Almost everything has a standard in the world. For instance, if you think of cars, a specific Cadillac might come to mind, especially in the past years. A standard acts as the benchmark that all other products getting manufactured have to conform to. Like all other products, printed circuit boards also conform to the adage of standards, especially when it comes to dimensions. So is the 0.8mm PCB the standard dimension for printed circuit boards?
Printed Circuit Board Standard Dimensions
Circuit boards have typically had standard dimensions regarding the board’s thickness over the years. While the size dimensions on PCBs have no one official standard, some sizes have received preference and proved common than others through the years. For instance, your CM or contract manufacturer can recommend to you a preferred standard so that it becomes easy to adapt your design and make it amenable to their equipment’s capabilities. The recommendation can also extend to other aspects, such as lowering costs or minimizing the turnaround time to manufacture your printed circuit boards.
This article intends to cover the standard printed circuit board thickness before discussing the considerations that prove pivotal before picking an fr4 0.8mm or any other PCB board thickness considered a non-standard or not custom-size.
PCB Standard Thickness
Plenty of contract manufacturers come up with their preferred standard board thickness. Some may consider the standard printed circuit board thickness as 1.57mm (approximately 0.062 inches), while others may prefer the 0.8mm PCB or any other thickness as the standard board size. The aspect of PCB board standard thickness has historically revolved around the 1.57mm board thickness as it proved the bakelite sheet size used in the manufacture and fabrication of circuit boards before. Consequently, the circuit board thickness has stuck with many, as much as the present-day boards prove smaller or larger compared to this standard. Additionally, this pre-modern 1.57mm board thickness has remained the most typical PCB thickness size for most printed circuit board designs.
However, in the present day and age of circuit boards, it would prove prudent to mention that a range of typical or standard printed circuit board thickness exists. It includes the fr4 0.8mm, the fr4 1.57mm, and the fr4 2.36mm. The fr4 arises from the epoxy substrate material commonly used together with the glass-like substance in the manufacture of boards as a printed circuit board component. Remember that your choice in the printed circuit board Manufacturer, Assembly, and Fabrication Company, can give you leeway to have a board thickness other than those stipulated. However, it becomes crucial to note that there exist factors in the manufacturing and design that you must consider. Below, we detail some of the most critical.
Design Elements that Influence the Thickness of Printed Circuit Boards
Plenty of factors influence the thickness of your PCB design. Therefore if you are a circuit board designer, it would become prudent to consider the following.
- Copper thickness. The thickness of copper always proves instrumental in the optimization of signal flows. Therefore, you have to determine the thickness of the copper layer based on the amount of current that needs to pass across the circuit. However, the thicker the copper layer, the thicker the circuit board needs to become. The common standard copper thickness range is 1-2 oz.
- Board materials. Depending on the materials you choose to incorporate into the board, the longevity and operation of a circuit board subsequently influence the board size. In most instances, the materials will include the laminate, substrate, silkscreen, and solder mask. However, the laminate and substrate influence the board size the most as they prove instrumental in offering and maintaining the structure of the circuit board. The substrate may entail glass weave, paper, epoxy resin, or ceramic.
- Amount of layers in the printed circuit board. The layer numbers of a PCB have influenced the thickness of a circuit board. For instance, a 2-6 layer board can fulfill the standard printed circuit board thickness, while a board with eight layers can fall outside this threshold. For multi-layer PCBs, manufacturers might find it difficult to constrain themselves within the 0.8mm size. Therefore, always determine whether your circuit board requires multiple layers before picking a board thickness. If not, you can always reduce the layers and maintain the 0.8mm thickness.
- Signal types. Printed circuit boards often carry a diverse range of signals, which require specific board materials. The trickle-down effect of all this determines the size of the PCB, especially after considering the impact of already discussed factors.
- Via types
- It becomes crucial to understand the type of via that will feature your PCB to know how thick to make the circuit board. Vias include the micro via, through via, via-in-pad, blind vias, and buried via. For instance, a micro via will need a thin circuit board.
