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If you need prototype printed circuit boards, it's important to work with an assembler who can turn your designs around fast. These boards help verify you have the right design before you start a full production run so you can avoid costly errors. The sooner you get your prototype circuit board back, the sooner you can test it and get started on your standard production run. JHY PCB is the PCB manufacturer with fast reaction. We offer quick-turn PCB prototypes to turn your prototype boards around fast while still maintaining complete adherence to your design specifications.
Circuit boards are colourful. What's the reason?
PCB of various colors
After decades of development, PCB's color still remains unchanged. What is the color of PCB, as the name implies, when you get a PCB Board, the most intuitive color to see the oil on the board is the color of PCB which we generally refer to. Common colors are green, blue, red and black, etc. They look very beautiful.
The color of PCB defines the color of the solder oil or solder mask. It consists of lacquer impregnated with pigments that are known for protecting the traces of bare copper. Made from glass – epoxy, the finishing color of PCB is representing the solder mask. One of the main applications of solder mask is prevention against short-circuiting of the circuit board.
From the past few years, Green has been considered the standard color of PCB. However, with a large number of innovations and technological advances, PCB colors have also appeared in a variety of colors, the main reason is:
•Using different colors of PCB gives a highly visible indicator of the revision changes to make users aware.
•Using colors other than green will produce brightness or contract. What you need to note is that assembly equipment is significant by transmission properties, absorbance, and light reflectance.
•Using different colors will help in prevention against different types of mistakes in a mixed assembly that may occur. The choice of different color types also has an advantage of identifying assemblies that are lead – free.
The variety of colors being used for fabricating PCBs include white, blue, black, yellow, red and so on. Colors of PCBs is commonly referred to as PCB color code. Different modern PCB types have adopted specific colors. For example, the motherboards of PC are still fabricated in green epoxy. Colors of solder mask does not create any impact or effect on the performance of PCB. However, with the use of different PCB colors, the board resolution will be different. For example, green PCB resolution is matched by using red and blue color like the yellow and black color has significantly less resolution. It is to be noted that solder masks with clear transparency tend to have high resolution.
2. Blank PCB - Is black PCB more advanced?
Black PCB board is considered by many people as a symbol of high-end products. In the technology sector, Apple is an important group that uses black PCB; many people think that black is more beautiful and high-end because of its black PCB.
In fact, the color of the PCB is only determined by the solder resist film. Manufacturers can deploy any color when the solder mask is still in the molten state.
The color of PCB board and quality has no relationship. The product performance of PCB board with different colors is essentially the same.
2.1.Black PCB Solder Mask
The solder mask is the most vital component or material required for the production of Printed Circuit Boards.
The solder mask is also known as the solder resist, and its primary purpose is to lacquer or varnish the entire surface of the PCB on both top and bottom for the formation of the protection layer which is permanent and the traces of copper are to be printed over it.
The solder mask is the primary agent to prevent the solder from coming in between the conductors and is also responsible for the creation of short in the circuit. The layer is also responsible for offering protection against the environment as well.
The solder mask of a black PCB, therefore, is colored black and this is done during the molten stage. The black solder mask is applied when the reflection of light is not wanted. The solder mask is, therefore, one of the most critical parts of the Printed Circuit boards.
Without a solder mask, as stated above, the circuit would have shorts and thus be inefficient in operation. The solder mask helps to prevent such a situation from taking place. The black solder mask is used in display systems where light is not supposed to be transparent.
There are some circuits where light reflection is not needed. In such circuits, the application of the black solder mask becomes of great importance. The mask absorbs heat during reflow. It means that you have to either reduce your profile or ensure that the temperature sensor has been placed on the board.
The other thing that would be required when coming up with the black solder mask is sufficient light. Since it is not easy to see the circuit, the black solder mask needs the adequate light that can be angled well for the manufacturer to see the board.
The inspection process for a black Printed Circuit board requires powerful magnification so that the circuit can be appropriately seen without strain. The green solder mask may be easy to inspect and manufacture since the circuit remains visible during its construction and even inspection.
The process of applying the black solder mask is not something you can do at home as a DIY process. The methods used are involved, and thus that would not be an efficient way to achieve your goal. You can, however, use the DIY method for simple boards but still, the quality will not be assured.
When it comes to the more complex Printed Circuit Boards, the process of applying a solder mask is not that easy. The first thing that you should be aware of is that there are stringent regulations that limit the production of such devices. Therefore the standards must be adhered to if you are to go commercial.
