What are the Parts of Printed Circuit Boards?

Printed circuit boardsA printed circuit board or may be called as a wire board or wire card is one of the most fundamental parts of an electronic machine or equipment. With this electronic device, the entire machine may function with the help of the electricity that it manufactures. With the connection of the colorful wires, all of which are colored for representation, and all the components on the board, the entire printed circuit board may already run a big machine. A circuit board may look really complex, however, the truth is, there are only few parts on it and some of those are really basic.

It is important to understand the parts of a printed circuit board. It does not need an electrician, technician or engineer to understand these. One must have some basic knowledge about it and all its functions in case there is an emergency or some sort of malfunction in the machineries.

In analyzing the parts of the printed circuit board, it may be noticeable that it looks like cake with lots of layers.To know more about the parts of pcb’s visit www.pcbnet.com.

Circuit boards may come in different layers.

Some are single; some are double while some who have lots of components go as multi-layer. Now, these layers comprise of the different materials used to make a circuit board function. They are actually separated boards laminated together with the help if heat and adhesive.

First is the FR4 or the base material of the board. It is also called as the substrate and is commonly made of fiberglass. With this board or FR4, the entire printed circuit board is rigid and thick enough to hold all the components and the wires intact. The thickness of the board actually depends on the base. Most of the time, the circuit boards are about 1.6mm while some are only .8mm thick boards.

However, cheaper circuit boards or commonly known as perf boards are made of other materials like the epoxies or the phenolics. These boards may be less expensive but it is not as durable as the high-quality FR4. So how does one know if he or she got a poor type of circuit board? The cheap boards smell bad when being soldered and they may be purchased in the low-end electronic shops that sell cheap devices and materials. These boards may be cheaper and friendlier to the pocket but the fact that they use phenolics put everyone’s health on danger as phenolics actually has a low thermal decomposition temperature which may lead to smoke, char and delaminate the board when held too long in the process of soldering.

Another part is the copper which is actually the thin layer of copper foil laminated on the board. The copper is one of the most important parts. When one talks about the layers of the printed circuit board, it is actually the layers of the board. Copper is the one being melted with the help of the soldering paste. Its thickness depends and it is classified in weight specifically in ounces per square foot. Most of the circuit boards have 1 ounce of copper per square foot while some goes for up to 2 or 3 ounce copper. For a more specified measurement of the copper, ounce per square is commonly up to 35 micrometers.

Third part is the soldermask layer or the layer on the top of the copper foil. It is the colored part of the circuit board and is the one which has the traces for the components. With this soldermask layer, the traces are all ensured to be precise. Most of the time, the soldermask follows the color green.

The last part is the white silkscreen that is applied on the soldermask layer. With this, the letters, numbers and the symbols on the circuit board is added. The silkscreen helps in the identification of the components and the wires on the board. Conventional color of the silkscreen is white but other colors may also be used.