What is Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

Printed Circuit Board, or PCB, is a stand-alone module of interconnected electronic components found in devices ranging from common pagers or pagers and radios to sophisticated radar systems and computers. The circuits are formed of a thin layer of deposited conductive material, or “printed” on the surface of the insulating panel called substrate. The individual electronic components are placed on the surface of the substrate and are connected to the circuits. Communicate with the fingers along one or more edges of the substrate law as connectors for other PCBs or to external electrical devices such as on/off switches. The printed circuit board may have circuits that perform a single function, such as a signal amplifier or several functions.

Types Of PCB

There are three main types of printed circuit board construction: single-sided, double-sided and multilayer. The plate with one side of the components on a substrate. When the number of components becomes too much for a person plates can be used double-sided edge. The electrical connections between the circuits on either side of the slot to cut through the substrate at the appropriate locations and plating the hole with a conductive material. The third type, a multilayer board comprises a substrate consisting of printed layers separated by insulating layers. Parts of the surface plates through the holes to connect the whole of the corresponding slice. This greatly simplifies the standard circle.

Materials Needed

The most commonly used substrate for the printed circuit board is a fiberglass reinforced epoxy resin (glass fiber) having a copper foil attached to one or both sides. PCB in paper reinforced phenolic resin with an attached copper foil are less expensive and are often used in household appliances.

The printed circuits are made of copper, which is etched or removed by etching and the surface of the substrate in order to leave the desired pattern. (See “additive” and “subtractive” processes described in step 3 of the manufacturing process). Copper circuits are coated with a tin-lead layer to prevent oxidation. The contact fingers are covered with tin-lead, then nickel and finally gold for excellent conductivity.

Components purchased include resistors, capacitors, transistors, diodes, integrated chips and others.

The Manufacturing Process

Printed circuit board processing and assembly are done in an extremely clean environment where the air and components can be kept free of contamination. Most electronic manufacturers have their own proprietary processes, but the following steps might typically be used to make a two-sided printed circuit board.

  • Making the substrate
  • Drilling and placing the holes
  • Creating the printed circuit pattern on the substrate
  • Attaching the contact fingers
  • Fusing the tin-lead coating
  • Sealing, stenciling, and cutting the panels
  • Mounting the components
  • Packaging (they are individually packaged in protective plastic bags for storage or shipping.)

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