The history of printed circuit board manufacturing goes back to the early forties. The PCBs became especially popular during World War II. Today, its popularity has reached the zenith. However, it is to be noted that its manufacturing it is a complex process.
Raw Materials Used In Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing
Most of the PCBs today use a glass fiber reinforced (fiberglass) epoxy resin with a copper foil bonded on one or both sides. However, some PCB manufacturers also make these from paper reinforced phenolic resin with a bonded copper foil. These are ideal to be used in household electrical devices. And the circuits are that of copper, which is layered sufficiently with tin-lead to prevent oxidation. However, for excellent conductivity, the contact fingers are further coated with nickel, and finally with gold.
The Many Steps of Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing
Though different manufacturers have different method of circuit board manufacturing, yet in this article you would find information about the most common method used to make a two-sided flexible circuit board. The first step involves the making of the substrate. After this, the next step involved is drilling and plating the holes, as per the predetermined pattern. The next step involves creating the printed circuit pattern on the substrate. Other steps include attaching the contact fingers at the edges, fusing the tin-lead coating, sealing, stenciling, and cutting the panels and last but not the least mounting the components.
Subsidiary Steps In Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing
Apart from the above mentioned steps, there are also some other steps involved in circuit board manufacturing which are ancillary. But they are equally important for the entire manufacturing process. One of the steps is packaging. This is important to protect the PCBs for wear and tear. They are generally packaged in protective plastic bags for shipping. The other last but most important step is quality control, which includes toxic materials and safety considerations. This is important because obsolete PCBs lead to several environmental hazards. So, PCBs are also subjected to environmental tests to determine their performance under extremes of heat, or humidity. Again before dispatching the completed boards PCB manufacturers test for other things like functional performance for maximal output etc.
Printed circuit board manufacturing has taken great strides in the recent years, with the trimming of electronic gadgets into the smallest possible part, and it indeed has a great future ahead.