Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are integral components of just about every type of computer or electronic equipment these days. There are many different types of PCB being manufactured today.
If you need PCBs manufactured for your devices or facility, you should be aware of all these different kinds and what their capabilities are. The following are six of the most basic types of PCB out there:
Rigid single sided
The most basic type of PCB is rigid single sided. These PCBs are also typically the type of PCB that is lowest in price and easiest to manufacture.
These PCBs include only one copper layer and underneath a base material. In some cases, a rigid single sided PCB could also include solder resists and idents. It's possible to mount a rigid single sided PCB with either a surface mount or a hole mouth component.
Rigid double sided
Rigid double sided PCBs are slightly more complex than rigid single sided PCBs. However, rigid double sided PCBs are the most commonly seen type these days.
This type involves two different copper layers that are placed on either side of the base material. The two copper layers of a rigid double sided PCB are not connected in any way.
Flexible single sided
Like rigid single sided PCBs, flexible single sided PCBs are very easy and simple to manufacture. This type contains a single conductor layer that is located over dielectric film that is flexible.
It's possible to use a semi flexible liquid photo imagable solder resist on this type of PCB. It's common for manufacturers to add stiffeners to this type of PCB to contribute some rigidity.
Flexible double sided
The flexible double sided PCB includes two copper layers like the rigid double sided PCB. However, flexible double sided PCBs differ in that they often need to be made more rigid for certain applications through the addition of stiffeners.
The flexible double sided PCB sometimes will have a semi flexible cover lay or solder resist.
Multi layer PCBs can be either rigid or flexible. They contain at least three copper layers, but these layers are generally separated by insulation.
This type of PCB is significantly more complex than either single or double layer PCBs. They can include many more than three copper layers in some cases.
Those who are looking for a PCB that's ideal for situations where space is limited should consider the rigid-flex PCB. This type of PCB combines the advantages of rigid and flexible PCBs.