The manufacture of the solder masks is a process that has different stages that one must follow keenly. In these stages, the use of technology is professional and has high accuracy. In the process of manufacturing complex PCBs, they often use the software such as sprint layout.
The process of manufacturing the black solder mask starts with the cleaning of the board. The board is thoroughly cleaned after that the solder mask ink coating takes place. In this case, the black color is applied to the board before the pre-hardening phase.
After the pre-hardening phase comes to the imaging and hardening phase, which is followed by the developing phase. In the developing phase, software such as the sprint layout is made use of before final hardening and cleaning.
2.2.Matte Black PCB
The matte black Printed Circuit Board has become quite common in the recent times mainly due to its cool appearance. It is considered to look quite attractive to the eye and is preferable to the plain black PCB.
The gloss solder masks are also quite good and a suitable choice for Printed Circuit Boards but in this case, we will focus on the matte black PCB.
These days, unlike the past days, you can custom order the color of your PCB from the manufacturer instead of them just making the color they would want to. The good thing is that the matte black variety does not affect the functioning of the board in any way.
The use of matte black in PCB's gives the board a duller and softer finish as compared to other colors. This makes it also not to reflect much light that bounces on it and instead looks washed out when exposed to heavy light.
The matte finish can present some scratches for your board which can quickly be noticed and seen. They, however, look dull and don't shine as much. It makes the boards coated with matte black easier to see in light scenarios.
One advantage of the matte black PCB is that you can quickly detect problems on the board that has this variant of color.
2.3.Black PCB Board
The black PCB board is made from the use of a black solder mask. The solder mask that can also be referred to as a solder resist is a thin layer that covers copper traces. No matter the PCB design software that you may want to use say the sprint layout software, the solder mask is optional.
The sprint layout software among other software can provide an automated solder mask. That's made possible by designing a solder mask through completing and filling out some parameters. It works just as efficiently as the traditional solder mask.
The solder mask is a vital part of Printed Circuit Boards determines the performance of the boards. It, therefore, prevents different problems in the circuit. Some solder mask fault issues may affect the entire circuit board, and they include the following:
• Excessive openings.
• Insufficient solder mask opening.
• Mismatching between some openings in the circuit board.
The above PCB issues can be avoided when the process is done efficiently and with accuracy. In most cases, the PCB`s that have the above problems are the ones that have been made using the DIY process instead of being manufactured with the right facilities.
2.4.Black PCB Material
Printed Circuit Boards are usually made from different materials. Software such as the sprint layout software is used to design the PCB`s. The black PCB is made out of a black solder mask. Most solder masks are made from resin material due to the following reasons.
• The resin is perfect regarding humidity resistance.
• The resin is an excellent insulator. It offers excellent insulation for the board.
• The resin is solder resistant.
• The resin can bare and overcome high temperatures meaning it can stay on heated places without necessarily being affected.
• Because of aesthetics reasons.
3. The procedure of applying resin on a Printed Circuit Board is as follows:
3.1. Clean The Board.
Before you apply resin on the board, you must make sure that the board is clean and free from rust to avoid any functionality issues. The cleaning process can also help in removing some bit of oxidization.
3.2. Apply Resin.
Once you have cleaned the board, you can now place it on a piece of blank film and release resin onto it by the use of a plunger or syringe, whichever that would work well for you. The size of the PCB will determine how much resin you can get to use. Without precise measurements, you can either put too much or too little resin.
3.3. Spread The Resin.
In this process, you can use another piece of transparent blank film by laying it over the resin that has been placed on the board. That assists the resin in spreading all over the board effectively without missing any spot. A piece of glass can then be placed on top of the film to ensure that the resin has been distributed well.
3.4. Squeegee The Resin.
In this step, you can make use of a squeegee to distribute the resin on the hard to reach areas, especially on the corners. You should be careful not to apply too much pressure, or otherwise, you may get bad spots on the board that may generally affect the functioning of the circuit board.
Another thing you should avoid is creating any air bubbles in due process as this may also affect the normal operation of the board. It is a process that needs time, and you shouldn't, therefore, be in a hurry to perform it otherwise you might do a shoddy job that will end up costing you.
3.5. Place The Mask.
After you have applied the resin, you can then place the solder mask film over the Printed Circuit Board. The process is then followed by the alignment of the film which is yet again another important process that you shouldn't avoid. To give the film more grip, you can add a bit of alcohol to the back of the mask to make it stick on the clear film more professionally and conveniently.
3.6. Expose The UV Resin.
Here you can use a UV flashlight that can cover the whole PCB and focus it for about 10 minutes keeping a distance of around 2-3 inches.
3.7. Peel The Film.
After all, you can then gently peel off the film.
