A printed circuit board
or a PCB is a usually a flat non-conductive material on which conductive pathways are either etched or printed. These pathways or routes help in the flow of electricity or signals that help an electronic item function. Some of the most commonly used materials for boards are fiberglass and certain other types of plastics. On the other hand, the conductive material that is often used in the printed circuit board manufacturing process is copper or chemical inks that are good conductors of electricity.
There are several other associated terms that are used in the context of a PCB. For instance, the main board on which the circuits are etched and established is known as the motherboard. Similarly, there are a number of smaller boards that are often fitted on the motherboard. These boards are referred to as the daughter board/card.
The electric circuit first needs to be planned and designed according to the product which needs to incorporate the PCB. Once the electrical pathways are established, the designs can be created.
Since this device also comprises several layers, a film needs to be generated for each layer. These design layers are used by the manufacturing house in order to create the basic form of the PCB.
The next thing in the printed circuit board manufacturing process is procuring the required raw material for the circuits. This would include the panel, copper wires etc. Following this, the next most critical step would be to drill holes so as to establish connections all across the board. These holes need to be drilled with utmost precision, which is why this process is often carried out using NC machines. The drill tips need to be really fine yet strong hence carbide is used to manufacture these drills. Once this step is executed, a thin deposit of copper is applied on the holes barrel.
This is followed by a process wherein a photosensitive dry-film is applied to the panel and then exposed to a light source. Once the entire circuit pathway is clear, copper (or conductive ink) is applied to the drilled holes and on the surface pathways. The circuit is then etched on the board and certain other steps are carried out to ensure that the circuit stays in good shape for a long time.
A printed circuit board manufacturing firm might offer single sided or double-sided PCB. You can choose the right type of board for your applications by seeking professional advice from your chosen manufacturing firm. A multi-layer PCB is often used in applications where space is a constraint and where the circuit is rather complex.
In fact, there are certain multi-layer PCB that could stretch up to 20 or 24 layers. It is advisable to choose a printed circuit board manufacturing firm that can offer you multiple choices with regards to PCB.
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