How to Quickly Evaluate PCB Quality

5 min read
26 December 2022

You've come to the right place if you're seeking for a quick way to assess the quality of your PCB. We'll look at a few typical PCB design mistakes in this post to assist you assess whether or not your board is ready to go. This includes typical design errors including cross-section analysis, solder voids, and overheated components.

common errors in PCB design

There are several common PCB design errors that can lead to a variety of issues. These can be issues with the layout, manufacturing mistakes, or even design defects. By recognising these mistakes, one can avoid them in the future and facilitate board repair.

An essential step in ensuring the reliability of your PCB design is to carry out a design for manufacture (DFM) examination. You can identify design elements and other important components by using this technique. It can also help you have a solid sense of how the final board will seem and work.

If you haven't reviewed your design, it can be the only thing preventing you from producing a subpar product. Before putting your project into production, using a design for manufacturability assessment can help you identify any potential problems.

Cross-sectional study

Cross-section analysis is one of the most dependable techniques for evaluating the quality of your PCB. This technique reveals features that are hidden from view by non-destructive inspection and gives information about the internal structure of the PCB. The procedure include a careful inspection of the board's structures and surfaces.

Numerous imperfections and abnormalities can be seen by cross-section analysis. For instance, it might show minute cracks and stray metal filaments. Additionally, it can offer comprehensive details regarding the microstructure of the PCB.

It can be challenging to determine the precise cause of a PCB failure. Although there are numerous potential causes, it is important to start by locating the most likely location of failure. This procedure does not, however, eliminate the possibility of other flaws.

The solder junction has solder vacancies.

A hole or empty space within a solder junction is known as a solder void. Typically, it is created when flux volatiles become trapped during solidification. Void-filled solder junctions are typically regarded as faulty. They can cause joint cracks and are prone to mechanical instability.

Improper solder paste application leads to solder voids. They could be brought on by pollutants, air, or flux residue. The reliability of a solder junction can be impacted by voids depending on their size, position, and frequency.

Void generation is influenced by vacuum reflow, warmup time, and a PCB's reflow profile. Additionally, stencil design can affect voiding.

The cross-sectional area of the joint is less when there are voids at the bonding surfaces. As a result, electrical current carrying capacity and heat transmission are decreased. Additionally, it makes joints more resistant.

components that are too hot

There are several factors to think about when designing a PCB. How to evaluate the design's quality is one aspect that needs to be taken into account. To evaluate the design's quality, a number of tests can be applied.

Examining the board closely is the first and most fundamental thing to accomplish. Check for corrosion and surface flaws. Check for any loose connections as well. Poor soldering or other inappropriate practises may be the root of this.

In addition to this, you should also check your PCB's temperature. Your components may become damaged or possibly malfunction as a result of high temperatures. If you don't keep an eye on the PCB's temperature, you can later face serious issues.

PCB test tickets

It's crucial to be able to evaluate the calibre of your design when creating PCBs. Fortunately, there are a few quick ways to accomplish that.

To evaluate the quality of your PCB, you must first comprehend the manufacturing process. You cannot create a sampling group if you don't comprehend the procedure. You must understand how your PCB will be handled, what materials are employed, and how components are purchased.

It's time to test your PCB after that. Electrical testing, visual inspections, and test coupons can all be used to do this. These methods can help you identify the PCB problems that are most likely to happen.

You can select the test coupons that are best for your product from a variety of test coupon varieties. Small patterns of conductors and holes are used as test coupons. Typically, they are produced on the same panel as your PCB. These can be made by your PCB manufacturer or chosen from a vendor's library.


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