What are the main failure modes of Circuit board?

main failure modes of Circuit board

Circuit board failure analysis is often overlooked, but it can be critical to a PCB design and manufacturing process. Detailed inspections and testing can lead to a speedy troubleshooting process, helping to get production back up and running sooner. Some common problems that need to be taken into consideration are electrical, environmental, thermal, and aging. These issues can all cause circuit board failure and require a detailed inspection process.

Printed circuit board (PCB) components must pass through various aggressive chemical solutions during the fabrication and assembly processes, such as etching liquids, solder paste, and electrolytic solutions. These chemicals can corrode and degrade the material. Contamination is a major cause of these problems and can be determined using contamination tests that measure the number of ionic contaminants on the surface of the material.

Another common problem is thermal stresses that can damage plated through hole (PTH) connections and peel the base material of the board. These stresses are accelerated by temperature fluctuations and can be detected with thermal cycling testing. Temperature changes can also cause expansion and warping of the PCB, which can lead to broken soldered joints. This can be mitigated by keeping the temperature and humidity levels at a safe level during production.

What are the main failure modes of Circuit board?

Other common issues include component burning, which can occur due to excessive heat during the fabrication process or when the board is being used in an extreme environment. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that the corresponding components have an adequate amount of space between them on the PCB.

Technician error can also lead to a failed PCB. When a cable isn’t hooked up correctly or the voltage protections aren’t sufficient, this can result in erratic behavior and even failure. Having clearly written hook up instructions can help to alleviate this issue.

A final common issue is solder fatigue. This can be caused by improper CTE matching, which is the difference in contraction and expansion of the PCB and its components. Soldering low-CTE components to high-CTE boards can cause this problem, which can be prevented by using a quality PCB manufacturer and ensuring that the proper CTE matches are made.

While PCBs are resilient, they do eventually fail. When this happens, the consequences can be severe and can impact the reliability and quality of the entire electronic system. Ultimately, this can lead to decreased operational efficiency and even lost revenue. For these reasons, it’s important to understand the main assembly failure mechanisms of a circuit board and how they can be avoided.

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