The printed circuit board is the base of most electronics including computer components. Circuit boards are composed of a specified number of copper conductive layers, each of which has a substrate in between them. These conductive layers are then laminated together to create a circuit board. Circuit boards have drilled holes in them also called “vias.” Vias are either riveted or electroplated, making the connections electrical.

pcbThe very first printed circuit board was invented in 1936 by Paul Eisler, an Australian engineer. Eisler, a Vienna University graduate, created the circuit board as a component of a radio that he developed while he is in Hempstead, England. Eisler was an illegal alien in England, and upon his release in 1941, he started looking for investors to fund his invention. A Camberwell-based lithography firm took interest. The firm offered a contract which Eisler signed without reading. The company obtained the rights to Eisler’s ideas. Nonetheless, in 1943, Eisler was able to acquire patents for other printed circuit boards used in other applications other than radio. The US military noticed Eisler’s inventions where it used the circuit boards in creating bomb detonators. The bombs were used in countering the Germans’ military technologies. After the war, the US government gave the public the access to use printed circuit boards for commercial applications.

Further, there are many processes involved in manufacturing a printed circuit board.

First, a substrate is needed where the copper layer will be put above it. Second, the layer will be etched so that the copper residue will be removed. Etching will leave only the adequate copper amount required. Third, holes are then drilled into the substrate-and-copper. A laser or a tungsten-carbide drill will be used in drilling the vias although this will depend on the size of the vias. Fourth, specific areas of the board will be plated where the components will be put. Fifth, texts, if there are any, will be printed using a screen-printing procedure. Sixth, the circuit boards will be prepared for testing. After testing, seventh, the board will be populated with the wirings for its desired application.

The first circuit boards were used for industrial and military utilities. Today, circuit boards are used as the foundation of various electrical devices, components and hardware. One will find a printed circuit board in radios, televisions and cellular phones and other such devices. If you own an electronic device, you will probably find a circuit board inside if you will disassemble it. Circuit boards can be big or small and usually green in color. However, some circuit boards today come in red or blue colors. Regardless of its color, you will find copper lines and dots on the surface of the board.

Nowadays, most industries are using either rigid or flexible circuit board or both. The type of printed circuit board usually depends on the substrate used in manufacturing it. Flexible printed circuit boards are created to complement the requirement for miniaturization. We are living in a mobile era thus the need for thinner and lighter devices that we can carry anywhere we go. Flexible printed circuit boards which are smaller, more flexible and with higher wiring density is regarded as a solution. These printed circuit boards can be wired three-dimensionally. They can also be shaped according to the available space.

Evidently, the printed circuit boards that we came to know since Eisler’s have become more versatile in its form and application. Regardless though, for sophisticated equipment, components and devices, high quality printed circuit board must be a priority since they can hold the wirings and components together longer. Aside from technical expertise, the right material and drill can make a difference. Thereby, entrust your circuit board needs only to professionals.

Author Bio:
A Printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components using conductive tracks, pads and other features.