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What is a Socket PCB?

Computers, smartphones, televisions, and the majority of other electronic gadgets all require printed circuit boards, sometimes known as PCBs. The PCB is constructed out of a rigid, non conductive substance. Then, using specialized equipment and the right configuration for such a board being created, those circuits are printed on it.

The PCB features areas where components can be directly mounted onto the board in addition to those conductive lines which link the various components of that board.

What Does the Socket PCB Offer?

The PCB socket can be frequently utilized to create mounting space on the circuit board for different integrated circuits, also known as chips or ICs. Rows of different pins are seen on the underside of a PCB socket.

Depending on what type of Integrated Circuit it will be utilized for, different sockets feature different amounts of pins. Holes in rows which match the pins can be found on the socket’s upper side. Plastic that is not conducting makes up the socket. Whenever a chip is inserted into a PCB socket, then each leg would be in contact with one of its socket’s legs because each hole provides access to all the pins underneath.

By inserting each socket leg in a corresponding hole on the circuit board, this PCB socket will be directly mounted onto the PCB. The printed circuits in these holes connect them to other parts of the board. After the socket has been installed on the circuit board, it is either manually or automatically soldered into place.

The circuit board is prepared to receive its integrated circuit once this PCB socket has been soldered to it. The IC is put into the socket after each pin is precisely lined up with its holes. As soon as the chip gets inserted into the socket, then it functions just as though it were directly connected to the printed circuit boards.

Importance of Socket PCB

PCB Socket

The installment of a PCB socket during the manufacturing process of a printed circuit board includes an additional step to the process. However, a socket PCB lays a significant role in the functioning of the board. If there is any need to replace the integrated circuit maybe as a result of upgrade or failure, the IC can be easily removed out of the socket and it can be simply replaced by a new chip.

However, if the socket PCB isn’t integrated, the old chip needs de-soldering if a chip needs replacement. This can result in the damage of the printed circuit board and in this case, you need to solder the new chip. Also, the PCB socket is very easy to use and it has no damage risk to the printed circuit board. This is because soldering is not required.

Furthermore, PCB sockets are components lead sockets for unplugging and plugging components on circuit boards. These sockets are ideal for applications exposed to high levels of shock and vibration. Also, the manufacturing of PCB sockets involves press-fitting a pre-tooled contact into a precision machined shell. Furthermore, these receptacles will receive round pins that range in diameter from .008 inches to .102 inches. Also, the rectangular and square component leads are available in different sizes and shapes.

What are the Features of a Socket PCB?

  • A nonconductive plastic is used in making the socket
  • The socket PCB comprises several pins on its underside. These pins are in rows.
  • PCB sockets are very easy to use and they hardly cause any damage to the circuit board
  • Also, the PCB socket is usually mounted on the PCB by placing each of the socket legs on the PCB hole

What are the Different Types of PCB Socket Designs?

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There are different types of PCB socket designs. These include:

Throughboard two-piece sockets

Two-piece socket comprises an outer Brass shell. This shell holds Berylium Copper contact clip with 6 or 4 contact fingers. Also, the brass shell safeguards the chip and offers strength to the chip. The clip contact fingers offer the mechanic force need to make positive electrical contact.

The design of this socket is similar to M300 contacts. The throughboard two-piece sockets are ideal for applications that require durability and vibration-resistance. Also, the throughboard design is usually soldered to the circuit board on the underside. This is opposite to the entry point. Furthermore, some designs may comprise a knurl feature on the body. This helps in enhancing mechanical retention in the circuit board before soldering and after. Also, there are open-ended designs for use.

  • The 6-finger and 4-finger designs help in ensuring there is electrical contact via high shock and vibration.
  • There is Beryllium Copper to enhance the temperature range from 55°C to +125°C
  • Mating pin sizes are available in Ø2.00mm, Ø0.80mm, Ø0.50mm, Ø1.00mm
  • Has about 1,000 mating cycles

SYCAMORE Contact: 3-Beam SMT Single-Piece Socket

This is a single piece socket. This socket is made from a strip of Beryllium Copper. Also, it integrates SMT wings and three contact fingers within the design. Furthermore, you can supply these designs in reel and tape, available for volume automated placement.

This design is much more cost-effective than two-piece socket due to the integration of automation during the circuit board assembly. Also, lower material use contributes to its cost effectiveness.

  • The 3-beam design helps in achieving 500 mating cycles
  • The Beryllium Copper helps in enhancing the temperature range from-50°C to +125°C
  • There are top and bottom entry variations
  • The mating pin sizes are usually available from Ø0.8mm to Ø1.9mm

Twin-Beam SMT Single-Piece Socket

The twin-beam SMT single-piece socket is specially made from Phosphor Bronze. It features two contact fingers and there is a central opening via the surface of the material surface for mating pin. Therefore, this provides the least PCB height of the three designs. Also, these designs are available in reel and tape. They are available for automated placement. This cost-effective PCB socket is a suitable option for static equipment installations.

