PCB or the Printed Circuit Board is a surface that offers support and connects all electronic components using features like pads or conductive tracks. The board has copper where the different features are etched and non-conductive substrate layers that hold the copper. Various types of PCB exist, each with different layers for use in a variety of applications. The Altium Gerber viewer tool is convenient for viewing and ensuring all layers are produced correctly. You can also have PCB customized according to your needs to provide electricity. In this article, we dive into the common types of PCB.
Common Types of PCB
The different forms of PCB’s available for a circuit include;
1. Single Layer PCB
This type is also referred to as single-sided PCB. It is the most popular kind among most users since its design and manufacturing process is easy. The PCB consists of three materials, i.e., copper, solder mask, and silkscreen. The copper has good conducting properties, making it ideal for current flow. The solder mask layer protects the PCB from oxidation, and the silkscreen is used as a surface for component marking. Only the copper side is used for connecting electrical components such as an inductor. Manufacturers use this type of PCB to produce items in bulk and at a low cost, e.g., printers and radios.
2. Double Layer PCB
Also known as double-sided PCB, it has layers of materials similar to the single-layer PCB on both the top and bottom parts. Next to the PCB board, on both sides, is a conductive material like copper. The solder mask then follows it, and then the silkscreen comes next. The layers are connected electrically via a hole on the PCB surface. The benefits of this PCB type include increased flexibility than the single-layer type, comes at a low cost, and is small in size resulting in a compacted circuit.
3. Multi-Layer PCB
This PCB form has more layers than the double-layered PCB. The conductive, insulating, and any other layer needed are more than two. The PCB board is secured using glue located between the insulation layers, preventing any damage to the circuit. Unlike the single-layered PCB, its design process is intricate and is ideal for large and complex tasks. It is used in applications like medicine, GPS technology, storing of data, and many more.
4. Rigid PCB
It cannot bend or twist hence its name. It is made from solid materials and consists of several layers depending on its area of application. The PCB is placed on a base during installation but does not take its shape. It is durable since it can hardly break and is mostly used in computer parts like CPU and RAM.
5. Flexible PCB
It is made of flexible materials like polyester or polyamide. It comes in different forms with a varying number of layers. During installation, bending and twisting are possible and takes the shape of its base. It is used in applications like automotive and electronics.
6. Flex Rigid PCB
It consists of layers of flexible PCB and rigid PCB attached, forming a single board. This is common in automobiles and devices like phones and cameras.
There are several types of PCBs to choose from based on your area of application. They share some qualities and distinct differences, such as the number of layers where those with more are used in complex tasks.