4.Black PCB Coating
Black PCB coating has some advantages. First of all, it boosts the safety of electronic devices.
The coating can either be done in a manual process or automatically be depending on your choice. When you perform the coating procedure, and it happens that it penetrates to the shadowed areas, you can still rectify this through secondary means.
There are different types of coats that you can use for the black PCB. The following are some of the coats available to choose from:
• Acrylic. This coat provides the PCB with good protection and sufficient elasticity. They are not complicated and thus can be applied and re-worked on easily. They can also be easily removed whenever the need may arise.
• Urethane. These coats are popular for their exquisite protection properties. They protect PCB's against chemical and mechanical attacks that are prone to happen. They are also suitable for moisture resistance.
• Silicone. These coats provide the PCB`s with great temperature protection. They are also appropriate for chemical resistance.
• Varnish. These coats are moisture resistant and have high insulation and stability properties.
The above coats have different properties that would be a determinant of which one to choose. They, for instance, have different mechanical, chemical and moisture resistance properties.
Such properties are essential to consider when selecting the coat of your choice as they go a long way in ensuring your PCB lasts longer.
The resin that is used should also be qualified to ensure that your PCB and its components are safe and thus do not get affected in the long run.
Black PCB coating is helpful in protecting the circuit against factors in the environment that would somewhat affect its general performance.
Some of the conditions that may affect the functioning of the PCB include temperature and humidity which of course fluctuate on a day to day basis; this begs the importance of planning of time by using the right coat for your PCB.
The coats, therefore, have a variety of functions that they perform for the Printed Circuit Boards. Some of these functions include the following:
• They reduce the stress that the environment may put on the PCB during assembly.
• They provide insulation for the PCB.
• They prevent the PCB`s from being affected by chemicals and mechanical attacks.
• They reduce some potential factors that may inhibit the performance of the PCB`s.
5. Solder mask colors:
It has been seen that there are different types of solder mask colors. Cobalt and carbon when mixed produce black solder mask. This type of solder mask is conductive because of the presence of carbon. Conductive layers are formed across the traces of PCB, but it can be used as a protective shield for isolating the signals coming from different external noises.
Black solder mask made from cobalt mixture is expensive too. You will find white PCB color codes in most LED applications. You will see blue solder mask generally used in LCDs. It is used for avoiding any distraction caused within the system.
Red PCB color code is usually used for making the board look different from other boards. The primary purpose of using red PCB color code is to create an identification of any particular part present in group assembly. Red solder mask is typically used in precision devices which include an oscilloscope, analog resources, and bench multi-meter.
It has been seen from different resources that green is known as the most famous color for printed circuit boards. It is because the performance of green color is better as compared to other PCB colors. Green gives better results when it comes to the point of soldering the pitch of components. Green is often regarded as the default color being considered for printed circuit boards. Japan is one of the top countries around the globe for innovation and engineering advanced technologies. It has been seen that the use of green printed circuit boards in Japan is on the highest percentage whereas Germany has been reported to use the non – standard PCB colors to a greater extent as compared to many other countries and engineering industries.
6.PCB Solder Mask Color
Red solder mask color tends to be bold and professional. The contrast present between planes, spaces and traces are quite good.
On the contrary to the green printed circuit board, the contrast is lower. Any magnification is used for inspecting the board traces in case of defects. It is to be noted that silkscreen is known to stand against red background well as it cleans up the flux residues. Though red looks attractive, eye-catching and bold, green is still considered the best.
PCB color blue for solder mask resembles the same Arduino blue color. As compared to red and green printed circuit boards, the contrast between empty spaces, planes, and traces is very low. In case of blue solder mask color, magnification is considered necessary and is mandatory for inspecting the defects of manufacturing.
However, it is to be noted that the contrast between the solder mask and silkscreen is quite high that is the plus point for using blue color. So, if you are using a board with the label – heavy then the right choice, in this case, might be blue for you.
Remember that blue seems to be an excellent choice if you want to match solder mask color with your Arduino and you do not care about showing off board traces.
Black PCB color is tough to handle. The contrast between empty spaces, planes, and traces is not only lower as compared to other solder mask colors, but it is non – existent. Very powerful magnification is required for the inspection of this board. Inspecting it is nothing more than a nightmare as it needs a tilted angle for casting shadow to find traces.
Another problem with black PCB color is its heat absorption during the process of reflow. As far as cleanliness is concerned, the black solder mask needs hard efforts because the flux stains tend to be harder on the board and eventually require efforts for getting removed.
