Single sided printed circuit board
When it comes to electronics, one of the most common components is the PCB. Any PCB assembly depends on it and is often necessary for the device’s functionality. This is because it holds all the components together in one central location. However, many people are still unaware that there are different types of PCBs, including single-sided ones.
Let’s have a look!
What is single sided PCB?
Single sided PCB is a printed circuit board with only one copper layer. The main advantage of single sided PCB is its lower cost than double-sided PCB. However, there are some limitations as well. The copper layers form the electrical pathways that connect components. Conductive paths are traces and groups of small parallel copper lines. The insulating material separates the different parts of the circuit board from one another and prevents short circuits between components.
What are the components of a single sided PCB?
The essential components of a single sided printed circuit board are:
Copper foil: The copper foil is the main component of the PCB and provides the electrical connection between all other members.
Dielectric: The dielectric acts as an insulator between the copper foil and other components to prevent short-circuits while providing insulation between different conductive layers. The dielectrics are FR4 (glass) and FR6 (glass/epoxy).
Laminate: A laminate combines two or more laminated layers using heat and pressure. The most common material for laminates is glass cloth with epoxy resin, which makes it stronger than just plain glass cloth alone.
Solder mask: A solder mask covers all exposed metal parts to prevent solder bridges from forming during soldering operations.
How is a single sided PCB made?
The process of creating a single sided printed circuit board is relatively simple. Here are its steps:
1. Design the circuit’s layout
The software creates a circuit design and prints it onto a copper-clad board. The designers then etch this copper-clad board to leave just the traces of the printed circuit.
2. Print the circuit’s layout
The next step in making a single sided printed circuit board is to print out the circuit diagram. Designers use free software, EagleCAD, to print the single-sided PCB.
3. Prepare the PCB for etching
It is necessary to prepare the board before it can be etched. This involves cleaning off any dirt or oils from your hands before handling it and putting down some masking tape around where you don’t want any etchant to go (e.g., around component lead holes). The masking tape should not contact any part of your circuit, as this will prevent it from working correctly after etching!
4. Etch the PCB
Once you have your completed design, it must be etched onto the copper-clad board. A chemical etching process selectively removes copper from areas that shouldn’t contain it.
5. Drill the holes
Embedding components onto the board requires drilling holes after etching. These holes are usually drilled after all traces and vias have been added so that they do not interfere with them during drilling operations (since they will not be visible after drilling).
What is the difference between single and double-sided PCB?
Single-sided and double-sided boards are two common PCB styles. Double-sided boards offer greater flexibility and support for more complex designs.
- Single-sided printed circuit boards have copper on just one side.
- Double-sided PCBs have copper on both sides, allowing more components for mounting.
- Single-sided boards are usually used in low-cost applications where the extra cost of having two sides is not justified.
- It is common to use double-sided boards when there are many components or a high current requirement. Double-sided boards also allow for better signal integrity and strength when running signals on both sides of the board because there is less chance of interference from other signals or power supplies.
What are the benefits of single sided PCB?
Single sided printed circuit board (PCBs) allows you to simplify and reduce the cost of your product design. They’re ideal for simple products that include only a few components and offer quick turnaround times.
Here are some benefits of single-sided PCB:
- Less number of layers in your circuit design
- Lower manufacturing costs by reducing the amount of material used on each layer.
- Reduce assembly costs because there are fewer layers to solder together.
What are the disadvantages of single sided PCB?
Single-sided PCBs have several disadvantages. These include:
More rugged design: The lack of a second side makes it more challenging to lay out a circuit board, as it limits where components can be placed on the board.
Slower Speed: There are few connector choices available on single sided PCB. This causes a decrease in overall power and speed. High-power applications may not be compatible with the circuit.
Limited signal integrity: Because of this limitation, single-sided boards cannot carry high-speed signals well.
Poor thermal performance: Without a ground plane on the other side of the board, heat will not dissipate as readily as in a double-sided board, increasing the risk of overheating and even fire or explosion in extreme cases if not properly designed and built.
Where are single sided PCBs used?
Single sided printed circuit board is ideal when you need a custom circuit board that’s simple and easy to manufacture. Single-sided PCBs are great for prototypes and small production runs, but they’re not as durable as double-sided PCBs.
Many applications work with single-sided PCB:
- Electronic devices such as smartwatches or fitness trackers.
- Automotive systems such as engine management or airbag control systems.
- Medical electronics such as implantable medical devices.
How do you solder a single sided PCB?
Soldering a single sided PCB is easiest with an iron equipped with a pointed tip that does not require additional equipment (such as a stand). The designers must heat the tip before placing it on the board. This will melt the solder and allow it to flow freely into the joint between the pad and lead or component body without having to apply pressure or excess heat. After heating, place your solder wire onto the pad and melt some solder onto it; then apply pressure with your iron, so it flows into the joint.
Single sided printed circuit boards are common in many markets, especially in electronics and industrial applications. Companies of all sizes use single-sided boards because they offer many benefits over multilayer boards. We hope this blog can increase your knowledge about single- sided PCB. For more information about PCB, please visit our website.