The Printed Circuit board was invented by Paul Eisler during the 1930's. Born in Vienna in 1907 he escaped to the UK in 1936 and, working in a bedsit in Hamstead, began making a radio using the idea of copper tracks on a substrate rather than a mass of wires.....
Eisler is recognised for his contributions to PCB development. Early PCB’s used manually soldered circuits between layers. In 1936, Eisler’s development of plated through-hole technology negated the inconsistencies found within manually soldered circuits, leading to early industrial-scale PCB production during World War II.
Earlier iterations of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) were by German inventor Albert Hanson in 1902. Demand was largely driven by the telecommunications industry with operaters manually connecting hundreds of circuits at their switching platforms.
Hanson developed his circuits a year later, not only to include copper conductors on both sides for high density interconnects, but also holes to select inter-conductor connections. This has shaped what we know today as double-sided through-hole circuitry, and he later went on to patent multilayer circuitry to achieve an even higher conductor density.
Fast-forward over 100 years and these core concepts remain the foundation of our PCB products. Whether it is a traditional rigid circuit board, modern versions of flexible circuitry, or a combination of both, they all include developed versions of these early circuit boards.
Multi-layer rigid Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are constructed from three or more conductive copper layers, with integral substrate boards for insulation between each layer. Copper plated through-holes are used to provide circuit connections between layers.
Double Sided Rigid
Some double-sided PCBs are very similar to the above mentioned single-sided PCBs. The design differs because they have two-sided traces on both upper and lower layers. These layers are connected via a drilled hole which is copper plated to make the connection to each layer, effectively allowing copper and components to be mounted on both sides of the board... (read more)
This results in higher a density of circuits without the need of point-to-point soldering. As these types of circuit boards are more complex than single-sided PCBs, it can be more difficult to produce, but the benefits are often necessary in certain applications.
However, usually these layers are more popular types of PCBs for high end electronics as they enable manufacturers to produce more complex circuits, which can benefit use in higher technology applications. The list of typical applications is extensive, but include military, medical and automotive industries.
Single Sided Rigid
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are used to connect electronic components. Single-sided PCBs are the entry level board used in a wide variety of electronic devices. They have the conductive copper and components mounted on one side of the board only... (read more)
These PCBs are one of the most commonly produced boards found in most electronic applications today due to their value, efficiency and simplicity.
Single-sided printed circuit boards are commonly used worldwide as they are very simple to make – They are easy to design and manufacture, making them one of the most cost-effective PCBs.
Key Features of Single-Sided PCB include:
- Cost-effective and suitable for high volume
- Easy to manufacturer
- Easy to design
Typical use cases include:
- Industrial and Automotive Relays
- LED Lighting
- Fire prevention
With the evolution of technology and electronics, we have seen significant progress within the PCB industry. Flexible circuits are at the forefront of this progression, quietly featuring in just about every electronic component manufactured today... (read more)
A basic flexible PCB consists of a single-sided / single-layered patterned circuit arrangement, placed on a flexible insulating substrate base material (usually a polymer), then finished with a variety of flexible soldermask and/or coverlay finishes. We offer a range of flex circuits (outlined below) which vary in complexity and capability depending on the use case.
Typical use cases include:
- Flex-to-install: any application that requires a circuit to bend or flex due to space constraints, with minimal movement when in situ
- Dynamic flex: any application with intermittent moving parts (example: hinges)
- Continuous flex: any application with constant moving parts (example: disk drive)
As a general rule within basic flex-to-install circuits, the flex-radius should exceed 10x the board thickness. Advanced techniques are employed to go beyond this rule.
Flex PCBs can be produced in Multilayer, Double Sided or Single Sided formats.
A version of PCB that falls under the flexible circuit umbrella, Sculptured Flex is a particularly specialised PCB. Its main feature is copper conductors that vary in thickness. The thicker areas offer greater strength or conductivity at particular points in the circuitry, allowing slimmer areas of copper to create flexibility... (read more)
These copper contacts can then be used instead of separate connectors. This allows the sculptured flex to be a very light and adaptable option.
Surface Mount Interconnects