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Trace is an essential part of nearly every circuit board. If it is not detected or calculated correctly, it can take a lot of time and resources to fix at best. In the worst case, it can cause errors on any device in the system.

Printed circuit boards have many components, and know exactly which parts and materials are needed to repair or assemble a printed circuit board is essential. Knowing what kind of formulas and functions to perform can also get overwhelming.

Check the content below and read for more PCB trace knowledge.

PCB trace thickness

The thickness of a PCB board holds enormous implications for a designer during the design process of a PCB board. The consistency has essential gravity. If ignoring it, the PCB board might not function or may result in damage or sparks, which might also cause harm to the components connected to the board. Because single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layered PCB boards exist in the market, the thickness of these boards also varies with the type of PCB board.

PCB trace with calculator

Do you know you have to determine the trace width of PCBs, or they may burn up? Do you know that the trace width is related to the amount of current that it can carry?

You have to know many things, and unless you do everything by the book and the established standards, you risk ending up with a PCB that doesn’t work or malfunctions. That’s why we have made this friendly guide to help you determine the trace width of your PCB with a trace width calculator.

What is a PCB Trace Width Calculator?

The width of the traces is a significant consideration when it comes to designing a PCB. PCB designers have to assign an appropriate width to shreds to save it from any damage due to a rise in temperature, which is determined by the current-carrying capacity of the board.

The traces on a circuit board are designed to handle a maximum load of current before they fail. When you pass higher amounts of current through a path, it starts to produce heat. After a time when the current load crosses the maximum limit, the trace will burn out or destroy the laminate of the PCB, resulting in permanent damage.

You may think of traces as wires connecting different components with zero resistance, but it is not the truth. All paths on a PCB come with a specific resistance, which forms an important consideration when you are selecting the width of the traces. You have to know the resistance and current-carrying capacity to determine which width to use.

The trace width will be determined based on the rise of temperature applicable for a PCB. The increase in temperature denotes the hotness of the trace when you pass current through it compared to when it’s left idle. To state it in simple words, it is the difference between the operating temperature and the maximum operating temperature.

It sounds like a lot of work and calculations to find out the required width of a trace. However, another easy way you can make use of- take the help of a trace width calculator.

Features of Trace Width Calculator

You can use a trace width calculator to determine the trace width based on ampere capacity. You need to provide your design specifications in the trace width calculators, which include the maximum current in amperage that will flow through the trace, the total length of the path, the increase in temperature due to the resistance of the trail, etc.

After you have provided the specifications, the calculator will produce a calculated width for the trace. The trace width calculator provides you with the minimum width required to match the design specifications you have entered.

The calculated width will allow the current to be passed safely without resulting in damage to the PCB. You may find the trace width of the internal layers to be more extensive than external layers as they are prone to produce more heat. The outer layers don’t get that much heat due to the convection.

We recommend you to use the width of internal traces for the entire PCB for safety reasons.

If you are curious about more PCB knowledge or want to order PCB products, please check PCBBUY homepage for more information.

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