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6 Types of PCB boards |Single Layer vs Multilayer Printed Circuit Boards

types of pcbs

How PCB Boards are One of the Modernist Wonders in Modern Electronic Industry?

Nowadays, different types of PCBs are one of the modernist wonders in the latest electronics production. They are present in almost all devices ranges from

In fact, PCB boards are one of the most convenient electronic boards to use in modern electronic gadgets but most of us even don’t know about their popular types and components.

So, we have decided to reveal to you all about what you don’t know.

Come with us to explore the new world of modern technology- the world of printed circuit boards.

So, continue reading to know more!

What are Printed Circuit Boards?

Basically, electronic engineers use a PCB or printed circuit board to electrically connect and mechanically support electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks, or signal traces.

Further, all these components, tracks, or signal traces are etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. In fact, in a PCB board, all the electronic components are mounted on the board as well as the traces connect the components together in order to form a working circuit or assembly.

According to the different functionality of simple to complex devices, there are several types of printed circuit boards. Furthermore, these boards are highly advantageous because they are ideally inexpensive to mass productions.

What are the Applications of PCB Boards?

Today modern-day technology is totally depending on PCB boards. Moreover, these boards have become essential to our daily routines as they are used in almost everything electronic or electrical.  

Here we have tried to provide you the list of most common uses of PCB boards in modern electronic gadgets. These are:

  • Consumer electronics
  • Industrial applications
  • All latest automotive applications
  • Medical Devices and many more.

How Many Types of Printed Circuit Boards are there?

In fact, PCB manufacturers classify PCB boards on the basis of their total number of layers, frequency as well as substrate that they use in fabricating different types of PCB boards.  

Let’s have a look at the 3 basic kinds of PCBs!

What are the 3 Main Types of the Printed Circuit Boards?

Basically, there are 3 basic ways that boards manufacturers use for the construction of the PCB boards. These are:

  1. Single-sided
  2. Double-sided
  3. Multilayer

What are the 6 Types of Printed Circuit Boards?

In fact, including the above three basic kinds of PCB boards, there are 6 different kinds of PCBs. Moreover, they are also different because of their different characteristics. They are not only different in designs but there are also some other major differences.

Let’s get started to know in detail about each specific type!

  • Single-Sided PCBs
  • Double-Sided PCBs
  • Multilayer PCBs
  • Rigid PCBs
  • Flex PCBs
  • Rigid-Flex PCBs
  • High-Frequency PCBs
  • Aluminum Backed PCBs.

Single-Sided PCB Boards:

Generally, single-sided boards include only one layer of base material or substrate. Moreover, in single-sided board, one side of the base material is laminated using metal.

The PCB manufacturers use metal to build an electrical connection between the components that are soldered on the board. For making a conducting path, they specially use the metal of copper as it acts like a good conductor as well as is ideally low resistant.

These are one of the simplest types of PCB boards and are an ideal choice for the beginners. Moreover, they are highly used in simple electronics that don’t involve any complex circuitry.

In single-sided boards, manufacturers use solder mask on the top of the copper layer. Hence, they provide a solid protection.

Single PCB

                                                                                                                           Single sided PCB

Applications of Single-sided Boards:

Actually, these boards are easily available as well as are extremely low in cost so they are a perfect choice for mass production.

they are also very easy to fabricate. Hence, electronic engineers use them in various applications such as;

  • Stereo components,
  • Calculators,
  • Cameras,
  • Power supplies
  • Printers and many more.

Double-sided PCB Boards:

Basically, these boards are greatly common as they have high usage properties. Furthermore, in double-sided boards, both the bases have a metal layer as well as the parts connect to both sides.

In these types of PCB boards, PCB manufacturers can easily spread all the electronic components on the whole board. They have special drilled holes that are helpful to connect circuits on one side of the board to the other side of the board.

In addition, on these types of PCB boards, manufacturers can use 2 different technologies like,

Double sided PCB

                                                                                                                               Double sided PCB

  1. Surface Mount Technology (SMT)
  2. Through-Hole Technology (THT).

The holes that are present on the double-sided boards are actually able to make things much easier.