  • There are available mating pins from Ø0.8mm to Ø1.8mm
  • The range of operating temperature is between -40°C to +105°C
  • It is low profile and lightweight

Some Important Aspects of Socket Development

pcb socket
pcb socket

In the conventional sense, a socket’s job is to connect the electronic component’s connecting pins, like an integrated circuit, in order to securely grab the contact and create a solid connection. When the electronic industry first began to expand during 1980s, the integrated circuits came as exceedingly expensive parts.

Appropriate sockets were created to enable replacement and prevent soldering them on the circuit board. There are numerous socket kinds as a result of the various IC component designs and their various connecting connections. Both row-row spacing and grid contact must be observed.

The dual-in-line (DIL) variant, which is the most frequently discovered form, is for the DIL ICs. Additionally, there are sockets with a round shape for transistors with various poles that are specially made for the power transistors, quartz oscillators, including sockets made of plastic that is highly heat-resistant.

There are additional frame types that are still in use today. The J-shaped connection type on these integrated circuit modules, works in tandem with the associated fitting to create a spring and clamping contact.

What Distinguishes a PCB Socket from the PCB Connector?

When viewed from the outside, sockets as well as PCB connectors seem to have no connection at all. They can be used in many various technical applications.

Upon closer inspection, both do share a number of traits, and as a result, they can occasionally seem quite similar regarding specifics. Electronic circuit components are held in sockets, which come in different range of styles, sizes, and connections.

In the case of damage, the technician must have the ability of replacing the damaged components simply and quickly without placing undue strain on the solder joints of that circuit boards. The three main purposes of circuit board connections are powering the assembly, transferring data, and connecting circuit boards onto one another. In this case, designs with comparable intricate architecture should be taken into account.

Relationship between Sockets and PCB Connector

Regarding individual contacts, a socket headers’ structure is comparable to or perhaps entirely identical to those of other sockets. This socket connection like with sockets can be utilized when choosing precise contact types. The contacts of the socket must match the pins’ cross-section plug in as the sole requirement.

Also, the IC modules’ connection pins can fit circular pins that measure 0.5 mm in diameter. As a result, a mating strip is often made with 0.5 mm diameter round connectors on its plug in area. Early pcb connector development was primarily based on precision contacts, comparable to those used in the integrated circuit sockets.

In double and single row strips, they are primarily utilized. Also, there are several three row as well as four row design variations.

Designing the single row as well as double strips to be able to be connected together will make using multi row strips more affordable.

Naturally, socket contacts are required to be bigger for larger contact cross sections, like the square pin, which has contacts including a 0.635mm edge dimension. To ensure a better secure connection, its inner spring can be frequently chosen having about 6 main contact fingers rather than four.

The sleeve, as well as their inner contact springs, are the two components that make up the precision socket contact. This inner spring gets rolled and punched as the sleeve rotates. It is put into this sleeve and then fitted with a help of the press fit after receiving a galvanic coating.

Process of Soldering and Selection of Plastic

Correction of PCB connectors and sockets is accomplished by soldering operations. This covers component-safe vapour soldering as well as different “reflow” soldering techniques, including wave soldering method. High-temperature qualities and uses for that insulating material were developed recently.

However, because of the high temperature of soldering used in SMT soldering, the demands placed on the sockets and connectors have greatly grown.

While temperatures of about 260°C are typical when using SMT soldering methods, these connectors are hardly ever exposed to a typical maximum temperature load when using wave soldering procedure. Also, the insulating bodies were supposed to be constructed of plastic which is adequately high-temperature resistant.

Using separate polymers for the process of wave soldering as well as the process of SMT soldering with this same design for that insulating body seems barely worthwhile for smaller makers of sockets and connectors. Therefore, regardless of your soldering procedure, it is advised to always utilize a plastic that can resist high temperature for all the identical designs.

Additionally, only advanced plastics like those from LCP group (polymers that are liquid and crystalline) could be employed for components with exceptionally thin walls. However, for this, the appropriate molding tools must be used, which necessitate that they be properly matched, entirely form-fitting, as well as created with great precision owing to its thin-bodied plastic.

Also, both tool technology as well as machine technology must respect the molds’ temperature management, which is above 130°C. This implies that even with an extremely long path for the flow, even the thinnest wall thicknesses could be reliably filled. This is made possible by its molecular structure, which consists of rod-shaped, rigid, macromolecules that line up parallel to one another within the melts.

Conclusion

Individual lead sockets called PCB Sockets are generally used to plug and unplug components on computer boards. Mill-Max type of PCB sockets are created by pressing a multi-finger pre-tooled contact into the precisely machined shell. These sockets are ideal for applications that are exposed to significant vibration and stress. These receptacles come in a variety of sizes and forms and may accommodate rectangular and square component leads as well as round pins with a diameter of .008″ to about .102″. Every form of design for the PCB Socket has advantages of its own, therefore this article did well to offer some evaluations to assist you in making the best decision for your requirements.