What is PCB and how it works?

in build-it •  5 months ago 

A printed circuit board (PCB) is an electronic circuit used in devices to provide mechanical support and routing to its electronic components. These are non-conductive materials, such as those made of fiber glass or various sheets of plastic, which easily hold copper circuitry.

PCB is also known as Printed Wiring Board (PWB) or Etched Wiring Board (EWB).



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The PCB is a copper laminated and non-conductive printed circuit board, in which all electrical and electronic components are connected together in a common board, with physical support for all components along the base of the board.

When the PCB was not developed, at that time all components were connected by a wire which increased complexity and reduced the reliability of the circuit, thus we could not make very large circuits like motherboards.

In PCBs, all components are connected without wires, all components are connected internally, so this reduces the complexity of overall circuit design.

The PCB is used to provide power and connectivity between components by which it functions in a designed manner.

PCB users can be customized for any specifications as per requirements. It can be found in many electronics devices such as; TV, mobile, digital camera, computer parts such as; Graphic card, motherboard etc. It is also used in many areas; Such as medical equipment, industrial machinery, automotive industry, lighting, etc.

Several types of PCBs are available for circuits. Among these types of PCBs, we have to choose the appropriate type of PCB according to our application.

1) Single Layer PCB:




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Single layer PCBs are also known as single sided PCBs. This type of PCB is the simplest and most commonly used PCB because these PCBs are easy to design and manufacture.

One side of this PCB is coated with a layer of any conducting material. Generally, copper is used as a conducting material for PCBs, because copper has a very good conductivity. A layer of solder mask is used to protect the PCB against oxidation after silk screen to mark all components on the PCB.

In this type of PCB, only one side of the PCB is used to connect various types of electrical or electronics components such as resistors, capacitors, injectors, etc. These components are soldered.

These PCBs are used in low cost and bulk manufacturing applications such as calculators, radios, printers and solid-state drives.

2) Double Layer PCB:




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Double layer PCB is also known as Double Sided PCB. As the name suggests, in this type of PCB, a thin layer of conductive material, such as copper, is applied both above and below the board. The PCB consists of a separate layer of board through the medium, which consists of two pads in respective positions on separate layers. These are electrically connected to a hole through the board, which is shown in the figure.

More flexible, relatively low cost, and the most important advantage of this type of PCB board is its small size which makes the circuit compact. This type of PCB is mostly used in industrial control, converter, UPS systems, HVAC applications, phones, amplifiers and power monitoring systems.

3) Multi-layer PCB:




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Multi-layer PCBs have more than two layers. This means that this type of PCB has at least three conducting layers of copper. The glue is sandwiched between layers of insulation to secure the board which ensures that the excess heat will not damage any components of the circuit.

This type of PCB designing is very complex and is used in very complex and large electrical work in very little space and compact circuits. This type of PCB is used in large applications such as GPS technology, satellite systems, medical devices, file servers and data storage.

4) Flexible PCB:




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Flexible PCB is also known as flex circuit. Such PCBs use flexible plastic materials such as polyimide, PEEK (polyether ether ketone) or transparent conductive polyester film.

The circuit board is usually folded or twisted. It is a very complex type of PCB and consists of different layers such as single sided flex circuit, double sided flex circuit and multiside flex circuit. Flex circuits are used in laptops such as organic light emitting diodes, LCD fabrication, flex solar cells, automotive industries, cellular telephones, cameras and complex electronics devices.

5) Rigid PCB:




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Rigid PCBs are made of solid materials that prevent the PCB from being twisted. An example of a Rigid PCB is a computer motherboard.

Similar to Flex PCB, Rigid PCB has different layer configurations such as single layer, double layer and multi-layer Rigid PCB. The size of this PCB does not change after installation.

This PCB cannot be bent according to the size of the base, hence this PCB is known as RIGID PCB. This type of PCB has a long lifespan, so it is used in many parts of a computer such as RAM, GPU and CPU. The design is simple and most commonly used and most of the construction PCB is single sided rigid PCB. Multi-layer rigid PCBs may be more compact with 9–10 layers.

6) Flex-rigid PCB:




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The most important board is composed of a combination of flexible circuits and rigid circuits. Flex-rigid boards have multiple layers of multiple flexible PCBs that are attached to several rigid PCB layers. Flex-rigid board as shown in the figure. It is used in cell phones, digital cameras and automobiles etc.




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