Boards leading to the creation of a rigid and high flexible circuit which is capable of supporting all the devices needed in the design in question.

A special feature of flexible circuits is that they give a designer a third dimension to work with. This is because just as their name indicates, these circuits are highly flexible since one can bend them and shape circuits along 2 or more planes during the process of installation. It is because of this feature that flexible circuits are used in tight-fitting and complex assemblies where it is impossible to accommodate several rigid harnesses and boards.

Flexible circuits provide an excellent way of reducing the time taken to assemble a product due to its exclusive properties of flexibility and a flawless integrate form. As if that is not enough, the number of assembly operations and testing time reduces significantly.

Merits based on Types of Flexible Circuits

Flexible circuits are of four types depending on the degree of complexity which is used in various combinations to solve each interconnection in the design problems. The four types of flex circuits basing argument on their merits which makes flex circuits preferable shall be discussed in this part.

1). Single-sided flex circuits

Single-sided flexible circuits are the simplest flex circuits of the 4 types as already mentioned. This is because they provide optimal flexibility for dynamic applications. In the same token, these circuits are more adaptable to the Surface Mount Technology (SMT), Tape Automated Bonding (TAB) and many other significant developments in the circuit technology. They derive their name from the fact that they allow access from a single side only. These circuits are used in the optical pick-up for computers, camcorder, camera, vibration motors for a mobile phone and VCD players. Moreover, they are cheap and they are usually produced in great volumes.

Single layer flex circuits are created using the double access or back barring technique which allows access to the metal conductors from the two sides of a circuit. This method is vital since it eliminates the need for plate-through holes needed in multi-layer circuits.

2). Double-sided flex circuits

These are flexible circuits with two conductive layers and which can be accessed from both sides of the board. Their main feature is the component assembly on both sides. However, their flexibility capacity reduces due to their complexity and thickness. Different from that, their ability of interconnecting between sides using plate-through holes is crucial for the implementation of complex designs with the flexibility of the circuits being maintained to the latter. These circuits are mainly used when it is difficult to route the layout and circuit density on a single layer. Comparatively, they are used in the mount assembly of dense surfaces and shielding applications.

3). Multi-layer flexible circuits

These circuits are used in complex and high dense design specifications. They are significant since many conductors can be interwoven into a smaller package. Multi-layer flex circuits are the best circuits to use in order to overcome design challenges like specific resistance requirements, unavoidable cross-overs and in eliminating crosstalk in very sensitive circuits. For information about how you can use PCBs to come up with a flex circuit, please visit us at our site https://www.rushpcb.co.uk

4). Rigid-flex circuits

Rigid-flex circuits are a combination of flex and rigid circuits so they combine the advantages of the 2 circuits. They are a hybrid construction made of flexible and rigid substrates which are laminated together in a single package. As if that is not enough, these circuits can be interconnected by means of plate-through holes. Different from that, rigid-flex circuits are multilayer designs even though it is possible to come up with a two-layer design. These circuits find vast applications in some microelectronic chip-packaging applications like in constructing hearing aids. Additionally, they are used in military product design.

All the types of flexible circuits have provided viable solutions to existing problems especially in the electronics world. We at RushPCB believe that the sky is the only limit in the advancement of flex circuits and technology at large. We are ready to help you understand more about flex circuits and get to design some using PCBs. Please visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/quote/

rigid flex pcb

Evolution of Electronic Rigid-Flex Printed Circuit Board

Evolution of Electronic Rigid-Flex Printed Circuit Board

Flexible or flex circuit is the technology of assembling circuits by mounting several electronic devices like polyimide and translucent conductive flexible plastic substrates. On the other hand, rigid-flex PCBs allow the boards to conform to a certain shape or to flex during the time it is on use. There are several types of rigid-flex circuits depending on their construction; single-sided flex circuits, back bared flex circuits or double access, sculptured flex circuits, multilayer flex circuits and rigid-flex circuits.  Have you ever wondered how rigid-flex PCBs emerged and what they really are? Join us https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/blog/ as we discuss the evolution of rigid-flex PCBs.

The first question that comes into your mind is what rigid-flex PCBs are and how they are made. A rigid-flex PCB is a hybrid construction flexible board consisting of flexible and rigid substrates laminated together in a single structure. Rigid-flex Printed Circuit Boards can be shaped to suit the specifications of design as asserted by the customer. This allows for freedom in the packaging geometry and a reduction in the interconnections and at the same time retaining the density, precision and the repeatability of the PCB is retained. These PCBs are usually multilayer structures although two metal layer constructions are used sometimes. Rigid-flex PCBs find numerous applications in the electronics industry especially in medical, military and aerospace electronic equipment.

