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Printed Circuit Boards

Printed Circuit Boards

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Published by Binod Kumar Mahto

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Published by: Binod Kumar Mahto on Jan 06, 2011
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07/21/2013

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Printed circuit boards
The use of miniaturization and sub miniaturization in electronic equipment design has been responsible for the introduction of a new technique in inters component wiring andassembly that is popularly known as printed circuit.The printed circuit boards (PCBs) consist of an insulating substrate material with metalliccircuitry photo chemically formed upon that substrate. Thus PCB provides sufficientmechanical support and necessary electrical connections for an electronic circuit.
 
Advantages of printed circuit boards: -
1)Circuit characteristics can be maintained without introducingvariations inter circuit capacitance.2)Wave soldering or vapour phase reflow soldering can mechanizecomponent wiring and assembly.3) Mass production can be achieved at lower cost.4)The size of component assembly can be reduced with correspondingdecrease in weight.5)Inspection time is reduced as probability of error is eliminated.
 
Types of PCB’s: -
There are four major types of PCB’s: -1)Single sided PCB: - In this, copper tracks are on one side of the board, and are thesimplest form of PCB. These are simplest to manufacture thus have low production cost.2)Double sided PCB:- In this, copper tracks are provided on both sides of thesubstrate. To achieve the connections between the boards, hole plating is done,which increase the manufacturing complexity.3)Multilayered PCB: - In this, two or more pieces of dielectric substrate materialwith circuitry formed upon them are stacked up and bonded together. Electricallyconnections are established from one side to the other and to the layer circuitry bydrilled holes, which are subsequently plated through copper.
 
4)Flexible PCB: - Flexible circuit is basically a highly flexible variant of theconventional rigid printed circuit board theme.
PCB Manufacturing Process: -
There are a number of different processes, which are used to manufacture a PCB, whichis ready for component assembly, from a copper clad base material. These processes areas follows
Preprocessing: - This consists of initial preparation of a copper clad laminateready for subsequent processing. Next is to drill tooling holes. Passing a boardthrough rollers performs cleaning operation.
Photolithography: - This process for PCBs involves the exposure of a photo resistmaterial to light through a mask. This is used for defining copper track and land patterns.
Etching: - The etching process is performed by exposing the surface of the boardto an etchant solution which dissolves away the exposed copper areas .Thedifferent solutions used are: FeCl, CuCl, etc.
Drilling: - Drilling is used to create the component lead holes and through holes ina PCB .The drilling can be done before or after the track areas have been defined.
Solder Masking: - It is the process of applying organic coatings selectively tothose areas where no solder wettings is needed .The solder mask is applied byscreen-printing.
Metal Plating: - The plating is done to ensure protection of the copper tracks andestablish connection between different layers of multiplayer boards. PCBs arestacked before being taken for final assembly of components .The PCB shouldretain its solder ability.
Bare-Board Testing: - Each board needs to ensure that the required connectionsexist, that there are no short circuits and holes are properly placed .The testingusually consists of visual inspection and continuity testing
 

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