The Blank PCB is the major component that powers all our electrical devices. It is arguably an essential part of human technology, as nothing can function without the use of a PCB. Over the years, technological advancements have brought about significant progress in the design and manufacturing of Blank PCB. This article will address the five most pressing questions that you have about the Blank PCB.
1、How Thick Is The Copper On The Blank PCB Board?
The Blank PCB is the most crucial component of an electronic device; because it determines the amount of power that such a device can handle or produce. The blank PCB can handle specific power levels according to the thickness of the copper used in its production. Many producers that deal in the manufacturing of high-power consumption electronics take advantage of copper thickness in optimizing their products.
The generally accepted unit of measurement for copper thickness on the blank PCB board is in ounces(oz). It's calculated as the resulting thickness of 1oz of copper pressed flat and spread evenly over 1 square foot. 1 oz of copper thickness equals 1.37 ml (1.37 thousandths of an inch)
i.e. 1 oz = 1.37 ml (0.00137 Inch)
However, not everyone uses 'ml’ as the unit for conversion.
Commercially available blank PCB boards are mainly manufactured with 1 oz of copper thickness. However, if you think that your design requires more power than a 1oz copper thickness can carry, you should consider increasing the copper thickness of your Blank PCB board. The industry standard for blank PCB copper thickness ranges from 1oz – 15oz. The thicker the copper used, the more power the Blank PCB can use. For accurate calculation of your PCB board's required thickness, this circuit calculator will give you perfect results.
Uses Of Thick Copper On Blank PCB Board
• Power distribution panels
• Monitoring systems
• Battery charger systems
• Power supply for radio systems
• Primary/secondary windings of high-power planar transformers
• Weapons control systems
Benefits Of Using Thick (Heavy) Copper Circuit In A Blank PCB Board
• Increased carrying capacity for current
• Increased endurance to thermal strain
• Maximum potential is achievable when using exotic materials without risk of circuit failure
• Increase mechanical strength at connector sites
• Reduction in the size of finished products by incorporating multiple copper weights on the same circuitry layer
• The heavy copper thickness helps to transfer heat through the board to an external heatsink effectively
2、How To Create A Blank PCB Board In Eagle?
Designing a Blank PCB board can be a rather tedious job as it requires adequate technical knowledge and expertise to get it right. If you plan on using your PCB board for commercial purposes, it becomes even more critical to get the specs right.
The process of correctly designing a Blank PCB board is a lot simpler than most people believe. With the right tools and basic knowledge, you can effectively create a functional blank PCB board that will meet your electrical requirements. Using a CAD tool will make the design of your Blank PCB board easily achievable. We will review the powerful Autodesk tool “EAGLE” used for designing printed circuit boards.
• To access Eagle's outstanding design features, you need to download and install the software on your computer system. After installation, you can open the software from the desktop shortcut. It will give you access to Eagle’s 'control panel’ where you control all the relevant processes for designing your Blank PCB board.
• Click the file from Eagle's 'control panel’ and select New Project. Rename your project with a name that’s appropriate for what you plan to design. Next, right-click on your new project and select New Schematic.
Designing Your Blank PCB Board Schematic
• Opening a New Schematic window will open a Blank workspace to draw the schematics for your PCB design. It is called the Schematic Editor, and saves the file with the extension '.sch.'
• Before adding the necessary components to use in your PCB schematic, do not forget to set the grid size to 1 mm. Also, set the alternating grid to a smaller value. It helps to ensure precision in the designing of your Blank PCB board.
• To add components to your schematic, select Add Option from the side toolbar. The window presents you with a list of all the components available in the design software library.
Connecting Components In The Schematic Editor
• The next step in creating the Blank PCB board in Eagle is to connect all selected components. You do this by selecting the Net option from the side toolbar.
• After making all necessary connections, the circuit should look like the image below. Make sure to save the schematic file so that you do not lose your work.
• Select the components that you desire and click, OK. You can proceed to place the components on the Schematic Sheet. Clicking on the sheets once allows you to set the components on the spot, while right-clicking lets you rotate the components as desired. After you're done placing the components, press ESC to return to the component selection window.
• Go ahead and add all the components required to complete the circuit. After compiling all the necessary components on the Schematic Editor, make sure to rename the file to something easily understandable.
Blank PCB Board Layout Design
• Upon completing all necessary connections in the Schematic Editor, proceed with the PCB layout design. Selecting the Switch to Board option from the top toolbar lets you create the schematic board file.
• A new window will appear with a black space dominating most of the screen and a greyed-out area on the left. This screen is the PCB Layout Editor. The black space is the Board Area, while the components fit temporarily on the grey portion.