- Operating environment. Together with the circuit board materials, a board’s thickness will always play a pivotal role in determining the PCB’s resistance and conductivity. It, therefore, implies that different board thicknesses might prove suitable in diverse environments. For instance, a 0.8mm flexible and thin board might become inappropriate for rugged and rough operating terrains. Similarly, a thicker board containing a thicker copper trace may prove thermally unstable when transmitting higher currents. However, remember that other aspects such as connectors, among other components, also prove vital because they have specific performance and material requirements that they have to fulfill.
- Manufacturing factors also play a key role in determining the size of your circuit board. Aspects such as the copper thickness, number of layers, customization needs, and need for depanelizing often require specific equipment and specialized technical know-how to pull off. So the manufacturer you end up contracting for their services indirectly determines how thick your PCB will become.
So how can you go about a custom 0.8mm circuit board, especially when you want one? The simple answer would entail contacting us at our official RayMing PCB and Assembly Company website. However, before you contact us for inquiries, it becomes useful to understand some crucial aspects of ordering custom PCBs.
Printed circuit boards get manufactured in panels or sheets that come as readily available products. The products often have common sizes, and you will likely find your contracted manufacturer stocking these types of PCBs or have a mechanism of obtaining them quickly. However, such a scenario does not preclude the ability of the CM to offer other sizes, provided they fit within the confines of the capability of the manufacturer’s equipment and processing methods. Additionally, such custom circuit board sizes also get bogged down by the period limitation of procuring the panels or sheets from a respective manufacturer. You, therefore, have to note this aspect, besides the other crucial aspects detailed below, before engaging a manufacturer for the 0.8mm board.
Crucial Factors to Ponder for a Customized PCB Thickness
- The capability of the contracted manufacturer’s equipment
- It comes as a pivotal aspect to consider when it comes to your printed circuit board size. For instance, if you want a 0.8mm PCB, your contracted manufacturer must possess the relevant equipment needed to produce that specific PCB size. The size requirement has to get determined early during the process of designing the PCB. Determination of the requirements should also include the DFM stipulations or requirements. Otherwise, it may force you to redesign and modify your printed circuit board layout.
- Prolonged turnaround period
- Everyone who has ordered a PCB before will attest that there often is a delay when it comes to getting a custom PCB size (thickness). It becomes necessary to consider the impact of this aspect on the development quality besides your 0.8mm PCB delivery schedule.
- Extra costs. Finally, it always proves crucial to evaluate any extra costs you might incur when acquiring unique materials through the manufacturing process. It will become vital in determining whether the extra costs fall within the acceptable limit.
Remember, you may find it best sometimes to use the typical PCB board size, while at other times, it may become necessary to customize and use your desired board size, say 0.8mm. The best thing about printed circuit boards entails having a choice regarding the board’s thickness. If you opt for a standard printed circuit board thickness, you will likely lead to faster PCB and a more affordable manufacturing cost. However, suppose you elect to go the customization route. In that case, you will likely fork out more money besides becoming aware and ensuring that the contracted manufacturer possesses all the relevant equipment and processes that will apply and produce your desired PCB design.
RayMing PCB and Assembly Company’s Manufacturing Service
- As an ISO-certified manufacturing company, you will get quality and certifiable manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly PCB services.
- You can also get a precise quote within a day.
- The company performs the whole turnkey process within three days, an unparalleled speed.
- The company also limits time and energy-sapping iterative design corrections through an emphasis on the DFM.
- The company sources PCB components from some of the most reliable and reputable industry suppliers to limit procurement time.
- You also get products that have passed through several automated inspections in the assembly process. Besides this, the company also offers support during the entire manufacturing process.
- The company also ensures a smooth transition into production from the prototyping stage.
If you want to get your 0.8mm PCB product from your design, you must consider everything detailed in this article besides contacting us. We will provide you with a quality 0.8mm PCB that you will never regret.