PCB Aesthetics

Sometimes the most miniscule mark on a PCB automatically classifies it as unviable in certain industries. From applying conformal coatings to fixing delaminated boards, there is no limit to AER’s abilities in PCB cosmetic repair. Here are some common pcb aesthetics issues we fix in house:

Delaminated Board

Delamination on a PCB result from physical damaged, humidity or any contact with moisture, excessive thermal stress, and poor lamination or defects in the manufacturing process. Delamination can be as minor as a small blister on top of the board or, in more extreme cases, can cause the edges of the board to fray from the separation of the fiberglass and resin. This phenomenon may cause electrical malfunction within the board, but even if there is no harm to the electronics, it is usually classified as unviable for use in consumer products.

Application and Removal of Conformal Coatings

Conformal coatings are breathable layers applied to an entire PCB and designed to protect against shock, vibration, and harsh environmental contaminants including moisture, temperature, and debris. These coatings are most commonly used on electronics designated for the defense, automotive, or aerospace industries in which a PCB is expected to undergo a high amount of stress. Conformal coatings are applied to the entire board, even areas where solder application is expected as the coating will typically melt away. Different types of conformal coating include acrylic, epoxy, silicone, and polyurethane. Removal is dependent on the type of coating as some have to be removed by alcohol, or heat.

Solder Mask Application

Solder mask is designed to cover the copper traces on a PCB and protect against oxidation, moisture, and solder bridging among other things. Damage to the solder mask exposes the copper traces to the elements. Unlike conformal coatings, solder mask cannot be applied to areas where there will be a solder application, such as on pads or through holes terminals, as it prevents solder from adhering. Different types of solder masks include lead free, water resistant, and water soluble to name a few and they come in different forms such as sheets, pens, and paint.

Marks/ Stain removal

Marks or stains on a PCB are caused by residues left over from excess flux, moisture, thermal stress, and of course, any spilled liquid substance. There are designated cleaners on the market created for the removal of stains on PCBS; however, many substances can be removed by alcohol.
Is your board unviable due to cosmetic damage? Contact AER Technologies today for a free quote on your damaged PCB. With over 60 of experience ensuring quality our customers can trust, it is no wonder why AER Technologies is an industry leader.

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