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During the using of electronic equipments, it is difficult to protect PCB in a vacuum environment. So as time goes by, the PCB will get dirty than before, and How dirty PCB affect the performance?

Let’s check the content below for more information.

When not cleaned in a regular maintenance schedule, Dirty PCB can cause problems for the machinery or system it controls. At the same time, dust and dirt may not cause physical harm to the PCB. Water moisture trapped between the soil can cause a short circuit to the electronics component.

A dirty PCB may also attract insects to nest on the PCB. Insects like ants can be acidic and may destroy the PCB eventually. This often causes irreparable damage to the tracks and component pads. The resulting downtime in operation, indirectly caused by a dirty PCB, can be easily prevented by active and passive preventive measures. Here are some helpful guides for doing so.

Using A Proper Enclosure

If your PCB is required to function in a dusty environment, it’s prudent to house it in a tightly sealed enclosure. If your PCB involves ventilation, install an appropriate filter mat on the opening to prevent dust from entering the compound.

Preventive Maintenance

When placed in an environmentally challenging environment, electronics PCB needs to undergo scheduled preventive maintenance. This is necessary to remove dust from the PCB and its enclosure before it builds up and damages the PCB. The suitable cleaning solution can also remove dirt and grime from the PCB, especially between tiny pitches of the components.

Conformal Coating

If you expect your PCB to be used in a polluted environment, you can get the assembled PCB coated with a conformal coating. This coating prevents moisture and dust from coming in contact with the conductive elements of the circuit.

How to clean dirty PCB?

Cleaning a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) effectively relies on using the right methods and tools. The easiest ways will use:

  • Compressed air
  • Baking soda
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Distilled water
  • Household cleaners

Employ a soft brush and lint-free cloth, too, to ensure nothing gets damaged.

Using Compressed Air to Clean PCBs

For simple repairs, compressed air provides an unobtrusive way to free up any dust resting on the electronics or inside the machines and blow it out. Use short bursts to spray the air inside the ventilation ports. If you’re not satisfied with the dust removed, open the device with a screwdriver and work your way around the components, carefully cleaning the circuitry with the air.

Using Baking Soda to Clean PCBs

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is an effective means of removing grime with minimal risk of damaging the board. It possesses mild abrasive qualities that excel in removing corrosion or residue that will otherwise not come off with simpler means such as a brush and distilled water. Baking soda is most effective when treating corrosion, as it dissolves the troubled area and neutralizes the acidic qualities of the residue.

Using Isopropyl Alcohol to Clean PCBs

Isopropyl alcohol is a great PCB cleaner because it is inexpensive and evaporates quickly. Compared to other cleaners used for similar purposes, alcohol contains fewer chemicals. It is important that isopropyl alcohol used to clean your circuit board is 90% or better. High-percentage isopropyl alcohol can cause adverse effects in contact with the body, so be sure to handle it with care and use latex gloves and goggles.

Using Distilled Water to Clean PCBs

Distilled water triumphs over any other form of liquid when mix your cleaning solution due to the absence of ions conductive to electric devices. Pure distilled water will not degrade electronic devices, as it is a very poor conductor.

It also can become contaminated quickly by dirt found on your hands or in the air, so seal your reserve of distilled water when not in use and to avoid contact with your bare hands.

Using Household Cleaners to Clean PCBs

A phosphate-free household cleaner should also be in your arsenal. While phosphates can be an effective chemical to protect against corrosion and possess other helpful cleaning properties, phosphorous pollution in lakes has become a real concern for the United States since the 1970s and many manufacturers have moved away from including them in cleaning products. Since then, companies have adapted to create phosphate-free cleaners that do the job just fine.

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