Redefining Customer Service
Customer Support | Phone: 717-558-5975

PCB Material Selection Guide

Thermal Properties Electrical Properties Power and Heat Impact on PCB Material Selection Flex and Rigid-Flex Boards Buy PCBs From Millennium Circuits Limited Request a Free Quote With all PCB material types, the purpose is to conduct electricity and provide insulation between conducting layers of copper. FR-4 is the most widely used material in this category. However, the needs of your board will invariably rely on various PCB material properties. Read the following PCB material selection guide to learn what to look for when it comes to the thermal, electrical, chemical and mechanical properties of different PCB material types. PCB Material Options, Classifications and Substrate Property Considerations Thermal Properties Glass Transition Temperature (Tg): A PCB substrate softens when exposed to temperatures above a certain threshold. The substrate hardens back to its natural state once removed from heat. The range at which this transformation can be applied to a substrate is known as

Read more

Wave Soldering vs. Reflow Soldering

Soldering is a huge part of the printed circuit board design process. The only reliable way to get your circuits to stick to your board and stay there is by soldering them on. Without soldering, there are no printed circuit boards. But not all types of soldering are created equal, and it can be important to differentiate between the different types of PCBs. There are two main types of soldering for PCBs: wave soldering and reflow soldering. What is the difference between the two, and how do you know which type of soldering to use in which circumstances? Jump To: What Is Wave Soldering? | What Is Reflow Soldering? | Wave Soldering vs. Reflow Soldering | More on Soldering and Printed Circuit Boards What Is Wave Soldering? Wave soldering is a bulk soldering process that enables one to manufacture many circuit boards in a very short amount of time. It works by passing each circuit board over

Read more

PCB Corrosion Causes

PCB Corrosion Causes Corrosion is one of the major enemies of printed circuit boards. A sufficiently corroded circuit board won’t work, and the steady advance of corrosion is inevitable. But why do printed circuit boards corrode, and what are some of the most common causes of PCB corrosion? What Is Corrosion? Corrosion is the process of oxidation that happens when oxygen bonds with metal, producing rust and causing the metal to flake off and lose its valuable chemical properties. Since printed circuit boards are largely made of metal and are exposed to oxygen, they must corrode eventually. However, not all metals are created equal when it comes to corrosion. Some metals corrode almost immediately while some seem to never corrode. Metals that are highly resistant to corrosion include: Graphite Gold Silver Copper-nickel alloy Metals that are highly susceptible to corrosion include: Plated tin Lead Copper Plated nickel Metals that are

Read more

Guide to Wave Soldering Problems for PCBs

Jump To: What is Wave Soldering? | Wave Soldering Defects and Remedies What Is Wave Soldering? Wave soldering is a type of soldering process used during the bulk manufacture of printed circuit boards, or PCB. The wave soldering process allows manufacturers to quickly and reliably solder large printed circuit boards. The process gets its name from the wave of solder each board gets passed over. Using a wave of solder as opposed to individual solder points produces solder joints that are mechanically and electrically reliable. The wave soldering process is effective for both the conventional through-hole method of PCB assembly and also the newer surface-mount method. So what’s in a wave solder machine, and how does the process work? At its core, a standard wave solder machine starts with one component: a heated tank of solder that is maintained at the required temperature for the specific soldering process that is taking

Read more

Guide to PCB Stiffeners

Guide to PCB Stiffeners One of the popular types of printed circuit boards that Millennium Circuits Limited offers is flexible circuit boards. If you’ve used flex PCBs before, you know how useful they can be. Flex circuit boards allow you to outfit products with circuitry when the design of those products won’t admit a rigid circuit board, so they’re invaluable for many electronics applications. However, flex printed circuit boards have their drawbacks, one of which being that they may not be rigid in places that actually need stiffness — PCB stiffeners were created for these situations. When you’re working with flex circuit boards, you often need flex PCB stiffeners. You may not be familiar with PCB stiffeners, or you may have an idea what they are but not be entirely sure how to apply them. So, what are PCB stiffeners, and how do they work? How Do PCB Stiffeners Work

