Printed circuit boards (PCB) are used to electronically and mechanically connect components using conductive pads, tracks, and other features. Prototype circuit boards can be used and customized to support any industry’s electronic needs. Various aspects go into prototype PCB assembly and here is what you should know:
- PCB fabrication consists of three major types: single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layered. Single sided board is made of laminate consisting of woven glass epoxy material with copper on only one side of the board. For double-sided, the copper is on both sides. Multi-layered PCBs have copper foil on the top and the bottom, along with inner layer cores surrounded by more copper foil.
- Every PCB board is designed for its own specific use and must have the exact measurements to fit the required space of all the components. During PCB fabrication, it helps for board designers to use computer-aided software to design a blueprint of the PCB.
- The areas between the various electrical paths on a PCB should be around 0.04 inches or smaller. It’s important to lay out the location of the holes needed for component leads and contact points as well.
- Circuit design patterns are designed with three structural outlooks in mind: internal ground layers, internal signal layers, and external signal layers.
- The connection of the PCB’s components is done by two different methods of electronic connection. “Through hole technology” is the more traditional connection method, and “surface mount technology” is the method that has been developed more recently.
- After the panels are crafted and inspected, it’s important to begin the oxide coating process. The panels should be chemically treated to adjust the adhesion of the copper surfaces. One of the more advanced circuit units uses organic chemistry. This form of oxide coating turns the copper a darker brown after completion.
- The copper foil that is used in PCB fabrication is usually in sheets of a half ounce to one ounce per square foot in weight of thickness. That means an ounce of copper will completely cover about one square foot when it is rolled out to the necessary thickness.
Proper assembly of printed circuit boards is important, and research should be done before you begin the fabrication process.