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Conductive vs. Non-Conductive Via Fill PCB

Conductive vs. Non-Conductive Via Fill PCB When it comes to your PCB via fill, you have two choices. You can opt for a conductive fill or a non-conductive fill. What are the benefits and disadvantages of each option? Why would you choose one over the other? Conductive Via Fill If you choose to fill your vias with conductive epoxy, your main choice is usually between the silver-coated copper particle epoxy matrices of the Tatsuto AE3030 epoxy fill or the DuPont CB100. Both offer thermal and electrical conductivity when cured. The DuPont fill has a larger particulate size and a higher finished co-efficient of thermal expansion (CTE), as well as a longstanding reputation for being a highly effective conductive epoxy fill. Non-Conductive Via Fill If you are choosing a non-conductive epoxy for your via fill, you will often choose the Peters PP2795 epoxy. However, a popular alternative over the last few

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What Is PCB Via Tenting?

What Is PCB Via Tenting? If you use printed circuit boards in your business applications, you may have heard about the idea of via tenting in printed circuit board construction. What is via tenting, and should you tent your vias in your PCBs or not? What Does It Mean to Tent a Via? The vias are the holes in your printed circuit board that allow signals to transmit from one side of the board to the other or from one layer of the board to another. They are typically copper plated to allow conductivity through the via. Some PCB fabricators feel that these holes should be covered rather than left exposed. If the hole is closed entirely, this is called a filled via or mask plugged via, depending upon the method you use to close the hole. If the annual ring is merely covered over with solder mask, this is

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Hole Plating

Specifications About Hole Plating: What You Need to Know About the Plated Through Hole Process Do you need PCB hole plating, or can your printed circuit boards survive without it? You have probably heard arguments for both. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits and risks of hole plating vs. no hole plating so you can decide what’s best for your PCBs. Benefits of Hole Plating The point of plated through holes is so you can use both sides of your printed circuit board and connect to other layers of the board. The plating on the through holes is copper, a conductor, so it allows electrical conductivity to travel through the board. Non-plated through holes do not have conductivity, so if you use them, you can only have useful copper tracks on one side of the board. You cannot connect to the other side or other boards because

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Matte Finish vs. Gloss Finish in PCBs

Matte Finish vs. Gloss Finish in PCBs One of the final decisions you may make when it comes to your printed circuit boards is whether to go with a shiny solder mask, also called a glossy finish, or to opt for a matte finish. PCBs function equally well with a glossy finish or a matte finish, so this decision is not critical. In many cases, those ordering PCBs will leave this decision up to the fabricator, who will typically choose a gloss finish by default. For information purposes, and to help you decide whether or not you have a preference, here are the differences between a glossy finish and a matte finish for your PCBs. Choosing a Gloss Finish Over a Matte Finish The main difference between a gloss finish and a matte finish is an aesthetic one, and many people feel that a gloss finish simply looks better. Gloss

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Guide to PCB Grounding Techniques

Jump To: What Is a Ground? | Grounding Terminology | PCB Grounding Techniques | What to Remember When Grounding | Ensure Everything Is Attached | Keep Your Ground Layer Whole | Minimize the Use of Series Vias | Have a Common Ground Point | Partner With Millennium Circuits Limited Guide to PCB Grounding Techniques Grounding is a critical concept for any electronic circuit and any system dealing with electric current. Everything from the electric grid to a home to a printed circuit board (PCB) has a ground. PCBs are critical to the functioning of nearly all electronics, and each PCB needs proper grounding to function correctly. People use the term ground to describe various concepts. In this article, we’ll discuss these concepts, the importance of a ground in a PCB and the different methods one can use for grounding in a PCB. What Is a Ground? A ground is a conducting body that acts as an arbitrary node of potential voltage and a common return for an