Applications of Bouble-sided PCB Boards:

These boards have actually a moderate level of complexity, lightweight as well as can do more work at a time. So, they are ideal to use in

  • Automotive dashboard,
  • LED lighting,
  • Vending machines,
  • Amplifiers,
  • HVAC system, instrumentation, and so on.

Multilayer PCBs:

Basically, multilayer PCB boards are more complicated in comparison to double-sided boards. Moreover, they are the compound of both single-sided and double-sided PCB boards. They have more layers of the substrate than double-sided boards as well as use latest technology.

You will also observe that in these boards, insulating materials are used on every layer. There is a piece of insulation present in each layer that prevents all the components from burning in the case of excessive heat.

The major benefit of these boards is that they can save more space and you can add several numbers layers that you want to add. Additionally, they are extra technical and help to make complex and thick designs which help in completing more complex electrical tasks.

Multilayer PCB

                                                                                                                           Multilayer PCB

Applications of Multilayer PCB Boards:

Today electronic engineers are most widely using these types of PCB boards in several complex applications such as

  • GPS technology,
  • Satellite system,  
  • File servers
  • Data storage,  
  • Weather analysis systems.

Rigid PCBs:

Most electronic engineers use rigid boards for those applications that can’t be bent because their base material has fabricated from a solid material. Moreover, they are compact and hence make sure that they can create a variety of complex circuitry around them.

They are very easy to maintain and repair. Furthermore, they have designed using inflexible, solid as well as strong substrate material. So, all these features help them to ideally use compact devices.

Applications of Rigid PCB boards:

The perfect example of rigid PCBs is the computer motherboard as it has composed of the rigid substrate material. Furthermore, the motherboard is actually a multilayer PCB. It is specially created in order to distribute electricity from the power supply.

So, it helps in creating a conducting path between different parts of the computer such as

  • CPU
  • RAM
  • And GPU.

Flexible PCBs:

These are flexible types of PCB boards and you can easily transform or flex them into any shape according to your needs and requirements.

These boards use the materials of polyester, polymide or PEEK to ideally compose. Moreover, they can also save more space and are lightweight. These boards are ideal for those applications which need high signal trace density.

Flexible pcb

                                                                                                                              Flexible PCB

Applications of Flexible PCB Boards:

The electronic designers are increasingly using these boards in

  • Flex solar cells,
  • LCD fabrication,
  • Smartphones,
  • Automotive industries
  • Laptops,
  • Camera, LEDs, and many, many more.

Rigid-Flex PCBs:

These boards are extremely helpful to use when electronic designers need a number of flexible PCBs with a range of rigid layers.

These special types of PCB boards not only provide flexibility but also offer great strength throughout the PCB surface. Moreover, they also comprise multiple layers of flexible circuits attached to more than one rigid board.

Rigid flexible pcb

                                                                                                                          Rigid flexible PCB

Applications of Rigid-Flex PCBs:

They require less space as well as have minimum weight so these features make them an ideal choice for most of the applications. For example;

  • Pacemakers
  • Automobiles
  • Smartphones and digital cameras.

High-Frequency PCBs:

These kinds of boards are actually different in materials selection and construction as well. PCB manufacturers generally use materials like Teflon, polyphenylene oxide, and glass-reinforced epoxy laminate to fabricate these PCBs.

In fact, they are ideally useful to use in the frequency range of 500MHz – 2GHz.

For creating High-Frequency PCBs, selecting the perfect material is very important. You should always consider that the material always should be resistant to hazardous chemicals and heat. Moreover, it should provide extreme durability and great strength to the surface of the PCB board.

High Frequency Pcb

                                                                                                                      High Frequency PCB

Applications of High-Frequency PCBs:

These perfect types of PCB boards are extremely beneficial to use in the following application such as;

  • Global Positioning Satellite Antennas
  • Automotive Radar Systems
  • Cellular Telecommunications Systems
  • Power Amplifiers and Antennas, etc.

Aluminum Backed PCBs:

These ideal PCB boards are increasing used in high-power applications because aluminum construction helps in heat dissipation.