So what is the history of rigid-flex PCBs? Over the years, Rigid-Flex PCBs and PCBs at large have enjoyed tremendous developments introduced by changes in technology. These changes can be attributed to the development of Printed Circuit Boards. In the early 1900’s, the concept of PCBs was introduced by the construction of electrical paths on isolated surfaces of boards.  This was used in developing and upgrading gramophones and radios. Consequently, the notion of the ‘’through-hole-technique’’ was introduced and a rigid-flex PCB was invented. The fabrication of PCBs was introduced later by a PCB manufacturer in the U.S where they used the automated soldering techniques. PCBs were later adopted by the U.S army and several strides to upgrade them were made. This marked major developments in the electronics world.

From the high speed analog and digital designs to high layer count boards and high pin count BGA with several methods of fabrication like electro-mechanical assembly, box build assembly, cable harness assembly and backplane assembling process, the demand for customized PCBs in various industries increased significantly. With steep competition in the market, PCB manufacturers have always been challenged to differentiate themselves from the chunk by introducing new inventions. As a result, advanced methods used by PCB manufacturers like Surface Mount Technology (SMT), Integrated Circuits (ICs) and Hybrid Circuits have led to state-of-the art-techniques.  Sequentially, there is a range of Printed Circuit Board designs which can be fabricated to suit the demands of the customer. These are the rigid-flex PCB. As if that is not enough, older design methods of Rigid-Flex PCBs were characterized by constructions by many layers of adhesives in the rigid areas constructions. However, due to the high thermal coefficient of thermal expansion of adhesives (about 10 to 20 times that of FR-4), the technique of placing vias under a substantial amount of stress during thermal cycles which occur during multiple assembly cycles, RoHS assembly and component temperatures was introduced. Using adhesives in the rigid areas might cause the formation of cracks in the copper plating within via holes. Are you in need of a Rigid-Flex PCB? Please visit us today at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk and have the opportunity with the experts. We value all customers from all over the globe

Different from that, there is flexibility in the methods of fabricating rigid-flex PCBs with respect to the micro-drilled holes, material thickness, PCB profiling, surface finishing and solder-mask capabilities. There were some improvements in the functional layouts and design with high-end customizations in the PCBs mechanized in several multilayered boards. With the advancement in technology, the PCB assembly has been expanded to incorporate rigid-flex PCBs with regards to the consigned Printed Circuit Board assembly and complete turnkey solution. This has facilitated tendering to the exact needs of the customers with cost effective approaches being used in the fabrication approaches.

In the current market, most of the PCB manufacturers and fabricators like RUSHPCB provide Rigid-Flex PCBs which have the capability of integrating multiple PCB assemblies and other electronic elements like input, display or storage devices without using cables/connectors and wires and replacing them with light and thin composites which integrate wiring in flexible ribbons and wiring in ultra-thin. Such PCBs have fine spacing or lines, blind and buried vias, high aspect ratio vias, high layer counts which are over 20+, RoHS assembly compliance and high operating temperatures. However, some developments have created plated hole reliability and potential via issues.

So what are the advantages of using Rigid-Flex Printed Circuit Boards? To begin with, these circuit boards combine the merits of rigid and flexible PCBs. Consequently, there is a variety of advantages especially in signal transmission, overall size, stability and PCB assembly. We at RushPCB produce various varieties of Rigid-flex PCBs which can be adjusted to suit your specifications. Moreover, such PCBs have rigid areas and flexible areas thus reducing the number of layers needed for a single board. This translates to using less copper thus the cost of a single board reduces appreciably. As if that is not enough, our Rigid-Flex PCBs combine FR4, polyimide, and thin laminate thus the final product is of high quality. In the same token, the PCBs are rigid and they can connect rigid boards without using connectors or cables thus there is a better signal transmission.  Please visit us today https://www.rushpcb.co.uk . We have been on the market for long and our products are exceptionally unique.

Table showing a truncated history of electronic rigid-flex PCBs

YearApplication
1960’sRigid-flex PCBs were used in applications for NASA
1970’sRigid-flex Printed Circuit Boards were used on Missiles and Fighter Aircraft for reduced weight
Early 1980’sRigid-flex PCBs were used in high reliability military electronics
1988Military version of the VAX computer with the help of electronic Rigid-flex PCBs
198924 layer back panel of Military Avionics using REGAL Flex
1990Invention of Notebook Computer
1991Commercial Avionics Flight Box using rigid-flex PCBs
1993Automotive Engine Control Navigation System was invented using rigid-flex PCBs
1994Boeing 777 instrumentation
2000’sImplantable Medical Chips using rigid-flex PCBs

With the discussion above, you must have some questions about Rigid-Flex PCBs or any other PCB of your choice. What is the cost of a Rigid-Flex PCB? How is it fabricated? How can I get a Rigid-flex circuit that suits my needs? Please smile and visit us at RUSHPCB.CO.UK we have a team of dedicated experts who are ready to help you each second of the clock. The interests of our customers come first so we assure you of happiness while interacting with us.

pcb cost

Methods Of Reducing The Cost Of PCB

Methods Of Reducing The Cost Of PCB

Are you in need of a low cost Printed Circuit Board (PCB)? Well, join us as we discuss the possible methods of reducing the cost of any PCB. To begin with, it is crucial to recall that the manufacturing cost of PCB depends on some factors that must be considered during the process of coming up with ant design. Moreover, designs by newbies are not optimized from a standpoint. Many PCB beginners designers especially beginners do not take into consideration the spacing, basic width and many more rules that have effects on the cost and the size of the final design. It is for this reason that we came up with a simple guide on how to reduce PCB cost.  However, in the event of any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, we have a team of qualified staff and are dedicated to overseeing customer satisfaction.

