There is no escape from the word printed circuit boards (PCB’s) when it comes to repairing electronic appliances – well, most of the time. So if you’re looking to have your own Printed Circuit Board designed, or want to know where PCBs are usually found, then here’s some information that’ll be useful to know.
Here’s a quick answer, then if you need one you can simply give us a call here at RayPCB. Otherwise, we’ll dive into some further information below.
Where are PCB's Found? PCB’s are found in almost every electronic appliances. They come in green red, blue or black. The computer motherboard is a perfect example of a PCB. They’re found in daily electrical appliances such as printers, digital clocks, TVs, microwave ovens and even in some simple items like light switches.
Our society runs on PCB’s, homes and businesses now can’t function smoothly without an array of reliable PCBs. In fact, a business building will typically house more PCB’s than the number of employees in it. So let’s find out what exactly PCB’s are and provide some more insight.
What Are PCB’s
Printed Circuit Boards (PCB's) are convenient thin boards used for housing interconnecting electrical components in a simple, convenient and economical way. They’re used as physical support for mounting and wiring different electrical components.
PCB’s are made using fibreglass, composite epoxy or any other composite material, along with a metal-coated surface. They have etches made using metal with acid to create pathways for electricity to travel through different integrated circuits (IC’s) and other components on the board. Solder attaches IC’s and other components to the surface of the board. The copper tracks in the board reduce the chances of short circuits, misaligning or misplacing wires.
This way all the components are strongly fixed to the board, removing the need for complex wiring systems and unnecessary expense. This also simplifies maintaining PCB's depending on your needs - without the trouble of handling numerous wires.
However, not all electrical applications use standard PCB’s. In fact, they differ based on the size, shape, and functions of the electronic device. For example, the type of PCB used in a smartwatch is different from that which are used in TVs.
So now let’s find out what different products are PCB’s found in.
What Products PCB’s Are Found In
PCB’s are found in almost every electronic device in some form or another. Below I’ve shared a few common types of equipment where you can find PCB’s.
- Consumer Electronics - This includes all the electronic items we use in our day to lives. From Audio and Video Systems, TV, Video and DVD players, Digital Cameras, Computers and Laptops, Mobile phones and GPS to Home and Kitchen appliances. This equipment very often uses standard PCB's that are fairly standard and similar to each other.
- Medical Devices– High-density PCB’s are found in medical devices. They support the test of new and advanced medical technologies with denser designs. This also reduces the complications in creating small-sized and lightweight medical equipment. PCB’s are found in all sized medical equipment, from small pacemakers to large X-ray and CAT machines.
- Industrial Machinery– PCB’s are commonly found in high-powered industrial machinery. Thick copper PCB’S are usually found in industrial machinery to better fit heavy requirements. For example, industrial machines such as motor controllers, industrial load testers and high-current battery charges are where thick copper PCB’s can be found.
- LED Applications- LED lights are another common equipment where PCBs are found, a more modern form of technology but still largely based on PCBs, and which is famous for more efficient electricity consumption. LED lights have PCB’S that perform as heat sinks allowing a high level of heat transfer than normal PCB’s. Even some other basic lighting solutions use these aluminum-backed PCB’s for high-level heat transfers.
- Automotive and Aerospacerelated devices – PCB’s designed to withstand high vibrating environments are found in automotive and aerospace industry related devices. The vibrating nature in these industries is supported by flexible PCB’s. They can be very flexible in a way that can fit into very tight spaces designed within appliances. The PCB’s in these appliances can also be very lightweight and durable, which is essential when manufacturing parts for transporting, and in high impact, low weight requirement industries.
I hope this has helped you to understand more about where to find PCBs. Essentially they’re found everywhere and all around us in our daily lives. So let’s find out what it actually does.
What Kind of Function PCB’s Carry Out
The main function of a PCB is to house, and facilitate the smooth flow of electricity between required connected components, these components are built into the PCB. However, for a better understanding, below are few other different operations PCB's do.
- Resisting- Controlling the electricity flow is important in most electric appliances to avoid burnout. For this purpose, PCB’s have resistors that resist the value of electricity flowing according to their value.
- Allocating - As mentioned above, PCB’s can be assembled easily. For this purpose, PCB’s have pads that are empty. These pads allocate space to easily solder any other electrical components when there is a need to.
- Assembling– Yet again for easy assembling, PCB’s have letterings called “silk screening”. These help to identify what exactly a part is and the location for it through the letters.
- Storing– For storing power PCB’s can house capacitors. These help to hold the charge and release them whenever electricity is needed for functioning.
- Signallingthrough lights – PCB’s have small bulbs like diodes, that light up as a sign to show electricity running through.
- Switchesfor controlling – PCB’s house switches to control the excessive flow of electricity between different components. These also help in regulating the heat from affecting the layers of the board.
Adding to these well-designed operations, PCB’s are also manufactured to better fit and suit any equipment. Let’s find out how!
How PCB’s Are Moulded to Fit the Type of Equipment
The overall popularity of PCB’s is because of its convenience in almost any product. So below are a few types of PCB’s that will show you how you can shape PCB’s to better suit any equipment they’re designed for.
These PCB’s are those made out of fabricated and solid materials which are resistant to being bent or twisted. These are very complex and strong and have firm circuitry around them.
They’re easy to handle when repairing and maintaining as they’re strong and can withstand robust handling. Also, the components marked in this board are usually clearer, with well-organized signal paths.
As the word says these PCB’s are very flexible and are made using an equally flexible material. Flexible PCB’s can be single-sided, double-sided and multilayered. This design helps to easily assemble parts in small or fragile equipment. The flexibility also helps to save a lot of space along with being lightweight in appliances. These PCB’s are most suitable for temperature sensitive working conditions or industries and related equipment.
These boards are a combination of rigid and flexible PCB’s. These type of PCB's use multilayered flexible circuits attached to two or more rigid boards. These are also lightweight, compact to save space and are most suited for medical and military applications.
These PCB’s are used in appliances within the frequency range of 500MHz – 2GHz. Mostly frequency sensitive applications like microwaves and communication systems use High-Frequency PCB’S.
Aluminium Backed PCB’s
These PCB’s have aluminum support for regulating heat along with high rigidity and low thermal expansion. They’re often used in high power consuming electric appliances such as LED and power supplies.
PCB’s have changed and simplified the use of many electric appliances. From a desktop computer to high-end medical equipment, PCB’s are now simply everywhere.
This method of easily interconnecting electrical components on a thin, robust but optimized board have made many appliances smaller, more powerful, more convenient and cheaper. Its perfect combination of materials and designs have made it ideal for almost any consumer or industrial appliances.
Effective and efficient PCB operations are backed up by some amazing inbuilt components such as Resistors, Pads, Capacitors, Lights, and Switches, and many more, controlling all manner of complex systems.
Alongside this, PCB’s of different types can be shaped to better suit any requirements of the equipment. PCB’s of different types such as rigid, flexible, rigid-flex, high frequency and aluminum backed have their own speciality in shaping itself to suit different equipment.
As a premium manufacturer and assembler of all these types of PCBs and components, we’re best placed to help anyone with designing, optimizing their PCB needs. Why not give us a call and work with one of our support team who can help you develop and refine a PCB perfect for your needs.