Printed Circuit Boards or simply known as PCBs are basically present in every electronic device nowadays. PCB interconnects different electronic parts of a device for it to operate successfully. In early 1900s, PCB is hard to manufacture but with the advancement of technology over the years, it became commercially available for different businesses.
To celebrate how PCBs revolutionized the electronic industry throughout the years, here are some important PCB facts:
1. PCBs are first mass-produced during World War 2
Before World War 2, PCBs are hard to manufacture. Each printed circuit board is made manually and soldered individually. When the PCB technology was used by the US Army for proximity fuses in the battlefield, automated production of printed circuit boards was developed. After the World War 2 ended, automated manufacturing process of PCBs was released commercially and used by different businesses in the industry.
2. Most PCBs are green due to the glass epoxy used
Years ago, PCB manufacturing companies, like us here at PCBnet commonly use glass epoxy in the board. Glass epoxy is naturally green in color so early versions of printed circuit boards are all green in color. Nowadays, the finishing color of printed circuit boards can be any color as most companies use solder masks for the board’s base.
3. PCB companies use CT scans for quality checking of PCBs
Ct scans are not only used for medical purposes as PCB companies use them for quality control of PCBs produced. Through the CT scan, 2D and 3D images of the printed circuit board are produced to check proper placement of circuits and soldered connections. This new technology in quality control of PCBs is best for complex printed circuit boards of big machines.
4. Resistors, capacitors and diodes are the most critical parts of PCB
Most PCBs have three most important parts – the resistors, capacitors and diodes. The resistors protect the device from excessive energy flows. It works like a fuse. On the other hand, capacitors are the warehouse of energy within the circuit. It stores electrical signals and works like a battery. Lastly, diodes are the ones responsible for ensuring one-way energy transmission. It ensures that the energy flows in one direction only inside the circuit board.
5. Static electricity damages the most sensitive part of PCBs
At PCBnet, we advise clients to avoid any source of static electricity when handling printed circuit boards. Static charges may damage the most delicate parts of a PCB. Once damaged, it is difficult to repair defective parts especially the embedded copper layer etches of the board. To prevent this, it is best to use anti-static bags when handling or transporting printed circuit boards.
6. Most PCB companies follow class 1 and 2 standards for manufacturing
PCB manufacturing has three quality standards – class 1, 2 and 3. Class 1 is for general electronic devices. Testing and verification of designs also fall under this class. Class 2, on the other hand, is for special service electronic devices that must be highly durable. Examples include telecommunication devices and business machines. Lastly, class 3 is for specialized electronic devices. Electronic devices in the medical, aeronautic and military fields fall under this class. We, at PCBnet, as a mass-producing company, follow class 1 and 2 quality standards when it comes to manufacturing.
7. Printed Wiring Board (PWB) and Printed Circuit Assembly (PCA) are different from PCB
Printed Wiring Board or simply known as PWB is a plain board lined with copper tracks. It does not contain other circuit elements like resistors and capacitors. On the other hand, Printed Circuit Assembly or PCA is a PCB populated with many electronic components. It is capable of doing a lot of electronic functions for the assembled device.
8. It is difficult to repair PCBs
Copper sheets are laminated against the board to preserve delicate electronic etchings and connectors. However, printed circuit boards for heavy-duty use are sometimes added with conformal coatings to preserve soldered components. These types of PCBs can withstand extreme conditions, like high temperatures and corrosion. However, because of the conformal coating, repair of PCBs is difficult so replacement is usually recommended.
9. It is possible to order PCBs online
At PCBnet, we offer to give quotes to interested clients online. Placing the final order is tricky at first, but we can assist clients in specifying the details of their PCB order. Years before, it takes several days up to weeks before PCB manufacturing companies can give quotes to a planned order. Fortunately nowadays, online inquiry of PCBs is easier by using web-filled forms.
The printed circuit boards are one of the most important components in the world of electronics today. At PCBnet, we offer to give quotes to interested clients online.