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PCB Base Materials

Date:August 2012

A PCB as a design on a computer (left) and realized as a board assembly populated with components (right). The board is double sided, with through-hole plating, green solder resist, and white silkscreen printing. Both surface mount and through-hole components have been used.

    Conducting layers are typically made of thin copper foil. Insulating layers dielectric are typically laminated together with epoxy resin prepreg. The board is typically coated with a solder mask that is green in color. Other colors that are normally available are blue, black, white and red. There are quite a few different dielectrics that can be chosen to provide different insulating values depending on the requirements of the circuit. Some of these dielectrics are polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon), FR-4, FR-1, CEM-1 or CEM-3. Well known prepreg materials used in the PCB industry are FR-2 (Phenolic cotton paper), FR-3 (Cotton paper and epoxy), FR-4 (Woven glass and epoxy), FR-5 (Woven glass and epoxy), FR-6 (Matte glass and polyester), G-10 (Woven glass and epoxy), CEM-1 (Cotton paper and epoxy), CEM-2 (Cotton paper and epoxy), CEM-3 (Non-woven glass and epoxy), CEM-4 (Woven glass and epoxy), CEM-5 (Woven glass and polyester). Thermal expansion is an important consideration especially with ball grid array (BGA) and naked die technologies, and glass fiber offers the best dimensional stability.

    FR-4 is by far the most common material used today. The board with copper on it is called "copper-clad laminate".

    Copper foil thickness can be specified in ounces per square foot or micrometres. One ounce per square foot is 1.344 mils or 34 micrometres. (Provenance: Wikipedia)

 

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