PCBs stand for Printed Circuit Boards that act as functional blocks for most of the electronic devices. Almost all modern electronic devices, such as medical scanning devices, computer systems, LEDs, home appliances, industrial manufacturing and power equipment, sensors and safety devices, smoke detectors etc. function on PCBs.
PCBs are designed to provide controlled and reliable electrical connections between various component terminals. The patterns of a PCB design are critical to its functional utility. They have alternatively placed layers of conductive and insulating material to allow routing of the electrical connections and to control signal integrity.
Design specifications of a PCB may vary according to the application requirements of the respective electronic device. But broadly, we can categorise PCBs into following types:
TYPES OF PCBS
Single Sided PCBs
This is the most basic kind with a single layer of copper which acts as a conductor of electric current passing through the components. Being basic in nature, they aren’t very costly and are mostly used in case of simple circuit electronics like sensors, electric toys, calculators, LED boards etc. Also, they are easy to design and manufacture and repairing them doesn’t require much expertise.
Double Sided PCBs
The Double Sided PCBs are quite similar to the Single sided PCBs. The only difference is that a Double Sided PCB has two layers of conductive copper, placed on both top and bottom of the board. Holes are drilled in the circuit board that connect the metal parts to both the sides. They are used for comparatively more complex devices such as mobile phones, test equipment etc.
A multi-layered PCB has at least three or more layers of conductive material. Designing a multi-layered PCB is a crucial process as there is a possibility of air being trapped between the layers. Therefore, utmost care needs to be taken while assembling a multi-layered PCB. However, the type of PCB is compact in size and has higher flexibility which makes it easier to incorporate controlled impedance features. They are best applicable for aerospace devices, x-ray and other testing devices, satellite systems, GPS technology etc.
A Rigid PCB can hold as many layers of conductive material, there is no such specification on that. They can be single layered or double layered or multi-layered type PCB, depending on the application. What makes it rigid is that once the PCB is manufactured, it cannot be altered. A rigid PCB cannot be bend into any other shape. They are made of solid substrate with copper tracks. They are commonly used for devices of daily use like computing systems etc.
On the contrary, a flexible PCB is fabricated in a way that it can be folded or transformed into any desired shape. They are mostly placed in modern portable devices like hard disks, printers etc. that hold limited internal space due to their very compact structure.
A Rigid Flex PCB is a type of a hybrid PCB board which has both – a rigid hard board connected with multiple flexible PCBs. Having a complex structure, designing and assembling process is more complicated and expensive. However, there is a growing demand for Rigid-Flex PCB due to its convenient applicability. Most commonly used for devices that require multiple circuit boards.
A High Frequency PCB is specially designed to meet the requirement of transmitting signal to your electronic device. It can be either of the PCB kinds – flexible or rigid, majorly used for the purpose of incorporation high frequency flow rate. Such PCB designs are applicable in industries that require high-density interconnect such as telecommunication, military, aerospace etc.
Aluminium Backed PCBs
This PCB type is similar to any of the above mentioned PCB, the only difference is usage of aluminium as the conducting metal instead of copper. It inexpensive and environment friendly as it can be easily recycled and is non-toxic. They are used mostly for devices expected for high output power applications such as power supplies, traffic lights etc.
There are a number of PCB designers and manufacturers in the market but it is always advisable to buy PCBs from a reputed and trusted name. Gelco is one such trusted and experienced manufacturers of different types of PCBs. The company has consistently provided their customers with high-quality circuit boards with excellent speed, and performance.