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Common Flex PCB Issues

Common Flex PCB Issues Flexible PCBs are a tremendous innovation in the world of printed circuit boards. Rather than having to adhere to a rigid structure, these printed circuit boards can be bent, shaped and twisted as need be to fit your application. Some modern applications would be impossible without them. However, as you may have discovered if you work with flex PCBs, some flexible circuit board issues can arise. Why Do Flex Printed Circuit Board Issues Happen? In most cases, flexible circuit board issues arise because the designers are used to designing rigid circuit boards, so they design flex circuit boards according to the same principles. Of course, flex circuit boards are not rigid circuit boards, and they require their own flex-friendly design. What Are Some Common Types of Flex Printed Circuit Board Issues That Occur? Some of the most common flexible circuit board issues are: Solder Mask/Coverlay Openings

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7 Ways to Reduce Your PCB Cost

How Can I Reduce the Cost of a Printed Circuit Board? Reducing the cost of printed circuit boards is really about keeping things simple and effective, designed to achieve your goals and your needs in as direct a way as possible. PCBs are usually seen as a complex dance of getting everything to fit in the smallest space or trying to space everything out as much as possible to make them easy to read. There is indeed a happy medium somewhere. You can reduce the cost of PCBs by looking for this middle ground. In this piece, we’ll present seven of those in-between spaces for reducing the cost of printed circuit boards. Reduce Complexity One of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of PCBs is to create a simple board and review your design to optimize it. Look for many different design options to make sure your board is

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Guide to Pad Lift Issues on a PCB

Guide to Pad Lift Issues on a PCB What Is Pad Lifting on a Circuit Board? The pads on your printed circuit board are there so component pins can make connections to the copper plate. However, if you have lifted pads, the pins may not be able to make that connection cleanly and the component will fail. Where am I Likely to See Pad Lifting on a Circuit Board? You will most often see pad lifting on a single-sided board in the course of assembly. If you have plated-through hole boards, it is unlikely pad lifting will occur, although it is not impossible. Anytime you have the combination of extreme heat and serious physical handling, pad lifting is a possibility to consider. What Causes Pad Lifting on Printed Circuit Boards? Most commonly with single-sided boards, after the wave soldering, the heating up of the surface can lower the adhesion of

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FR4: When Can You Use It and When Can You Not

A Guide to FR4: When Can You Use It and When Can You Not Most electrical engineers and individuals involved with printed circuit boards are familiar with the material FR4. FR4 is the backbone material upon which most rigid circuit boards are built. However, many are unaware of what FR4 is, let alone why it is the most popular PCB base. Read on to learn more about FR4 printed circuit boards, such as what they are, why they are so popular and how FR4 PCB specifications compare to other options within the industry.   What Is FR4 Material? FR4, also written as FR-4, is both a name and a rating. The name is applied to the fiberglass-reinforced epoxy-laminated sheets used in printed circuit board manufacturing. However, the name also functions as a grade used to rate epoxy laminate sheets. The designation essentially indicates the base quality of a laminate sheet,

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Most Common Gerber Files Problems & Solutions

 Most Common Gerber Files Problems & Solutions Printed circuit boards are a crucial element for a wide variety of businesses, especially now in the digital age, when electronic technology is so important to many different fields. There is a significant range of different types of printed circuit boards as well, with different materials, shapes and sizes depending on the needs of a particular company or industry. PCB designers are constantly trying to find ways to develop circuit boards that are faster, stronger and more efficient. One thing all of these printed circuit boards and PCB designs have in common, however, is their reliance on quality Gerber files. Gerber files are the digital blueprints of your PCB, the layer-by-layer input for the PCB manufacturers that detail the manufacturing and fabricating process. Gerber files mistakes can be disastrous for a PCB manufacturer, leading to manufacturing errors and printed circuit boards that fail

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How to Recycle Printed Circuit Boards

