There are PCB designers and fabricators who find choosing the appropriate materials for the construction of a printed circuit board unimportant. For those familiar with design issues, choosing the appropriate materials for a printed circuit board (PCB) makes the difference between a high performing PCB and an inferior one. Who would want a poor-performing creation? You create to bring out the “wow” factor in your creation. In this case, the printed circuit board for a design idea.
Careful consideration is critical in choosing the materials for a circuit board. Hasty decisions on choice of PCB materials can cause system failures at the most unexpected time. Knowledge of the key features of PCB materials helps at the design level and in the lifetime use of the system.
The standard requirements for PCB materials are high reliability for end-use application and consistency in performance. Most PCB sources can provide various materials you need in PCB construction like the ones we offer here at www.pcbnet.com. A match between the circuit materials and the requirement of applications rests on obtaining the right combination of characteristics which results to excellent performance at a low cost.
Two factors in the selection of PCB materials
The success and reward of having the right combination of materials for PCB rest on the following: suitability for circuit fabrication, and compatibility with application requirements.
The fabrication of a printed circuit board, particularly in a multi-layered board, present challenges. Designers and fabricators can have a range of choice for materials used in bonding layers to form a multilayer PCB. But, materials differ in dissipation factor, dielectric constant, and processing temperatures. A challenge which one may encounter is the bonding of dissimilar materials that are incompatible. A match of dissimilar materials may lead to problems with reliability and may not withstand the thermal stress during PCB assembly.
Another challenge one is likely to encounter with PCB material is its capacity to withstand thermal stress during assembly processing. There are materials which may have good electrical performance but contain features that are not strong enough to withstand the thermal stress of PCB assembly. A combination of the right materials could produce good multilayer PCB construction. This kind of construction is known as the hybrid multilayer PCB which are cost-effective but best performing.
There are various materials one can choose based on fabrication issues:
• Ceramic-filled hydrocarbon material with woven glass
• Ceramic-filled PTFE with woven glass
• Micro fiber glass PTFE
The materials mentioned have their specific use, benefits and drawbacks. Your material source has guides for specifications and use. You can find good and reliable sources for various materials that you can combine to make a good match. One source is our own site www.pcbnet.com.
End-use applications, like fabrication issues, pose several concerns that affect PCB construction. Here again, guides are given by reliable PCB sources for the best selection of materials based on end-use application. The performance parameters considered would include: dissipation factor (Df), dielectric constant (Dk), CTE, and thermal conductivity. There are reliable tests done to determine dielectric losses in terms of design, process, and tolerance values.
Another performance parameter of concern based on end-use application is the conductor losses. The conductor losses are important in comparing circuit materials. The conducted losses may happen due to the circuit design, configuration, thickness of conductive metals, and surface roughness of copper conductor layers.
Thermal conductivity is another cause for end-use application concern. Thermal conductivity is the capacity for the heat to move through a circuit material. This parameter is crucial for high-power applications which need a high amount of heat to dissipate. If the thermal conductivity is found mismatched or insufficient, this can improve with the use of an appropriate material, such as the ceramic-filled high-frequency materials. This type of material can help resolve many thermal management concerns.
One parameter that is of concern, particularly for high-frequency applications, is the amount of moisture absorption of the PCB material. High humidity in the environment could cause the to Dk losses that impact on PCB performance. There are, however, materials built to resist and reduce moisture absorption to less than 1%.
The effect of a poor choice of materials for PCB construction can affect the PCB performance to a great extent. In selecting the right material for the PCB construction, consider the issues you will encounter in the process of assembly and pick the materials which offer the best trade offs. If you are looking for an expert advice regarding PCB, then look no further than www.pcbnet.com. You can expect us to give you expert advices and consultation at low prices.
Sources of PCB materials provide charts that you can refer to in comparing properties of high-frequency materials. The chart can help simplify your choices in getting the best trade offs between fabrication benefits and excellent performance.
The choice of PCB materials is a thing of deep concern for a serious fabricator. The quality of the material you use for the PCB fabricator can either prove the superior capability of your PCB design or demonstrate poor performance. With a poor performing PCB, you may have to redesign and go through the whole process which translates into time lost and increased cost. Luckily, there is now www.pcbnet.com, and we are here to ensure that your PCB design, assembly and fabrication project will turn out to be a huge success.