Importance of Clean Printed Circuit Boards

When it comes to PCB board manufacturing, most people focus largely on the actual design of it since this is what has the biggest impact on the board’s capabilities. However, there are several other very important factors to consider when it comes to printed circuit board fabrication.

One of these crucial qualities is making sure that the PCBs are as clean as possible. When getting these products from any good printed circuit board companies, this should be something that is always done. But it is still important for you to know why having clean printed circuit boards is so important and what can happen when they are allowed to get dirty.

Issues Caused By Excessive Dust Buildup

During the PCB board manufacturing process, one of the things that is going to be used every time is flux. This is because it is necessary to be able to properly wet the metal solder and form metallurgical bonds. But as a result of this process, there is sometimes some residual flux that is left behind. As soon as this happens, it is going to start attracting dust and cause the PCB to become coated in a thin layer of dust much faster than it otherwise would be.

This can often lead to the MCU becoming negatively affected. These microcontroller units are generally supposed to be able to operate at a voltage of 0 to 5v. But once some dust or moisture is introduced into the PCB, it instantly impacts the voltage level that is able to be transferred and drastically increases the chances of a short circuit forming.

The other way that dust negatively impacts these PCBs is by inhibiting the airflow levels, which causes the heat produced by the various components to be dispersed at a much slower rate. Therefore, an excellent printed circuit board fabrication can be easily ruined by a simple buildup of dust.

What Excessive Humidity Causes

When a PCB is regularly used and cleaned, the level of humidity is likely not going to build up to dangerous levels. However, this changes once the PCBs are left uncleaned for long periods of time, at which point they humidity levels can reach levels where they are able to cause oxidation to occur.

In order to make sure that the PCB board manufacturing doesn’t go to waste, you need to make sure that you are protecting your PCBs by regularly cleaning them. Get your clean and ready to use PCBs from us at Star Engineering today.

The Making of Printed Circuit Boards

Printed circuit boards, also referred to as PCBs, are a self-contained module comprised of interconnected electronic components. Formed by a very thin layer of conducting material that is printed onto the surface of an insulating board or substrate, these boards are commonly used for multiple purposes, including radios, computer systems, radars, beepers, pagers, and so on.

To ensure that the fingers on one or more edges are perfect, experts make each board in a precise manner. Depending on the exact design, the boards perform just one function, or can perform many functions.

Perfected Manufacturing

Due to the sensitive nature of printed circuit boards, these boards are manufactured in sterile environments free from contaminants. While processes vary somewhat, making two-sided printed circuit boards typically follows the outlined procedure

  • Substrate—The substrate process starts with aroll of woven glass fiberimpregnated with epoxy resin, which is sprayed on or dipped according to the thickness of the finished product. The substrate then passes through a special oven to be semi-cured, followed by cutting into large-size panels that are stacked in layers with alternating layers of copper foil that have an adhesive backing. The stacks go into a press, reaching temperatures of 340 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures up to 1,500 PSI for at least one hour to cure the resin and bond the copper foil.
  • Holes—Once they’re done, several panels large enough to make printed circuit boards are stacked and pinned together to prevent movement. Experts place these panels in a CNC machine for drilling holes based on the desired pattern. After the holes are deburred, the inside surface provides a conductive circuit from one side to the other with the copper foil backing. Non-conductive holes are plugged to prevent plating.
  • Pattern—Experts then use either a subtractive or addictive process for plating the copper to the substrate’s surface, according to preferred pattern. After plating the entire substrate surface, the pattern is etched away.
  • Final Steps—The contact fingers are attached, tin-lead coating fused, panels sealed, stenciled, and cut, and all components mounted to the printed circuit boards. From there, printed circuit boards get packaged and run through a final quality control check.

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