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PCB Testing Methods Guide

Jump To: Why PCB Testing Is Necessary? | What Is Being Tested? | Types of Testing Methods | In-Circuit Test (ICT) | Fixtureless In-Circuit Test | Functional Circuit Test | Boundary Scan Testing | Design for Manufacturing (DFM) | Design for Assembly (DFA) | Design for Test (DFT) | Design for Supply Chain (DSC) | Choose Millenium Circuits PCB Testing Methods Guide The last thing any designer wants is to discover last-minute that their product is faulty. Electronics of all types, even if they’re properly designed and meticulously built, are prone to problems. Many electronics come out of the prototype stage with plenty of bugs and issues for their designers to troubleshoot. However, when something is left unnoticed until the product is out in the field, it can mean huge problems for the company. It’s for this reason that testing electronics is so important, especially for PCBs. Why PCB Testing Is Necessary Testing is a crucial part of the development cycle for PCBs. Conducted throughout the production cycle, PCB testing can help save

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Guide to PCB Gold Fingers

Jump To: What Are Gold Fingers | How Are Gold Fingers Used | Gold Finger Specifications You Should Know | PCB Gold Finger Beveling | How Gold Fingers Are Changing the World   In today’s computerized and mobile-activated world, signals are sent between numerous devices. For each command to be enacted, communication must be made between two or more circuit boards. None of this would be possible without gold fingers, which serve as the connecting contacts between motherboards and components like graphics or sound cards. The technology used to transmit these signals and commands is a huge leap forward from earlier electronics, which typically consisted of separate modules that were difficult to bring into communication with one another. With gold fingers, the processes of one circuit board are immediately read by the main processing board. The processes associated with this advanced technology extend across all corners of the public and private

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Flex Circuit Materials and Construction

Flex Circuit Materials and Construction We can use flexible circuits in a variety of applications. They can safely bend into small and complicated electronics, making them suitable for modern devices like smartphones. They absorb shock and vibration easily in high-stress applications. Rigid-flex circuits combine standard circuit board construction with flexible design for situations that require more durability. Have you ever wondered about the materials and layouts involved in the creation of these versatile PCBs? This blog post will provide a quick overview of common materials and constructions in flex and rigid-flex PCBs. Materials Used in Flex Circuits While most standard PCBs have a fiberglass or metal base, flex circuit cores consist of a flexible polymer. The majority of flex PCBs have a polyimide (PI) film as a substrate. PI film does not soften when heated, but it stays flexible after thermosetting. Many thermosetting resins like PI become rigid after heating, making PI a

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Aluminum vs. Standard PCBs

Aluminum vs. Standard PCBs In PCB creation, every material counts. Circuit boards with aluminum cores (aluminum PCBs) have different properties from boards without metal substrates (standard PCB’s). These two popular board types power a variety of commercial and consumer electronics. Will an aluminum or standard PCB suit your project best? The answer depends on your intended application. What Are Standard PCBs? Standard PCBs use a dielectric and copper as their most prominent metal consist of different layers of material. They feature a substrate, or base, made from fiberglass, polymers, ceramic or another non-metal core. Many of these PCBs use FR-4 for the substrate. This fiberglass material has a relatively affordable price and moderate durability. Additional layers of copper, solder mask and silkscreen make the board conductive and outline component locations. These layers may appear on one side of the base, both sides or in a multilayer stackup. You can find standard PCBs used in

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Single-Sided vs. Double-Sided vs. Multilayer PCBs

Single-Sided vs. Double-Sided vs. Multilayer PCBs When you read information about PCBs, you may see the terms “single-sided,” “double-sided” and “multilayer” used often. The circuit board industry uses these categories to determine the complexity of a board’s structure. Each type of PCB has different price points and uses. With a basic understanding of PCB production, you can discover the capabilities of these board compositions. Single-Sided Boards A single-sided PCB is simple and affordable to produce. The manufacturer begins with a base core material, such as fiberglass (FR4), which the core has a layer of copper on it. This copper material makes the board conductive and allows electricity to flow through. Then, they add a solder mask that insulates the conductive copper sheet below. Finally, they cover the rest of the layers with a silkscreen print that indicates the location for each part. When creating a single-sided board, the manufacturer adds

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PCB Glossary

  • Dimensional Stability

    A measure of the dimensional change of a material that is caused by factors such as temperature changes, humidity changes, chemical treatment, and stress exposure.