There is a two-component mounting method of PCB circuit boards. They include Through-Hole Technology as Surface Mount Technology, as discussed below.
Earlier, the making of PCB circuit boards used through-hole technology. Here electronic components get mounted with several leads inserted through the hole and soldered on the other side of the board. Based on clients’ requirements or needs, the boards can either be single-sided or double-sided, consisting of components or devices on both sides of the board. The installation of through-hole parts is made horizontally with two parts bent at 90 degrees. Through-hole technology is not a difficult process as such. All you have to do is to insert all the pieces on the board, followed by soldering the leads and trimming off the ends.
Surface Mount Technology
This type of technology came into play way back in the 1960s. However, it found a lot of use in many applications in the 1990s. Surface mount technology is a bit different from through-hole technology in PCBs. As opposed to using wire leads as means of passing through the hole, here components come with small end caps soldered into the surface of the PCB. Surface mount devices are ten times smaller than their through-hole components, an aspect that makes them the best choice for plenty of applications. They are the most preferred devices since they are cheap and consist of compact design.
- Composition of PCBs
The composition of PCB circuit boards (PCBs) includes the essential items and materials that make up a PCB circuit board. The following are some of the materials and elements that make up a PCB:
Also referred to as dielectric at times, a substrate is an essential component of a PCB circuit board. A substrate is a sheet of insulation that looks like fiberglass material. It consists of two copper sheets adhered to both sides. At times, it may consist of a single copper sheet etched to one side.
Pre-Preg is a material that is made of a similar material or a look-alike to the main or core material. However, pre-preg is somewhat soft and characterized in some standard-sized sheets that are very thin. Pre-preg finds a lot of use in multi-layer PCB circuit boards.
Copper foil is a thin copper sheet that serves as a conductive material in the making or manufacture of a PCB circuit board. When manufacturing a PCB circuit board, the copper foil gets placed between or on the Pre-Preg to bond the Pre-Preg together with the adhesive.
Solder Mask Layer
The Solder Mask Layer lies just above the copper foil layer. This type of layer/coating is mainly green in color and primarily applied to the copper layer. Its application on the copper layer is to avoid cases of conduction in the event of direct contact with conductive material or metal.
- Types of PCBs
There are different types of PCB circuit boards, depending on the number of layers and nature. They include the following:
Just as the name suggests, a single-sided PCB circuit board consists of one layer of substrate or base material. A single-sided PCB consists of several electronic components and circuits on a single side only. Single-sided PCBs cost less and are excellent learning grounds for those willing to learn how to build one on their own.
Double-sided PCBs are more familiar than single-sided ones. Both sides of double-sided PCBs include elements and conductive metal layers that attach to both sides. Double-sided PCBs connect circuits using either surface mount or through-hole technology.
These types of PCB circuit boards further enlarge the complexity and density of PCBs since it adds extra layers to the top and bottom layers. Additional layers used in manufacturing multi-layer PCBs are power planes. Power planes provide power to the circuit and reduce electromagnetic interference.
Rigid PCBs use solid and inflexible substrate materials such as fiberglass. A rigid PCB is a type of a standard PCB that can’t be folded or twisted into ant shape.
Just as the name suggests, flex PCBs are those than can twist or turn into some forms that inflexible PCBs cant. The substrate material used in flex PCB boards is of flexible plastic.
These types of boards merge the technology of both rigid and flexible PCBs. They comprise of a rigid circuit board joining to a flex circuit board. Rigid-flex PCBs can be compound, especially if design requests are necessary.
- Applications/Uses of PCBs
There is a massive number of applications/uses for PCB circuit boards. Looking around, you will realize that there are plenty of sectors that have applications that rely on PCBs for effective functionality. Today, the use of PCB circuit boards is widespread, especially in electronics. Some of the common uses of PCBs include the following:
Across the medical sector, PCBs play a crucial role, especially in devices used for monitoring, diagnostics, treatment, and many others. PCBs find their use in medical devices such as monitors, medical imaging devices, and infusion pumps, among others.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) depend on PCBs for effective functionality. You can find LED PCBs in residential lighting, computer displays, storefront lighting, automotive displays, and medical lighting, to mention but a few.
PCBs also find use in a variety of aerospace equipment such as space shuttles, planes, radio, and satellite communication systems. Some users of PCBs here include monitoring equipment, power supplies, and communication devices.
Lately, automotive manufacturers are using PCB like never before. Earlier, PCBs find use in things such as headlight switches and wipers. Today though, they find use in automotive components such as control systems, navigation and entertainment systems, and sensors, among others.
The telecommunications industry relies on PCBs a lot. Some examples of telecom devices that require PCBs include telecom towers, indicators and LED displays, and office communication devices.
Safety and Security Devices
Plenty of security systems meant for homes and business entities rely on PCB circuit boards. Apt examples of safety and security devices that rely on PCB circuit boards include smoke detectors, electronic door locks, and security cameras.