There are many types of Printed Circuit Boards depending on how general or specific they are used. Some of the more widely used types of PCBs are single-sided, double-sided, multilayer, and flexible. When the first ever printed circuit board was designed and patented in 1902, German Engineer Albert Hansen came up with the idea to resolve the issue with fat, inefficient wires through patterning an electric route on an insulator.
Printed circuit boards act as a medium of the pathway of electricity, which formerly run only by a pole-to-pole basis. The boards are made of refined plastic, while copper tracks etched on them serve as the actual circuit. The varying types of PCBs are the result of more than a century’s worth of innovation.
The single-sided circuit board is the first ever PCB that was released for consumer use:
It is the simplest and most commonly used PCB. It is also the most basic when it comes to circuitry and it has components have low-density standards. The electrical paths are commonly traced on the sidelines to lend space for the holes at the center part of the board. This made it the easiest PCB to use and so, it is most recommended for beginners with simple circuit projects. It is also cheaper compared to double-sided and multilayer circuit boards. Some of the usual prototypes with single-sided PCB’s are blinkers, buzzers, and vibrators.
Double-sided circuit boards were first used in 1947. They are technically two single-sided circuit boards placed back to back. Although the attributes don’t necessarily double in amount, the circuit is more compact and more complex. The insulating board alone has a higher density standard compared to the single-sided circuit board. A double-sided printed circuit board is classified into two types — the Plated Through-Holes (PTH) and the Non-Plated Through-Holes (Non-PTH). The holes of the substrate in the PTH type are metalized. This enables both sides to have circuit paths connected through the holes. The Non-PTH type, on the other hand, is a version that doesn’t have plating. Thus, the pathways are connected on the sides of the board. The purpose of this design is to allow editing, repairing, and reusing of the material with greater ease and for a cheaper cost.
The multilayer circuit boards were developed and were initially used by Americans:
The development and commercialization of the multilayer printed circuit board also boosted the technology’s popularity among the common public. The most significant improvement is that many layers of conductors were available in the circuit of a multilayer circuit board. This was made possible by adding fiberglass sheets atop a workable circuit and doing it over and over to create multiple layers. This design enables a user to use more than two, but up to ten, circuits using a single component which performs individual or chained tasks. The making of the board is generally done with the aid of a computer since it requires cutting-edge techniques to accomplish. The downside is that the circuit sometimes experiences radio discrepancies because of the complexity of the internal circuit signal.
Last but not the least is the latest among the four — the Flexible printed circuit board. The main difference of this type is that the boards are made of plastic, with internal conductors made entirely through automated manufacturing. This type of PCB has a higher heat resistance and is very efficient. This also gives it the highest shelf life among the four, even as it performs the most complex operations among them.
Understanding PCBs have great benefits for anyone who uses any kind of appliance or gadget. After all, that allows one to repair minor damages on printed circuits with just the right analysis of the board and its circuitry.