When you spend a long time working on a printed circuit board design, you tend to hope that it will operate properly and stay intact for a long time. Of course, things don’t always go to plan and circuit boards can break for one reason or another.
A good way to improve your PCB designs in the future is to figure out how the last one failed. For this reason, we are going to tell you a bit about the reasons why a PCB might fail. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more.
PCB Design Issues
The most common reason for a PCB to fail includes issues with the main design. You might find that the board thickness is not right, or the components have not been placed accurately. Other issues could be in the way in which the components are gathered. The good news is that there are special software packages like the one from Altium that can aid your PCB design. Make sure to try them out to reduce the possibility of failure in the future.
Has your printed circuit board been manufactured properly? This can be another reason why your PCB has failed in the long run and it is something which needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later. Some common reasons for manufacturing issues include poor trace insulation, incorrect installation of components or poor soldering. If you have come across any of these issues, it might be time to reconsider the manufacturer that you are using.
Another common reason why your PCB might have failed is environmental factors. This could be anything from debris to dirt affecting your PCB and this could cause it to fail. You might also have issues if any sort of water touches your PCB and you might have to start all over again. Environmental factors can cause real problems, so it is important that you are aware of these things and that you try to prevent them from affecting your PCB as much as possible.
The final common reason for PCB failure is age. Over time, printed circuit boards can wear out and become too old to function as well as they did in the past. This is something which cannot really be avoided as all PCBs will get old eventually. While you can take as much care as possible when using your PCB, it is likely that old age will affect it relatively soon.
If you have recently come across a PCB that has failed, then it might be due to one of the reasons that we have discussed in this article. Make sure to take good care of your PCB and ensure that you are keeping it away from water and dirt. You should also double check your design and ensure that you are using a trustworthy manufacturer for all of your future PCB manufacturing projects.