The demand for miniature, high-speed, and performance-driven electronic applications has significantly surged; the same for complex printed circuit board (PCB) designs and their assemblies too. Today, PCBs have become more compact in size, lightweight, and faster than ever before; and they can be made in custom specifications based on application requirements. However, small PCBs with several electrical components and circuitry can lead to many issues, including overheating as well as structural or curvature changes. These changes in design structure, bends, and twists majorly result from PCB warpage. PCB warpage may occur due to inadequate processing of PCBs, thermal stress, operating temperatures, heat sinks, and much more. If these factors are not handled properly, it may impact the formation of solder joints, gaps in wiring, and so on. PCB warpage can be avoided by following some design tips. This, in turn, helps PCBs function as expected within the operating environment. Are you intrigued to know the preventative measures for PCB warpage? If that is a yes, read this post to understand PCB warping in detail.

Details About PCB Warpage

Simply put, PCB warpage is an unintended change in the PCB structure. The circuit board needs to be flat for accurate placement and assembly of surface mountable components. This applies to all types of circuit boards. The pick and place machines play a key role in assembling PCBs. This placement equipment is programmed to pick and place or position all the components at the specified height above the PCB. If the PCB has warpage, which means it is bent at a certain angle or changed structurally, the machine may place components wrongly, or it may not fit as intended. This could result in rework in the PCB assembly. Additionally, a warped PCB may not fit well inside the final product. Thus, it is important to control the flatness of printed circuit boards to prevent any warpage during the PCB assembly process. Continue reading to learn the causes of the PCB warpage.

Causes of PCB Warpage Discussed

There are many reasons why PCB warpage occurs, stress is among them. The PCB substrate may experience expansion and contraction during the production process. This can be the result of back-to-back heating and cooling processes involved. However, there is a significant difference between the PCB substrate expansion and that of the copper film. This will inevitably lead the circuit board to warp. Here are some factors that influence PCB warpage:

  • Fluctuations in operating temperatures
  • Asymmetry in PCB stacking
  • Improper storage and transportation of PCBs

After knowing the cause of the PCB warpage, it is important to implement the possible solutions. The following section describes this in detail.

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Preventative Measures for PCB Warpage

PCB warpage can be prevented using several ways. The following are a few important ones:

  • Balancing copper amount evenly across all circuit board layers is one of the best ways to avoid PCB warpage. This minimizes the mismatch of thermal expansion at room temperature.
  • Next, it is important to take extra care while using substrate on different PCB layers. Using a substrate of the same thickness and material across the top and bottom PCB layers is advisable.
  • PCB warpage can be avoided by balancing copper density during penalizations.
  • To avoid PCB warpage, the temperature difference between the circuit board and pallet must be minimal.

The points mentioned above help minimize PCB warpage. Are you searching for high-quality printed circuit boards for your industrial application? If yes, you need a trustworthy, and experienced player from the PCB industry who understands and develops appropriate solutions to prevent PCB warping. Suntronic specializes in PCB assemblies for its clients and has several years of market presence. With skilled and experienced experts, the company assures the best service by carefully analyzing and following the appropriate procedures. Also, they comply with industry standards in terms of materials and components for printed circuit boards.