Printed circuit boards or PCBs are crucial components used in many electrical devices. They connect a variety of components together through a complex group of circuits. With many companies investing in PCB assembly because of their crucial role in electrical devices, one major concern is PCB failure. Read on to learn about the common PCB failures.
Acid trap is a term that refers to acute angles in circuits. This name applies to acute angles because they trap acid during the circuit board etching process. This allows the acid to build up in the top of the angle and the acid stays there longer and eats away more than it should. Therefore, the acid compromises connections and makes the circuit defective or cause serious problems in the future. Most PCB assembly designers understand issues caused by acute angles and are trained to avoid these acid traps. Most designers can detect acute angles by double checking their work and a DMF check.
In a printed circuit board, copper coated holes are plated through-holes. The holes allow electricity to move from one side of the board to another. Plating voids can occur when the material does not coat evenly through the deposition process. This can occur because of contamination of materials, insufficient cleaning of holes, air bubbles being caught in the materials, rough hole drilling, and insufficient catalyzation of copper in the deposition process.
Defects caused by air bubbles, contamination or inadequate cleaning can be prevented by cleaning materials effectively after drilling. Furthermore, defects associated with faulty drilling can be prevented by following the manufacturer’s recommendations closely during use. All these issues can be avoided by working with an experienced and qualified PCB manufacturer.
Inadequate Copper to Edge Clearance
Copper is a very conductive material and this is why it is used in PCBs as an active component. However, copper tends to be vulnerable to corrosion and is relatively soft. To protect the copper and prevent corrosion, the copper is covered using other materials. However, copper that is close to the end may be exposed when the PCB is trimmed since part of the coating can also be trimmed. This may affect the functionality of the circuit board by causing numerous problems. PCB assembly companies can avoid this issue can be avoided by ensuring the space between the edge of the board and the edge of the copper follows the recommended standards for the kind of board that is being manufactured.
Improper soldering during the PCB manufacturing can cause major problems. This problem can be caused when the solder is not heated enough leading to cold soldering that causes PCB failure. Furthermore, during the soldering process, moisture can contaminate PCB pad or other components on the board. This contamination can result in burning of PCB components and result in connection issues. PCB assembly companies can detect bad soldering using visual and X-ray inspections.
PCB failure occurs for several reasons and they can result in malfunctioning circuit boards. Since PCBs are utilized in a variety of electronics like airplanes, medical devices, satellites, and wearables, It is important than failures are quickly identified and necessary action taken. These are just some of the common PCB problems that you can encounter in your manufacturing processes. When you know these problems and why the occur, you will know how they can be prevented.