• Move the components from the grey portion to the Blackboard and position it as desired.
• Use the Route tool to make connections (Traces) from pin to pin. Complete all connections and ensure that the traces do not interact with each other (short circuit).
• After completing all the required connections, check for errors to ensure that everything is as it should be. You can then go ahead to save the board.
• The board file saves as a .brd extension. Your computer-generated PCB board is ready to be sent to the manufacturer's production.
The steps above are the basic skills needed to create a Blank PCB board using the Eagle software. It allows you to detail the specific requirements for your PCB board according to the electronic needs.
3、How To Use Blank PCB Board
A blank PCB board is essentially the foundation for all the components that will make up a functional printed circuit for an electronic device. It serves as a blank slate for placing essential components. A Blank PCB board is useless without the necessary components to make it fulfill its primary purpose. Batteries, resistors, transistors, capacitors, and LEDs are components that go onto a blank PCB board.
The process of adding components to a Blank PCB board is known as Mounting Technology. There are essentially two mounting technologies when adding components to PCB in use today. They are:
Surface Mount Technology (SMT)
Surface mount technology is an electronic assembly method in which electronic components mounted on a blank PCB board's surface. SMT eliminates the need for drilling holes on a PCB board. It is a mounting technique that efficiently uses space; therefore, it significantly reduces manufacturing costs.
SMT has enabled engineers to build highly complex electronic circuits with minimum footprints. A high level of complexity is achievable with devices that are vastly smaller than their intended purposes. SMT is arguably the most common form of mounting technology in the industry today. Engineers, designers, and manufacturers favor SMT for their printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) processes.
Image 1:Blank PCB Board
• Allows for higher component density (i.e., more components fit into a relatively small area)
• Components can be placed on both sides of the blank PCB board
• Performance is not affected by conditions such as shaking and vibrations
• Production costs are much lower
• Circuit production is fast, consistent, and saves time for the manufacturer
• Less drilling; as drilling takes up a considerable amount of time
• It is the best option when there is a limited amount of space available for mounting components
• It is highly susceptible to damage from harsh thermal conditions
• It is unsuitable for high-power, high-voltage, and large components.
• It is complicated to manually repair boards using surface mount technology; due to the components' small size.
• It can be unsuitable for components that frequently require connecting and disconnecting.
Through-hole technology (THT) is the other type of mounting technology used in PCB boards' production. It involves drilling holes in the blank PCB board through which engineers insert leads for placing the components on the board. The leads soldered to pads on the other side of the board.
THT carries a distinct advantage over SMT because it is more durable and functions excellently under extreme conditions. While SMT is unable to handle high voltage and thermal conditions, THT performs perfectly. This unique feature makes it a preferred choice for high-power uses and military applications.
Image 2: Blank PCB Board
• THT is the ideal choice for larger circuits that will undergo high power, voltage, and mechanical stress
• It is more reliable when compared to SMT because of the components bond to the blank PCB board strongly
• PCB boards using THT technology are more straightforward to prototype
• It is perfect for systems that require a high heat tolerance
• It is the preferred choice for circuits that have military and aerospace applications
• Cost of production can be high due to the need for drilling holes in the plank PCB board
• The assembly process tends to be more complicated than SMT technologies
• The speed of production is usually slower
• Board size is hard to minimize due to the need to drill multiple holes through the board for components
These two mounting technologies are the pillars that drive the PCB manufacturing industry. It’s time to look into how the components are attached to the blank PCB board itself.
4、How To Connect Components To A Blank PCB Board
Although connecting components to a PCB board is called mounting technology, the process itself is called soldering. On the flip side, the process of detaching components from a PCB board is called Desoldering. Let's look at these terms in more detail.
Soldering is when two or more items are joined together by melting a filler material (solder) between them. Unlike welding, which involves melting the joint pieces, Soldering is a preferable option since the electrical parts won't get destroyed in the joining process.
The solder material is usually a metal alloy with a much lower melting point than the components bonded together. For electrical purposes, it is preferable to use a solder material with high electrical conductivity. A soldering iron is a primary tool to be used for the process. There are complex machines that ensure a high quality of solder connections in electronic circuits for industrial production purposes.
Image 3: Blank PCB Board
Put, it is the opposite of Soldering. Desoldering is the process of removing solder connections, the solder material, and components from a circuit board for repair, replacement, and salvage.
Image 4: Blank PCB Board
The main instrument used for the process is the desoldering pump. Some additional materials used in the process include heat guns, solder wick, heated soldering tweezers, removal alloys, and removal fluxes.
We have just about covered all the important questions that you might have about manufacturing Blank PCB boards. However, we have one more for you, and we promise that it is the best of them all. Let's take a look together.
