What is a PCB?

What is a PCB?

shutterstock_1065643667WEBPCB stands for Printed Circuit Board.

A printed circuit board mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Components are generally soldered onto the PCB to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it.

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are thin boards made from an insulating material, with a metal coated surface. Etches are made in the metal with acid to create pathways for electricity to travel among various components which are surface mounted on the board with solder. 


IMG_0070WEBThe surface of a PCB may have a coating that protects the copper from corrosion and reduces the chances of solder shorts between traces or undesired electrical contact with stray bare wires. This coating is called solder resist.

The pattern to be etched into each copper layer of a PCB is called the "artwork". A PCB may be "silkscreen" printed with a legend identifying the components, test points, or identifying text.

Printed circuit boards have enabled electronic circuits to be more compact. In today’s world, just about every electronic appliance contains a printed circuit board. Examples include computers, televisions stereos, music amplifiers, microwaves and even cell phones.

In the manufacturing industry, automated machinery and processes are able to work effectively and efficiently as a result of printed circuit boards.

 

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