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What is Lifted Pad and Issues on Printed Circuit Boards?

Circuit board pads serve the purpose of creating a connection between the pins of components and the plates of copper. However, if PCB possesses lifted pads, then pins cannot make a proper and clean connection which damages the electrical components of the PCB. 

Pad lifting is mostly seen in the assembly of single-layered PCB. Moreover, pads will not occur mostly in through-hole PCBs. Sometimes, it may occur rarely. Pad lifting seems considerable, mostly in situations where you face high pressure and high temperature in the assembly process. 

Causes Of Lifted Pad On PCB

After the process of wave soldering, mostly in single-layered PCB, the surface of the board heats up, which lowers copper adhesion. Therefore, any time of force or pressure over the electrical components leads to lifting. Hence, consider two different aspects. The physical and thermal aspects. Any additional heat during the assembly of the wave soldering process and additional force to handle the circuit makes components loose and creates pad lifting.

Tips To Avoid Lifted Pad On PCB

How to repair Lifted Pad on PCB
How to repair Lifted Pad on PCB

However, a question arise whether there is any solution that may help in avoiding pad lifting in circuit boards. Thus, one can prevent the board from pad lifting with a thermal factor. Try to utilize adhesive or epoxy that has high heat resistance. But this seems unavoidable and high capacity and long-lasting heat may minimize the adhesion. 

Another way is to utilize through-hole circuits. This makes components and pads stronger and helps them to prevent lifting.

One may possess a greater ability to control the mechanical factors of PCBs pad lifting. However, to prevent the PCB from pad lifting, make sure to remove the single-layer board from the pallet or the conveyor. Also, ensure that manufacturers do not utilize large electrical components like grips. Generally, always give extra concern and care to Circuit boards if you see the slightest chance of component pad lifting.   

Fixing the PCBs With Loose PADS

If one doesn’t like to wreck the PCB and begin with a fresh one, then you can give a try to many things.

For instance 

  • Find the trace where the protectors lifted from beginning to extinction, then operate wires to each unlinked end. However, the protector that has raised sticks to the element through the void and mends the wire to the element’s leg.
  • Stick the protector rear to the PCB with powerful epoxy.
  • Turn the element that points to change the route where the united protectors raised and should mend it instantly to the route that always has a relationship to the PCB. Furthermore, if the pointer is short, mend an attachment into the pointer and then proceed. 

Is It Worth It To Fix Pad Lifting On A PCB?

All these approaches affect only when you wish to resell your PCB or wish to resell the device with the PCB in it. But sometimes, it does not act as effectively and may lead to the failure of the device or the PCB. If you have enough confidence and skill to work along the pad lifting issue, or you won’t have any issue in repairing the device if it fails, then you may choose one of the above approaches. Whereas, if you have concerns about repairing the PCB of a sold device again, then you may have to discard this type of PCB once and for all and begin with a new PCB.

In simple words, if your PCB vendor continuously provides you Circuit boards with the same pad lifting issue or they lift just right after simple use, particularly in through-hole circuits, then change your PCB vendor right away.

Importance Of Lifted Pad Designs Guidelines For Printed Circuit Board


Firstly, let’s see the exact definition of a pad. A pad is also termed land, which is basically the exposed metal surface of a PCB that enables the electrical components to solder. Nonetheless, a PCB uses various pads to make the land pattern or footprint of components over the surface of the PCB.

For the components with a through-hole, the pad comes in a round shape and goes through plating for the hole, which allows leads to pass for inserting the components and solder within. Whereas, for Surface-mounted components, the pad comes in various shapes and sizes based on the soldered electrical components. Sometimes, the pads come in unusual shapes and sizes for mechanical and thermal issues. Small pads in round shape are mostly used for alignment and registration with automatic optical machines. 

After many years of PCB layout tools and software introduction, these tools and software lack automation which needs design engineers to make their pads manually. They draw the shapes of pads in the layout software, the datasheet for required data, and formulas of generic pad shapes and sizes. 

However, the process may result in errors because the specifications of the manufacturer do not always match with the same inserted formula. This enables the designers to use the wrong shapes and sizes in a pad. Thus these wrong pad shapes and sizes cause severe issues during the process of PCB manufacturing. These include: 

1. Through-hole breakout

Pads with through-hole possess a firm annular vulnerability ring. It’s basically a metal sheet between the pad’s external parameter and wall hope. The annular PCB ring is specially designed big enough to enable the desired drill amount to roam from the hole’s center. However, the too-small pad allows the PCB annular ring to break out. At the same time, greater breakout ends up in broken, incomplete, and improper circuits and soldering. 

2. Insufficient Solder Joints

Too small or thin SMT components soldered with pads may not get the appropriate filet of solder while manufacturing. Therefore, inefficient and inappropriate solder filler weakens the solder joint and breaks it.

3. Floating Parts

Too large or big SMT components soldered with pads results in lifting off the location during the reflow of solder. This may cause issues with other components or may result in short circuits. 

4. Tombstoning Parts

Two small pinned SMT components like capacitors and resistors can face soldering issues if both have different sizes of pads. This results in heating one pad faster as compared to another. Thus making the melting solder pull that specific area up and put them away from the second pad and stick it together in the form of a tombstone.

5. Shorts To Other Metals

Too small and thin pads enable surface traces to get close to the soldered electrical components on them. This creates a shorter metal potential area. On the contrary to this, too large or thick pads restrict the routing process of traces which makes them difficult to route over the surface of the board.

However, all these issues force manufacturers of PCBs to switch the assembly process from an automatic to a manual system. This allows them to resolve the issues with greater rework time and inspection. Therefore, it’s important to make pads of PCB in an appropriate shape and size to avoid lifting and other associated issues.

Industry Standards Lifted Pad Designs And Sizes

lifted pad on pcb
lifted pad on pcb

Printed Circuit Board developers have multiple choices for making accurate protector sizes. There we found various statements for protector sizes like IPC-7351 that attribute to the protector statements that Printed Circuit Board manufacturers have utilized. Furthermore, manufacturers have these aids at their removal.

· Pad and land pattern generators 

Mostly Printed Circuit Board layout equipment has library generators and wizards. This type of software trait has paired with IPC criteria and will mechanically make the shape and size protector which you require for your elements.

· PCB design CAD vendor libraries

Similarly, CAD equipment dealers commonly have libraries of protectors and land designs that you can use by downloading. These are commonly available to users’ maintenance agreements for the equipment.

· Third-party CAD library vendors

 Manufacturers can compute protectors and land designs from third-party Printed Circuit Board library component dealers for the expense. However, you may discover the land designs and pad. You require the protector from the elementary dealer, which means they have created a part for it.

· Pad and land pattern calculators 

You can find various pad and land design calculators online now. You can protect the time that you can use for library innovation by using parts of industry-standard that are mechanically induced by equipment and available online. 




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