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In electronics, printed circuit boards, or PCBs, are utilized to mechanically support electronic components which have their connection leads soldered onto copper pads in surface area mount applications or through rilled holes in the board and copper pads for soldering the part leads in thru-hole applications. A board design might have all thru-hole parts on the leading or element side, a mix of thru-hole and surface mount on the top only, a mix of thru-hole and surface area install elements on the top side and surface area install components on the bottom or circuit side, or surface area mount components on the top and bottom sides of the board.

The boards are also used to electrically link the needed leads for each element using conductive copper traces. The part pads and connection traces are etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Printed circuit boards are designed as single sided with copper pads and traces on one side of the board just, double agreed copper pads and traces on the top and bottom sides of the board, or multilayer styles with copper pads and traces on the top and bottom of board with a variable variety of internal copper layers with traces and connections.

Single or double sided boards include a core dielectric product, such as FR-4 epoxy fiberglass, with copper plating on one or both sides. This copper plating is etched away to form the real copper pads and connection traces on the board surface areas as part of the board manufacturing process. A multilayer board consists of a number of layers of dielectric product that has been impregnated with adhesives, and these layers are utilized to separate the layers of copper plating. All of these layers are lined up then bonded into a single board structure under heat and pressure. Multilayer boards with 48 or more layers can be produced with today's technologies.

In a typical 4 layer board style, the internal layers are often used to supply power and ground connections, such as a +5 V plane layer and a Ground plane layer as the 2 internal layers, with all other circuit and element connections made on the top and bottom layers of the board. Really intricate board styles might have a large number of layers to make the various connections for various voltage levels, ground connections, or for connecting the numerous leads on ball grid array devices and other big incorporated circuit bundle formats.

There are usually 2 kinds of material used to build a multilayer ISO 9001 Certification Consultants board. Pre-preg product is thin layers of fiberglass pre-impregnated with an adhesive, and is in sheet type, normally about.002 inches thick. Core material resembles a very thin double sided board because it has a dielectric material, such as epoxy fiberglass, with a copper layer transferred on each side, usually.030 thickness dielectric product with 1 ounce copper layer on each side. In a multilayer board style, there are two techniques used to build up the wanted variety of layers. The core stack-up technique, which is an older technology, uses a center layer of pre-preg product with a layer of core product above and another layer of core product below. This mix of one pre-preg layer and two core layers would make a 4 layer board.

The film stack-up approach, a more recent technology, would have core material as the center layer followed by layers of pre-preg and copper material built up above and listed below to form the final variety of layers required by the board design, sort of like Dagwood constructing a sandwich. This method enables the manufacturer flexibility in how the board layer thicknesses are combined to meet the completed product density requirements by differing the number of sheets of pre-preg in each layer. As soon as the product layers are finished, the entire stack goes through heat and pressure that triggers the adhesive in the pre-preg to bond the core and pre-preg layers together into a single entity.

The procedure of manufacturing printed circuit boards follows the actions listed below for most applications.

The procedure of determining products, processes, and requirements to meet the consumer's specifications for the board design based upon the Gerber file details supplied with the order.

The process of transferring the Gerber file data for a layer onto an etch resist movie that is put on the conductive copper layer.

The traditional process of exposing the copper and other areas unprotected by the etch withstand film to a chemical that gets rid of the unguarded copper, leaving the protected copper pads and traces in location; newer procedures utilize plasma/laser etching rather of chemicals to remove the copper product, enabling finer line definitions.

The procedure of aligning the conductive copper and insulating dielectric layers and pressing them under heat to activate the adhesive in the dielectric layers to form a strong board product.

The procedure of drilling all of the holes for plated through applications; a 2nd drilling procedure is used for holes that are not to be plated through. Details on hole area and size is contained in the drill drawing file.

The procedure of applying copper plating to the pads, traces, and drilled through holes that are to be plated through; boards are put in an electrically charged bath of copper.

This is required when holes are to be drilled through a copper location but the hole is not to be plated through. Avoid this procedure if possible because it includes cost to the finished board.

The process of using a protective masking material, a solder mask, over the bare copper traces or over the copper that has actually had a thin layer of solder used; the solder mask safeguards against ecological damage, supplies insulation, protects versus solder shorts, and safeguards traces that run between pads.

The procedure of finishing the pad areas with a thin layer of solder to prepare the board for the eventual wave soldering or reflow soldering process that will occur at a later date after the components have actually been put.

The process of using the markings for component designations and part lays out to the board. May be used to just the top side or to both sides if elements are mounted on both leading and bottom sides.

The procedure of separating numerous boards from a panel of similar boards; this process also permits cutting notches or slots into the board if needed.

A visual examination of the boards; likewise can be the procedure of inspecting wall quality for plated through holes in multi-layer boards by cross-sectioning or other approaches.

The procedure of checking for connection or shorted connections on the boards by means using a voltage in between numerous points on the board and figuring out if a current circulation takes place. Relying on the board complexity, this process might need a specially developed test fixture and test program to incorporate with the electrical test system used by the board maker.