Read more

IC Packaging

Jump To: What Is IC Packaging? | What is the Package of IC | What is IC Packaging | IC Package Types | IC Design Considerations | What is the Most Common Type of IC Package | Alternative IC Package Materials and Methods for Assembly | What is Die-Attach Material? | Wire Bond Assembly Types | Encapsulants | Understanding IC Packaging | IC Packaging From Millennium Circuits For a semiconductor to work reliably over many years of use, it is crucial for each chip to remain protected from the elements and possible stresses. That brings us to two questions – what is integrated circuit (IC) packaging, and why is it essential for your electronics applications? If you work in the electronics industry and are not clear on how IC packaging material can work for you, here is a basic breakdown of the idea behind IC packaging.   What Is the Package in IC? IC packaging refers to

Read more

How to Measure Solder Mask Thickness

How to Measure Solder Mask Thickness The solder mask is an essential element in printed circuit board manufacturing. Without a quality solder mask, most printed circuit boards wouldn’t last very long. There are several elements that go into creating an effective solder mask, and it’s a key feature of your printed circuit board’s makeup. What is a Solder Mask Solder mask is a material used to protect the copper on the circuit board with a protective layer of liquid photo imageable lacquer. This mask goes on both sides of the circuit board to protect the copper from problems that could lead to failure, such as oxidation, shorts from outside conductive influences, soldering, high voltage spikes or environmental factors and so forth. When fabricating the printed circuit board, you’d spray the solder mask onto the production panel, then apply UV exposure with the correct solder mask pattern, then develop and dry

Read more

Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing Process

Jump To: Step 1: Designing the PCB | Step 2: Design Review and Engineering Questions | Step 3: Printing the PCB Design  | Step 4: Printing the Copper for the Interior Layer | Step 5: Etch the Inner Layers or Core to Remove Copper | Step 6: Layer Alignment | Step 7: Automated Optical Inspection | Step 8: Laminating the PCB Layers | Step 9: Drilling | Step 10: PCB Plating | Step 11: Outer Layer Imaging | Step 12: Outer Layer Etching | Step 13: Outer Layer AOI | Step 14: Solder Mask Application | Step 15: Silkscreen Application | Step 16: Finishing the PCB | Step 17: Electrical Reliability Test | Step 18: Profiling and Route Out | Step 19: Quality Check and Visual Inspection | Step 20: Packaging and Delivery  Request a Free Quote What is the PCB Manufacturing Process? The printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing process requires a complex procedure to ensure the performance of the finished product. Though circuit boards can be single, double or multilayered, the fabrication processes used only differ after the first layer’s production. Due to differences in the structure of the

Read more

Halogen-Free PCB

Halogen-Free PCB While researching various types of printed circuit boards for your industry applications, you may have come across a mention of the halogen-free PCB and wonder if it is right for you. What is a halogen-free printed circuit board, and in what circumstances would you need one? Do I Need Halogen-Free PCBs? The short answer is that you probably want all your PCBs to be halogen-free. To understand why, it’s important to know what halogens are. Halogens are elements, many of which historically were used in printed circuit boards, often because it was cost-effective to do so. However, we now know halogens are extremely toxic to humans, and you probably do not want them in your PCBs despite their electronic benefits. What Is a Halogen-Free Printed Circuit Board? The family of halogen elements includes chlorine, bromine, fluorine, iodine and astatine. The most important elements with respect to PCB toxicity

Read more

How to Clean Printed Circuit Boards

How to Clean Printed Circuit Boards Printed circuit boards that are components of commonly used devices like smartphones and tablets can be subject to a wide variety of contaminants over the course of their use. There is an increasing need for services to clean PCBs that have been corrupted by contaminants but not actually physically broken. What do you use to clean circuit boards? Challenges to Circuit Board Cleaning Cleaning printed circuit boards is a very delicate process. When you are working with a printed circuit board, you are dealing with a variety of exposed components and connections that can easily be damaged if you attempt to clean the board improperly. How you will approach cleaning your printed circuit board will depend in large part on the types of contaminants you are dealing with. Contaminants you may have to clean from a printed circuit board include: How to Clean Dust

Read more