All You Need to Know About the Design of a PCB
The Electronic industry is at its peak and new products are coming into use every day. Before the invention of PCBs, wiring used to be a point-to point connection of wires, it was, and this was prone to failure and short circuits. However, as more and more electronic consumer products got produced, manufacturers kept on improving the process of wiring and, thus, the Printed Circuit Board came into existence. It connects various circuit points together with lines and pads.
Design of a PCB
Its basic design is easy to understand. The PCB is made of Substrate, Copper, Soldermask, and Silkscreen. This is the order of its components from the middle to the top of the board. Let’s understand each part of the PCB in this order itself.
1. Substrate- This is the base material that exists in every PCB. A solid, fiberglass gives the circuit board rigidity and thickness. There are also flexible PCBs that contain flexible high-temperature plastic. The common designator of fiberglass is FR4. The board comes in various thicknesses. However, cheap PCBs have other materials like epoxies and phenolic that is not as durable as FR4 but costs much less. Low-end consumer electronics commonly use these kinds of PCBs.
2. Copper- The layer above Substrate is a thin copper foil. It gets laminated to the board with heat and adhesive. A double-sided PCB has copper layers on both sides, that is, top and bottom. A lower cost electronic product could have just one layer of copper. The number of layers can go as high as 16 or even more. The copper thickness is measured in ounces per square foot. As you can learn from here, the thickness is actually the weight of the copper foil.
3. Solder mask- The solder mask layer is on top of the copper. It gives the very common green color to the PCB. Its function is to insulate the copper traces from accidental contact with other metal, conductive bits, and solder. It helps you to solder to the right places and avoid solder jumpers.
4. Silkscreen- This is the layer on the top of everything. It has letters, numbers, and symbols on it to help in PCB assembly. Generally, white ink is used but it can be of any color.
Apart from these, Bungard Elektronik adds another layer of UV-light sensitive photo coat on the copper sheet of the PCB. Circuit boards are at work all around you and you now know their basic design, which will be of great help to you undoubtedly.