How You Can Recycle Printed Circuit Boards There was a time when corporations paid little attention to the waste produced by creating their products. Today, however, we understand much more about the impact industrial waste has on the environment — and responsible companies are taking steps to reduce such waste and engage in more environmentally-conscious production practices. If you use printed circuit boards in your business, you may be interested in proper printed circuit board recycling methods. Printed circuit board methods deal primarily with the removal of copper from the board, as copper can be very valuable and it’s easy to find applications for reusing it. Why You Need Special Printed Circuit Board Recycling Methods A printed circuit board is made of many different materials, the most valuable of which is copper. When you dispose of a printed circuit board, that copper can bleed into the environment through media like

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High Temperature PCB Laminates

High-Temperature PCB Laminates Why Picking the Right Laminate Is so Important Picking the right high-temperature PCB laminate materials can be crucial to your operation. If you are going to use your printed circuit boards in high-temperature situations, PCB laminates for high temperature are a requirement. Failing to use the proper PCB laminate materials for high temperature can be disastrous. How? Read on. What Happens When Circuit Boards Heat Up? We know it is a natural property of heat to cause things to expand, and circuit board materials are no exception. The circuits on a circuit board are delicate machinery and need to retain their specific shape. Microwave and millimeter-wave circuits in particular have small, delicate features. If these features are distorted by high heat, they could fail to function. Other circuit material expansion as a result of high heat can change the form of transmission lines, shift frequencies and change

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Polyimide PCB Material Information (FR4 vs. Polyamide PCB)

Polyimide PCB Material Information (FR4 vs. Polyamide PCB) Many companies that use printed circuit boards are fine using the standard FR4 material for their boards, and this can be a fine option. FR4 boards are affordable and effective for many applications. However, FR4 boards are not the only type of printed circuit board material out there, and some other boards may be better-suited to other applications. One type of board material you may consider is polyimide. There may be some polyimide PCB material properties that will fit well with the board applications for your industry. If you’re just starting to use printed circuit boards, it will be useful to know which material is best before you start ordering them. If you’re not sure whether or not polyimide/polyamide PCBs may be right for you, read on to learn about the properties of these boards and how they can affect your applications.

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Ceramic PCB vs. FR4 vs. MCPCB

What is the difference between Ceramic PCB ,  FR4 Boards & MCPCB? If you’re using printed circuit boards, you can use the standard fr4 boards or you can go with a metal core printed circuit board (MCPCB). Ceramic printed circuit boards are a type of metal core PCB you may prefer. There’s certainly nothing wrong with fr4 boards, and if you’ve been using them effectively in your business, you will probably want to continue to do so. But just in case, it’s a good idea to understand the distinctions between standard fr4 boards and metal core boards. Which you choose will depend on the demands of the particular applications for which you will be using your printed circuit boards. So what are the various advantages and disadvantages of fr4 boards vs. MCPCB or ceramic boards? Fr4 vs. MCPCB One of the main reasons why you would avoid fr4 vs. a

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Reducing PCB Emissions Low-Noise Design Practices

Reducing PCB Emissions Low-Noise Design Practices It is generally desirable to have reduced emissions with your printed circuit boards. Reducing emissions comes down to having the right design approach. Some manufacturers may not realize they are not stuck with the level of emissions their printed circuit boards currently register. If you are looking to improve printed circuit board performance, you should always start with a proper approach to design. It may be possible to reduce PCB emissions with low-noise design practices. Here are some ideas for low-noise PCB design, which you may wish to integrate into your own board designs in order to reduce emissions. Use an Adjacent Pair Stack-up Design One low-noise circuit layout option that may be useful relates to how you design your stack up. A more desirable design plan may be to stack up the layers with signal pairs adjacent to their respective image planes. If

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PCB Glossary

  • Smallest Hole

    This is the final size of the hole. We will select a drill larger than the specified hole size to allow for plating thickness. Hole sizes greater than 0.020″ do not incur special costs.

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