Electronics have delicate components that run the risk of having seemingly insignificant yet crippling flaws. Some common problems with printed circuit boards (PCB) are the usual culprits of these defects, rendering overall quality devices useless. Whether you are constructing PCBs or trying to repair one, keep in mind several of these issues.
Soldering anchors the metal, whether it be copper, iron, or lead, to the board. But during this soldering process, there can be issues that pop up that prevent that vital connection from taking place. One of these problems is cold soldering, which happens due to the technician not properly heating up their solder. Moisture can also make its way into a solder and affect the connectivity of parts.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is one of the damaging effects that can result from electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Generally speaking, EMC generates electromagnetic energy in your PCB. If there is too much energy in your PCB, usually due to a design flaw, it will create EMI that will damage the components on your board.
Protect Your Board
There are workarounds and preventative measures to protect your PCB from EMI, but it begins with careful schematics of your PCB and delicate design work.
Consider the environment where you construct your PCB or where you leave it after construction. Anything, from the moisture in the air, to heat, cold, dust, and direct sunlight, runs the risk of issues. Too much moisture can lead to corrosion and rust, while extreme heat and cold can cause your components to expand and contract, respectively. Dust can build up on the board and clog vial components, resulting in overheating.
Control Your Environment
While you may not have complete control over where you construct your board, you must do everything you can to keep your PCB from being damaged by the elements. You need to mitigate the risk of environmental damage by having a climate-controlled space.
There are just a few of the more common problems with PCB construction. It is to your benefit to be wary of your designs and the environment where you build your PCBs because those are the two major factors that dictate whether your board is defective or usable.