Edge plating circuit boards are common in many industries, and edge plating is a common practice. You’ll find PCB edge castellation (or edge plating PCBs) applied in many cases, including:
- Improving current-carrying capabilities
- Edge connections and protection
- Edge soldering to improve fabrication
- Better support for connections such as boards that slide into metal casings
What are the advantages of edge plating in PCB?
But there are more benefits to the performance of your printed board when it’s edge plating.
- Thermal Distribution: One of the key benefits of edge plating is its ability to support thermal distribution. Similar to thermal vias, when components become overheated, they are more likely to fail, causing potentially critical damage to the board itself. As customers design circuit boards with more capabilities, using more components tightly packed onto smaller boards, effective thermal distribution becomes essential to channel excessive heat away from temperature-sensitive components. Without the ability to escape, the heat will compromise the performance and reliability of the board.
- Signal Integrity: Edge plating can also improve signal integrity. Signal integrity is becoming more important as PCB boards are becoming more complex, demanding faster connections and more complex layouts. Plating on PCB edge is fairly straight forward process in terms of the equipment required, though the process sequence can vary.
How to process edge plating in PCB?
As you know, there are a great deal of challenges for a PCB manufacturer mainly in how to prepare the plated edges and the life span adhesion of the plated material, what’s more, it needs the precision handling in PCB manufacturing that is used for edge PCB soldering. PCB can make sure that the PCB edge castellation thoroughly prepares edges surfaces, which applies the plated copper for prompt adhesion and processes the circuit board to make sure the long-term adhesion between each layer.
Needless to say, we can control the potential hazard for plated through hole and edge plating with a controlled process during printed circuit board manufacturing for edge soldering. So the most important concern is the creation of burrs, which result in discontinuities in plated through hole walls and limits the life of adhesion of the edge plating.
What are the laminations of edge plating in PCB?
As fabricators need to hold the board within the production panel during processing, they will not be able to plate round the complete length of the edge; therefore, some gaps are necessary for placing rout tabs. Manufacturing a board with edge plating requires routing the board profile at the place the edge plating is required before starting the process of through-hole plating. That precludes V-cut scoring on boards that need to undergo edge plating.