Moreover, Aluminum boards can also provide a high level of rigidity and a low level of thermal expansion. So, these good features make them perfect to use for those applications that have high mechanical tolerance.

Aluminum pcb

                                                                                                                             Aluminum PCB

Applications of Aluminum Backed PCBs:

These PCB boards are used in LEDs and power supplies because they offer a low level of thermal expansion and a high level of rigidity. So, these special characteristics make them perfect to use in applications that require high mechanical tolerance.

The LED industry is not even possible without aluminum PCB boards. Further, aluminum PCB boards are extremely friendly to the environment as well as better heat transfer. Hence, all these good qualities are needed in the LED industry.

All and all, all the above beneficial types of PCB boards are special and are useful according to the different types of needs of electronic gadgets.

Printed Circuit Boards without Metallized Holes

Printed circuit boards without metallized holes are simple in design and cheap to manufacture, however, boards with metallized holes are more reliable in operation, since better contact of the hinged IC and ERE with the board conductors is ensured. Double-sided printed circuit boards on a metal base with an electrically insulating coating applied to it are used when good heat dissipation is needed, i.e. when using high-power mounted ERE.

Single Sided Printed Circuit Boards

These boards are used exclusively for one-sided mounting of elements into plain (non-plated) holes. Installation of elements on the surface is usually practiced in amateur or model designs. All electrical wiring is done on one layer. 

It is generally accepted to consider the first (top) layer the one on which the elements are located. In case of two-sided arrangement of elements, the upper layer is taken as the layer on which the connector or other external switching devices (mounting elements, blocks, boards, etc.) are located.

Single-sided printed circuit boards use jumper wires (usually copper, tinned, single-core) wire to route intersecting circuits. They are structural elements, therefore they are shown in the drawings, recorded in the specifications, etc. The range of jumpers should be kept to a minimum.

Single-sided Printed Circuit Boards Provide the Highest Accuracy

Single-sided printed circuit boards provide the highest accuracy in making the conductive pattern and aligning it with the holes, and at the same time is the cheapest class of printed circuit boards. The reliability of the printed circuit board and the mechanical strength of the fastening of the elements are also not high. 

To avoid delamination of the printed conductors, all elements should be mounted without gaps between the element body and the printed circuit board.

 To increase the strength of the fastening of the elements, it is possible to manufacture single-sided printed circuit boards with hole metallization, but the cost of printed circuit boards will be comparable to double-sided ones. It is this manufacturing method that is used in our production.

Single-sided printed circuit boards, due to their low cost, are used mainly in household equipment.

Double-sided Printed Circuit Boards

There are two types of double-sided PP (DPP): without metallization and with metallization of through holes. Plates without metallization correspond in many respects to single-sided boards. But due to the presence of one more layer (in this case, the first), the tracing ability of the PCB increases and, to a certain extent, the density of the arrangement of elements. 

A serious problem of such boards is the provision of electrical transitions between layers, for which rivets, wire jumpers or soldering of the element leads from both sides of the PCB are used. All this greatly complicates the installation and, in general, increases the cost of the device. Boards of this type are usually used in hobbyists and prototypes.

Plates with vias metallization

Plates with vias metallization have a high routing ability, provide a high density of elements mounting and good mechanical strength of their fastening. These PCBs allow surface mounting of elements and are the most common in the production of electronic devices.

Multilayer Printed Circuit Boards 

Multilayer printed circuit boards consist of pressed layers, insulated from each other with an insulating base, such as glass cloth impregnated with epoxy resin. They are divided into two groups: with interlayer joints, when the connection of layers is carried out by volumetric parts (pins, rivets, bridges, etc.) or using chemical-galvanic metallization; without interlayer connections. The board can have vias and vias to provide electrical communication between layers.

The Manufacturing Accuracy of Printed Circuit Boards

The manufacturing accuracy of printed circuit boards depends on a set of technological characteristics and, from a practical point of view, determines the main parameters of the printed circuit board elements. First of all, this refers to the minimum width of the conductors, the minimum gap between the elements of the conductive pattern (all of this is made of copper) and to a number of other parameters.

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