Electronics

6 types of printed circuit boards – how to choose?

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You can find printed circuit boards (PCBs) everywhere these days. These PCBs have played an important role in making our lives more advanced and easier. This post will tell you about the various types of PCBs available and which is the best for you.

PCBs come in various types. The main difference between all the types of PCBs is their characteristics. However, apart from this, there are many other differences that we will discuss.

Here are six types of PCBs:

  • Single-sided PCBs

This is the least complicated among all the PCBs. It has a layer of the base material. Since copper is an electric conductor, a side of the base material is filled with copper. After a thin layer of copper, there is a protective mask. Finally, there is a silkscreen coat that completes the board.

You might be wondering why it is called single-sided PCBs. Its name comes from the board’s organization. All the electronic components are situated on one side. This board is the best option for simple electronic items. These boards aren’t expensive, and they can be easily produced in bulk. However, these boards do not work great for all types of electric items.

  • Double-sided PCBs

These are the most common boards because of their high usage. Both sides of this board have a metal layer, and each side also has a part of connecting the two sides. The electronic component in the board is spread evenly. To ease out things, boards even have holes. Small wires called the leads are involved in passing through the holes and moving the other side.

This board involves many leads that are soldered together, which enhances the board’s efficiency. Double-sided PCBs are light and can perform more tasks. The only limitation is that it’s risky to handle.

  • Multilayer PCBs

These boards use the latest tech in the double-sided PCBs. The board has insulating material on each layer of the substrate. To connect different parts, this PCB also uses the same kind of technology as double-sided PCBs.

This board uses less space as compared to the previously discussed boards. You can add as many layers as you want. In a nutshell, multilayer PCBs are technical, and a single mistake can damage the entire board.

  • Rigid PCBs

Although printed circuit boards are normally categorized based on sides and layers, that’s not the only difference. Rigid Printed Circuit Boards are developed because of their varying rigidity.

The substrate material that this board uses is inflexible, strong, and solid. The best option is fiberglass; thus, it prevents the board from bending and preventing damage.

  • Flex PCBs

Flex PCBs use flexible plastic, which forms a layer on the base. The substrate material ensures that the board fits in different sizes and shapes according to the requirements. This board can be bent easily.

However, it should be kept safe all the time. The only limitation of this board is that it is a bit more costly than other boards. It is light weighted and is generally used in every latest equipment.

  • Rigid-flex PCBs

Last on the list is the budget flex printed circuit boards. As the name suggests, this board is both flexible and rigid. Although it is a very confusing concept, the concept behind this board is that it can be used with items that use a strong board. Still, the board is very flexible.

The circuit board is rigid, which connects to the flex circuit board. The only limitation of this board is that they are complicated to make. The biggest advantage of the rigid-flex PCBs is that they are the most useful and can address almost all the needs.

Things you should consider while choosing the circuit board

The circuit board should meet all your requirements. It is imperative to not end up choosing a bad circuit board. Here is a list of things that you should consider:

  • The material of the board
  • The instruments you will require for the PCB
  • Where will you use it
  • The prices of various PCBs and your budget
  • The power and strength of your circuit board

Conclusion

Whether you are going for a single-sided printed circuit board or widget flex PCB, make sure that it fulfills all your needs and requirements to use it for a long time.

About the author

Sravani Reddy

I'm a breaking news reporter for crazy speed tech focusing on economic policy and capital markets. I completed my master’s degree in business and economic reporting at New York University.

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