Technology has become ingrained in people’s lives. Technological advancements have paved the way for people to live their lives with convenience. Some of these technological breakthroughs include computers, televisions, radios, smart phones, and many other electronic devices. These gadgets provide modern society an easy access to information and serve as avenues for entertainment. Although people have become dependent on technology, most of them do not know what they are composed of. If they do know about printed circuit boards, they cannot fully explain what functions they serve.
Just as people are dependent on technology, electronic devices also depend on circuit boards. Most devices in the market right now have printed circuit boards incorporated in their internal design. A printed circuit or simply called as PCB by most people is the one responsible in making sure that the device functions properly.
A PCB is made up of both conductive and non-conductive materials in order to provide connection for different components within the board such as capacitors and transistors. These components enable the device to operate and serve its primary function. Without a printed circuit board, there would be no communication among the components within the device and would not be able to function at all.
Most of the time, the design and production process of a printed circuit board is as important and complex as the design of the main circuit itself. Most PCB manufacturers today make use of compact and flexible printed circuit boards to organize and assemble all electronic circuits within a device. Generally, a PCB is made up of one or more insulating boards on which layers of copper and conductive signal traces have been printed or etched. Depending on the level of complexity of a printed circuit board, a manufacturer could typically create a single layer PCB to eight or more layers if needed.
Types of PCB Based on Layer
•Single Sided Board
This is perhaps the least complex of all the printed circuit board types. The reason behind this is that a single sided board only comes with a single substrate layer. All other components and electrical parts are fixated on one side of the board while the other side of the board is made up of copper traces.
•Double Sided Board
This is perhaps the most common type of printed circuit board in the market. This type of PCB comes with parts and components that are attached to the opposite sides of the substrate. This type of PCB also makes use of through-hole construction for assembly purposes.
As the name implies, a multi-layer board is made up of several layers of substrate that are only separated by an insulation. The most common multi-layer boards that can be found in most device in the market are: 4 layers, 6 layers and 10 layers. However, there are also those multi-layer boards that come with as much as 42 layers of substrate. This type of multi-layer board is usually used for complex electronic devices.
Types of PCB Based on Rigidity
Different types of PCBs are intended for different applications. For example, a rigid printed circuit board is usually found on regular consumer electronic items such a televisions, mobile phones, computers, etc. This type of board can be easily bent or broken into pieces. This type of board has a limit when it comes to durability.
Another known type of PCB is the flexible printed circuit board. The circuits that are used in this type of printed circuit board are basically assembled on a thin, flexible insulating material. This enables the flexible PCB to be bent and curved as desired without causing any physical damage to the insulating material and the circuit itself. Flexible PCBs are usually used in flexible heaters, medical equipment and other technological uses in the medical field.
The rigid-flex PCB is a combination of both types. Circuits that are integrated in this type of PCB are usually used for military and aerospace applications, wherein there is a dire need for dense circuitry. This type of PCB consumes less space and weighs much less that the other two.
Enjoying the benefits of electronic device is not enough. As users of these technologies, people need to know their devices work. A simple knowledge about how printed circuit boards work won’t hurt.
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