As the important step of PCB manufacturing process, PCB plating is one of the essential factors. And it’s because it’s the ideal surface for PCB external covering.
In short, PCB trace plating is exterior traces also found on PCBs. Plus, they help to protect the board. So, if a PCB isn’t covered, the unsecured ends of the boards could get oxidized. Plus, this could cause the PCB to deteriorate. Also, the damage will make the end of the circuit boards unfit to use.
You can also identify a damaged PCB covering by its color. Thus, the PCB plating has the responsibility to protect the exposed circuitry of the board. Plus, it helps to create a solderable surface. Also, the PCB plating keeps the PCB board safe when assembling the various gears on the board.
So there are loads of options for PCB plating. Plus, they have various pros and cons, depending on the material used.
Defining PCB Plating in Two Ways
1. Via Plating: So, this process refers to filling copper into a drilled hole. And, the purpose is to provide a suitable trail for current. Therefore, the current moves from a board surface to an interior layer. But that’s not all. The current also travels amid two internal layers. Or better still, move from one surface to a different one.
Hence, engineers call the plating through holes the Vias. So, that’s where you get the plating of the vias.
2. Surface Finishing: So, this process involves the covering of PCBs with surface copper traces. Therefore, in the end, it helps to secure the board from various factors. And they are as follows; moisture, oxidation, contamination, and environmental harm. But that’s not all. This process also helps the PCB to be sturdy for soldering.
So, engineers refer to the above processes as PCB plating. However, the primary aim of both techniques is to maintain a perfect current flow in the PCB. But when it comes to their materials, there are a few differences.
That’s why we’ll be listing the different PCB plating materials in the next section.
What are the Various Material Types for PCB Plating?
Thus, we’ll be listing the different materials associated with the various PCB plating metallic alloy.
Via plating has only one material known to everyone. And it’s copper.
Surface finishing has four materials. And they are Gold, Nickel, Tin, and Silver.
As you possibly suspected, the type of PCB surface finish materials you use matters a lot. Plus, the reason is simple. It’s because there are loads of merits and demerits for each material. So, you need to check them out and weigh your options. That way, you’ll be ONLY making a choice that best fits your needs.
Generally, you need also to consider the various types of PCB finishes you use for your PCB fabrication. So, it would help if you chose them based on their various features. That’s why we’d be talking about the different PCB finishes type in the next section.
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