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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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Interconnect Defects — Debris-Based and Copper Bond Failure

Interconnect Defects — Debris-Based and Copper Bond Failure One concern you may have with respect to your circuit boards concerns interconnect defects, or ICDs. What exactly are interconnect defects, and what can you do about them? Here is the basic information you need to know regarding this troublesome issue. What Are Interconnect Defects (ICDs)? An interconnect defect is a problem in your printed circuit board that could lead to circuit failure. There are internal connections in your printed circuit board, typically called vias, in which the manufacturer drills through the inner-layer circuit. When the manufacturer processes the PCB, they put copper into the drilled hole to connect the inner-layer circuits to each other and to the surface of the printed circuit board. This allows you to place connectors or components to the board’s surface, and allows the circuit to connect between layers. Problems can occur when the manufacturer fails to

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PCB Insulation Materials

PCB Insulation Materials A printed circuit board consists of an insulated substrate, the board itself, and printed wires or copper traces, which provide the medium for electricity to travel through the circuits. The materials of the substrate also serve as PCB insulation materials that provide electrical insulation between the conductive parts. Multilayer boards will have more than one substrate separating the various layers. What are typical PCB substrates made of? PCB Substrate Materials PCB substrate materials must be made of substances that do not conduct electric currents, as this will interfere with the path of electricity as it travels through the printed wires. In fact, the substrate materials are PCB insulation that functions as a laminated electrical insulator for the circuitry of the board. Each layer of circuitry connects through holes that are plated through the board when connecting traces on opposite layers. Materials that serve as effective substrates include

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PCB Glossary

  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

    A software program with algorithms for drafting and modeling, providing a graphical representation of a printed board’s conductor layout and signal routes.