Image 5:Blank PCB Board
5、Where To Buy A Blank PCB Board
Manufacturing a Blank PCB board from start to finish can be a tedious task requiring a lot of time and resources. Designing your Blank PCB board is achievable; if you have basic knowledge on PCB design. However, the process of manufacturing your PCB board according to specifications is a job better left to the professionals.
To ease your worries and make the buying process completely hassle-free, we have compiled your expert knowledge on how to go about it. Also, we talked to industry experts and got you insider-knowledge and tips on best practices for getting high-quality blank PCB boards.
How To Find A Reliable Supplier
The Blank PCB manufacturing industry is full of numerous suppliers offering various combinations of PCB manufacturing services. However, many of these end up delivering Blank PCB boards of low-quality and poor specification compliance. To avoid the stress of buying faulty Blank PCB boards, you should look out for the following:
Company Brand And Experience
For the company you want to buy, you must thoroughly check it. Merely using search engines should be enough to give you adequate information about the company's background, experience, and past reviews.
After completing all checks, you should select a PCB manufacturing company that has a record of delivering high-quality products to their clients. At OurPCB, we have supplied our customers with top-quality blank PCB boards for a very long time. Our processes ensure that we manufacture according to your specifications and give you only the very best in premium blank PCB boards.
It is crucial to ensure that your blank PCB board provider can meet your specific requirements using relevant technology and equipment. It will be disastrous to buy from a supplier with a low technological capacity to meet your Blank PCB board specifications.
It is also worthwhile to check if the company would be outsourcing any of the manufacturing processes. If outsourcing is involved, the company should also be scrutinized to ensure that they meet up to the requirements.
Image 6: Blank PCB Board
Cost And Quote Reference
The amount charged as manufacturing costs is crucial to your decision in choosing a reliable blank PCB supplier. A ridiculously low quote should be a red flag for low-quality production standards. However, an abnormally large quote would be ridiculous if it doesn't correspond with the customer's design specification.
Ideally, the production cost should reflect the service requested, order-size, materials to be used, and the level of technology involved. OurPCB offers one of the most competitive rates in the industry today. Additionally, we provide our customers with generous discounts that ensure that you get quality products at the specifications you desire. Contact us today for quotes on your Blank PCB board needs.
Excellent after-sales services
The real quality of a top-class blank PCB manufacturing company lies in their after-sales service and customer support. The reliable supplier should have procedures in place for assisting its customers with troubleshooting the delivered products. The customer service team should be well equipped to handle whatever queries the customer might have.
At OurPCB, our service to you does not stop when we deliver your product. We go a step further to help you ensure that you get the best out of your Blank PCB boards. Our customer service team is always on hand to attend to whatever problems you might encounter.
Expert Tips To Consider When Buying
We interviewed industry experts to get their take on the best practices to ensure that you get high-quality blank PCB boards when buying. Here are some of the things they have to say:
• To get the best service and value for your money, make sure you only buy from reputable blank PCB board suppliers with a history of high-quality deliveries
• Make sure to check if the supplier has a good working relationship with the best component distributor companies in your area
• Ensure that all components and materials to be used are of the highest quality
• Make sure that your supplier has the required equipment to deliver high-quality blank PCBA products according to your requirements
• Make sure to check whether the PCB manufacturing companies by the corresponding iso9001, RoHS, and UL standards.
• Avoid using a one-size-fits-all provider. Instead, it would be best to choose a blank PCB supplier that will cater to your specific needs and circuit requirements.
Where To Get Quality Blank PCB Board
For all your high-quality blank PCB board needs, look no further than OurPCB. We specialize in delivering quality PCB boards that adhere to the strictest industry standards and compliance tests.
Our pricing system is designed to accommodate your design needs and budget — our after-sales service and customer support team equipped with the latest technology to ensure perfect service. Our experts will give you a quote that reflects your exact blank PCB design requirements and electrical specifications.
A blank PCB board serves as the template for all electrical and electronic device manufacturing. Without a PCB board, no electrical appliance would work ever. It goes to show that a Blank PCB board rules all; as far as electronics are concerned.
Getting your Blank PCB board manufactured should not be a hectic exercise, and we agree too. Hopefully, the questions addressed above would help to make your PCB manufacturing journey a whole lot easier. If you think we missed out on more important questions or have a personal question of your own, please leave a message in the comment section. We will reach out to you and handle all your PCB worries as we are known to do.
If you would like our professional opinion on your PCB design and how best to optimize it, leave a comment, and our experts will be in touch. Want your PCB board manufactured by the industry professionals? Get in touch with us today!