You may not have given PCBs very much thought if any at all, but they are actually pretty interesting things. That may be surprising, but it’s true, nonetheless. Of all the interesting little titbits of interesting facts about Printed Circuit Boards, we have selected 5 of the best – how many did you already know?
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Why Do You Think They Are Green?
The vast majority of Printed Circuit Boards are a dark green colour, a hue that has become iconic. The question is though, why are the majority of them this particular colour? Well, the green is actually the colour of the soldermask that is showing through the glass.
Some people theorise that the colour was a regulation standard from when PCBs were used by the US military and it simply spread from there. It has also been suggested that it was simply the colour of the original resins being used and it became convention despite the fact those particular resins are no longer used. Modern resins can now be created in any colour, but green has worked out well so far, although some manufacturers will use other colours such as red and blue.
So Who Invented Them?
Paul Eisleris generally given the credit when it comes to “who invented he PCB” although developments that led to the invention can be tracked all the way back to the 1890s. Eisler, an Austrian inventor, developed the very first PCB in 1936 while working on a radio set. The Printed Circuit Board didn’t see mass development and usage until after the 50s however, and their popularity exploded from there.
The Pcbis Absolutely Everywhere!
You probably haven’t realised just how widespread the PCB is, but you are most likely within touching distance of more than one device that uses Printed Circuit Board. For example, you are reading this from a device that uses at least one of them, whether that be a computer, tablet or smartphone.
The PCB has become an essential part of modern technology and since the PCB itself is constantly being adapted, it is extremely unlikely that any other tech is going to replace it anytime soon.
They’re Designed Using CAD Software
You probably don’t realise that the PCB is designed today using Computer Aided Design (CAD). Technicians use this software to design layouts and schematics of PCBs. This PCB board design software allows board designs to be fully tested, making sure traces are connected correctly, before manufacture.
Surface Mount Technology
SMT, or Surface Mount Technology, is the most ‘popular’ manufacturing method in use to create today’s PCBs. SMT came into wider use during the 80s and very quickly replaced the through-hole method which was used previously. With the older method, components were inserted into the hole on the board, where SMT sees components glued directly to the surface. If you have a PCB laying around, feel the underside – if it feels lumpy or spikey, it is most likely the older through-hole method being used.