SIZE OF THE BOARD

To begin with, the cost of the board is crucial. The cost is usually proportional to the size of the board. This implies that smaller boards are cheaper than larger boards. Moreover, the costs of the parts are proportional to the size of the board since a larger board might require more components which not only makes it expensive but also makes it lose its aesthetic features. The final product will be expensive such that implementing it for mass production is unrealistic.

metal-ruler

Are you worried about the best size of board that will suit your needs? Please visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk and we will offer you guidelines on the best board that will suit your design needs at a cheaper cost.

ADOPTION OF SURFACE-MOUNT TECHNOLOGY (SMT)

Surface-mount technology; SMT is a strategy of producing an electronic circuit where the components are mounted directly onto the Printed Circuit Board’s surface. Consequently, the cost of soldering the components into place is minimized thus the overall cost of the PCB is reduced.Comparatively, any component that is mounted on the PCB can be easily replaced without having to go through cost procedures like hot gas and infrared to remove the solders from a component. This technique is better that THT since all components on the Printed Circuit Board will be small and more intensive.

SMT PCB

REDUCING COMPONENT COUNT

In the same token, if the components on the PCB are very dense, then the routing on the board should have more details and more components will be used. The best way to avoid this is by studying the possible ways of reducing the number of components in use in your design. Intensive research and consultations is needed in the procedure and that is why we at RushPCB are here to help you.

REDUCING THE NUMBER OF LAYERS

On the other hand, the cost of Printed Circuit Boards can be reduced by reducing the number of layers. These layers are made of alternating materials and are laminated together with adhesives and heat thus leading to a single product. These layers are FR4 (fiber glass), copper, solder mask and silkscreen. The best way to reduce the cost of the layers is by designing a PCB that suits your needs and trying to eradicate unnecessary parts of the design. This could lead to lesser layers thus the cost of the board reduces significantly.

DIAMETER OF HOLES AND ANNULAR RINGS

When it comes to the stage of drilling holes and annular rings, we recommend that you come up with holes of bigger diameter so as to reduce the cost of PCB. This is because using smaller holes demands the use of more precise machines which leads to higher cost. On the other hand, the minimum annular ring applies to vias and through-hole pads and is the minimum distance between the pad’s border and the hole’s border.  This is illustrated in the figure below. Some manufacturers will charge you a lot if you need smaller holes (diameters) but we are always fair to our customers, our prices are the best in the market.

USE OF NTHS RATHER THAN BURIED HOLES

On the other hand, buried holes are more costly than NTHs since they have to be drilled at the junctions. Drilling is costly since the end product must be perfect so the drill-bits used in each design are new and the hole might not be perfect and the whole board has to be designed from scratch. Drilling is best done by some experts and it fits those users who need perfect and well-polished Printed Circuit Boards otherwise it is very costly and we recommend the use of NTHs rather than drilling. However, we offer complete boards which are also drilled so you can contact us at RUSHPCB.CO.UK in case you need to do some purchases. We offer the best prices around the globe.Please try us today.

SIZE OF COPPER AND SPACING BETWEEN COPPER OBJECTS

In this case, as the size of copper and the spacing between copper objects decreases, the cost of the Printed Circuit Board increases. This is because printing small objects on copper needs high-precision and small tolerance machines. This translates to more cost thus making the whole procedure expensive especially for low quantity and prototypes production. The physical dimensions of the copper objects are tracks, vias, pads (thru-hole and SMD) and any object that is printed on the copper layer. The spacing between the tracks is always labeled as dT and that between pads dP. We offer boards that are customized to meet your needs. Please visit us today and enjoy our wide variety of PCBs.

copper pcb

SHAPE AND SLOT OF THE BOARD

Lastly, the board’s slots and shapes matters to some of the Printed Circuit fabrication shops. They charge additional costs for any irregular shapes (the normal shapes are rectangles or squares). If the shape of the PCB is not crucial in your design, we recommend the adoption of the square or rectangular shapes so as to reduce the cost.

However, we offer fair prices for our boards and we will advise you on the best way to produce a perfect product from scratch. We have a team of experts who are always ready to serve. Kindly visit us our sales team at [email protected] (Tel: 08450 943 921) and enjoy our unique and exceptionally high quality Printed Circuit Boards.