In electronic devices, printed circuit boards, or PCBs, are utilized to mechanically support electronic elements which have their connection leads soldered onto copper pads in surface install applications or through rilled holes in the board and copper pads for soldering the part leads in thru-hole applications. A board design might have all thru-hole elements on the leading or component side, a mix of thru-hole and surface area mount on the top only, a mix of thru-hole and surface install components on the top side and surface area mount components on the bottom or circuit side, or surface area mount parts on the leading and ISO 9001 Certification Consultants bottom sides of the board.

The boards are likewise used to electrically link the required leads for each component utilizing conductive copper traces. The element pads and connection traces are engraved from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Printed circuit boards are designed as single sided with copper pads and traces on one side of the board just, double agreed copper pads and traces on the top and bottom sides of the board, or multilayer styles with copper pads and traces on the top and bottom of board with a variable number of internal copper layers with traces and connections.

Single or double sided boards include a core dielectric material, such as FR-4 epoxy fiberglass, with copper plating on one or both sides. This copper plating is etched away to form the actual copper pads and connection traces on the board surface areas as part of the board production process. A multilayer board includes a number of layers of dielectric product that has been fertilized with adhesives, and these layers are utilized to separate the layers of copper plating. All of these layers are aligned and after that bonded into a single board structure under heat and pressure. Multilayer boards with 48 or more layers can be produced with today's technologies.

In a normal 4 layer board style, the internal layers are typically utilized to supply power and ground connections, such as a +5 V airplane layer and a Ground plane layer as the two internal layers, with all other circuit and element connections made on the leading and bottom layers of the board. Very complicated board styles may have a a great deal of layers to make the different connections for various voltage levels, ground connections, or for connecting the numerous leads on ball grid selection gadgets and other big integrated circuit package formats.

There are normally 2 types of material utilized to build a multilayer board. Pre-preg material is thin layers of fiberglass pre-impregnated with an adhesive, and is in sheet form, generally about.002 inches thick. Core material resembles a very thin double sided board because it has a dielectric product, such as epoxy fiberglass, with a copper layer transferred on each side, typically.030 density dielectric product with 1 ounce copper layer on each side. In a multilayer board style, there are two approaches used to develop the wanted number of layers. The core stack-up approach, which is an older innovation, utilizes a center layer of pre-preg product with a layer of core product above and another layer of core product below. This mix of one pre-preg layer and 2 core layers would make a 4 layer board.

The film stack-up approach, a newer technology, would have core product as the center layer followed by layers of pre-preg and copper product developed above and below to form the final number of layers needed by the board style, sort of like Dagwood building a sandwich. This technique permits the producer versatility in how the board layer densities are integrated to meet the finished item density requirements by differing the variety of sheets of pre-preg in each layer. As soon as the material layers are finished, the entire stack is subjected to heat and pressure that triggers the adhesive in the pre-preg to bond the core and pre-preg layers together into a single entity.

The procedure of manufacturing printed circuit boards follows the actions below for a lot of applications.

The process of determining products, procedures, and requirements to fulfill the customer's specs for the board style based upon the Gerber file information supplied with the purchase order.

The process of moving the Gerber file data for a layer onto an etch withstand movie that is put on the conductive copper layer.

The conventional process of exposing the copper and other areas unprotected by the etch withstand film to a chemical that gets rid of the unguarded copper, leaving the protected copper pads and traces in place; more recent procedures use plasma/laser etching rather of chemicals to get rid of the copper product, allowing finer line definitions.

The procedure of lining up the conductive copper and insulating dielectric layers and pressing them under heat to activate the adhesive in the dielectric layers to form a solid board material.

The process of drilling all the holes for plated through applications; a 2nd drilling process is utilized for holes that are not to be plated through. Details on hole place and size is consisted of in the drill drawing file.

The procedure of using copper plating to the pads, traces, and drilled through holes that are to be plated through; boards are positioned in an electrically charged bath of copper.

This is required when holes are to be drilled through a copper area however the hole is not to be plated through. Avoid this procedure if possible because it adds cost to the finished board.

The process of applying a protective masking product, a solder mask, over the bare copper traces or over the copper that has actually had a thin layer of solder applied; the solder mask secures against ecological damage, provides insulation, safeguards against solder shorts, and secures traces that run in between pads.

The procedure of covering the pad areas with a thin layer of solder to prepare the board for the ultimate wave soldering or reflow soldering process that will happen at a later date after the parts have actually been put.

The process of using the markings for component designations and element describes to the board. Might be used to simply the top side or to both sides if components are mounted on both top and bottom sides.

The procedure of separating numerous boards from a panel of similar boards; this procedure also permits cutting notches or slots into the board if needed.

A visual evaluation of the boards; likewise can be the procedure of examining wall quality for plated through holes in multi-layer boards by cross-sectioning or other methods.

The process of looking for connection or shorted connections on the boards by methods applying a voltage in between different points on the board and identifying if a present flow takes place. Relying on the board complexity, this procedure may require a specially created test fixture and test program to incorporate with the electrical test system used by the board manufacturer.