Types of Printed Circuit Boards
Take any electronic device – it doesn’t matter if it’s a computer, mobile phone or even a complicated toy – open it up, and inside you are bound to come across a PCB (printed circuit board). At the first glance, all of them might look the same, but they hardly ever are. It might surprise you to know that there are probably as many types of printed circuit boards as the electronic devices they are used in.
Continue on to read more about types of PCBs and what makes them different from each other.
1. Rigid Single Side PCBs
Rigid single sided PCBs are the least complex, which is why they are the cheapest printed circuit boards available today. Devices that require low level complexity make use of them. Rigid single sided printed circuit boards are considerably simple and easy to manufacture as they only have a single layer of copper on a rigid base material. In the manufacturing process, a little later on, idents and solder resists could be added. Mainly it depends on the requirement of the application. The rigid single sided PCBs can used with both through hole and surface mount components.
2. Flexible Single Sided PCBs
Flexible single sided PCBs are very similar to rigid single sided PCBs, and like their rigid counterpart, the single sided flexible PCBs are least complex and cheapest to manufacture. This type of PCB consists of a solitary conductor layer on top of a flexible dielectric film. You have the option of a semi flexible LPI (Liquid Photo Imagable) solder resist or a coverlay with flexible single sided PCBs. Additional stiffeners are used to make some part of the PCB a little rigid.
3. Rigid Double Sided PCBs
The rigid double sided PCBs are the most commonly used type of PCBs and that is because both sides of the PCB are used to attach components and parts. Rigid double sided PCBs consist of two copper layers on a rigid base material. However, both sides of copper layers are not connected. Platted through holes of the double sided printed circuit boards have two copper layers. The idents and solder resists could be added afterwards. Rigid double sided PCBs can be used with both through hole and surface mount components.
4. Flexible Double Sided PCBs
Flexible double sided flexible circuits are made with two copper layers and both layers consist of a dielectric layer between them. Flexible double sided PCBs give you the option of a semi flexible LPI (Liquid Photo Imagable) solder resist or a coverlay. However, it is usually connected with plated through holes. Some part of this PCB can also be made more rigid with the use of additional stiffeners much like their rigid counterpart.
5. Rigid Multi Layer PCBs
Rigid multi layer printed circuit boards have more than three copper layers that are usually separated by insulation. The rigid multi layered printed circuit boards are made by layering double sided printed circuit boards (also referred to as inner layers) together. They are then secured them through the bonding process that needs specialized glue. This is done until the needed number is achieved and the board is completed. Generally, the multi layered printed circuit boards are made up of 4, 6, 8 or even 10 layers. As of now the maximum number of layers that have been made for a multilayered PCB is 50. However, there are many prerequisites for the manufacturing of these boards and they are only made for incredibly complex devices.
6. Flexible Multi Layer PCBs
Flexible multilayer flexible printed circuit boards are composed of three or more copper layers. Copper layers in Flexible multilayer PCBs have dielectric layer in between them. They are generally connected through plated through holes. You retain the option of semi flexible LPI (Liquid Photo Imagable) solder resist or a coverlay much like their rigid counterparts and similarly, some parts of it can be made more rigid with stiffeners.
7. Rigid-Flex PCBs
The rigid-flex printed circuit boards are made by permanently combining part of flexible and rigid board together. These types of printed circuit boards are used for limited space conditions.
Now that you which type of printed circuit board would suit your needs best, you can go ahead and contact us for the best quick turn PCB assembly and PCB manufacturing services. You can also get an instant quote with us!