One of the advantages of a black solder mask is that it is working well with the contrast of silkscreen. The difference between silkscreen and pads are pretty much well. You do not need any lighting or optics to see the contrast as it is visible. Currently, only gloss black is available. Matte black solder mask color is still to be designed for prototypes.
If you think that black solder mask is hardest to handle, then you have not seen white yet. Experiments show that there is nothing good about white solder mask. White PCB color exhibits contrast that is even lowest as compared to black. When it comes to inspecting, even tilting it to light does not help in its traces` appearance. Cleaning the white printed circuit board is too hard as traces are hard to be seen. However, the silkscreen contrasts in white solder mask are the same as that are found in black color which implies that they work very well. Keeping in view other parameters, we don`t recommend the white solder mask.
It is to the surprise that why designers and engineers do not pick yellow PCB color. The contrast between empty spaces, traces, and planes is too high in yellow solder mask. It is almost as same as with green. So if you have some fantastic routing and your printed circuit board is some cool work of art, then this dark and coppery colored yellow solder mask is the right choice for you.
As white silkscreen is not contrasting well, you can use black silkscreen with yellow solder mask. It has been seen that it will create excellent results for your designing and working. Also, you will see that yellow solder mask does not give any problems with cleanliness. Yellow should be considered along with green and red colors, depending upon its outstanding performance parameters.
From the past few years, Green has been considered the standard color of PCB. Why is green so popular?
7. Green Ink PCB
7.1.Green solder-proof ink has the longest history and is the cheapest and most popular.
Since the middle and late of last century, the industry has begun to pay attention to the color of PCB, mainly because many high-end PCB manufacturing plants have adopted green design, so people slowly believe that green PCB must be high-end.
Green ink is currently the most widely used, the longest history, and the cheapest in the current market, so green is used by a large number of manufacturers as the main color of their products.
Generally speaking, PCB products are manufactured through PCB production, SMT and other processes. In the manufacturing process, several processes must go through the Yellow room, because the effect of green in the yellow room must be better than other colors. But this is not the main reason. When SMT is used to weld components, PCB has to go through the process of solder paste, patch and final AOI calibration lamp. All these processes require optical positioning calibration. Green background color is better for instrument recognition.
7.2.Green PCB board can relieve fatigue regarding visuals.
At present, due to the fabrication process and other problems, many PCB quality inspection processes still have to rely on artificial naked eye observation and recognition (of course, most of the current use of flying needle testing technology). In the strong light detection circuit board, relatively speaking, green is the least eye-injuring, so most manufacturers on the market now use green PCB.
7.3.And green PCB is relatively environmentally friendly. When it is used in high temperature environment, it usually does not release toxic gases.
JingHongYi PCB (HK) Co., Limited
Jinghongyi PCB (HK) Co., Limited is a professional manufacturer of high-quality PCB. JHY PCB specializes in quick turn PCB prototypes, small-medium volume PCB. Established in 2011, located in Baoan District, Shenzhen, China, with more than 500 experienced employees, we're able to achieve monthly output 40000 square meters.
PCB Manufacturing Services
As one of leading printed circuit board manufacturers based in China, JHYPCB has been offering international companies of all sizes with high-quality PCB prototype to production services at fair price for 8 years. To make professional and advanced circuit boards, we're committed to adhering to the strictest standards during PCB manufacturing process, we're fully compliant with the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system.
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- Guarantee good service and quality from PCB quotation to delivery.
To deliver true value and convenience to our PCB fabrication clients, we expand our business to components sourcing and turnkey PCB Assembly services ranging from prototype, low-to-middle volume to high volume up to 1 million pcs. We can mount components on circuit boards using surface mount technology (SMT),through-hole technology (THT), and manual insertion:
- High quality assembly services with short lead times
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Our company is approved by UL, TS16949, ISO-9001, and RoHS compliance.
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All boards are produced according to IPC-6012 standards and inspected according to IPC-A-600 in the latest version. Our products are widely applied in communications, industrial control, power electronics, medical equipment, security electronics, consumer electronics, LED, etc. More than 90 percent of them were exported to Europe, North America, South America.
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- Company Name: JingHongYi PCB (HK) Co., Limited
- Representative: Chen Zhi
- Product/Service: PCB Manufacturer , PCB Prototype , Flexible PCB , Multilayer PCB , Aluminum PCB , Rigid Flex PCB
- Capital (Million US $): US$1.5 Million
- Year Established: 2011
- Total Annual Sales Volume (Million US $): US$50 Million - US$100 Million
- Export Percentage: 91% - 100%
- Total Annual Purchase Volume (Million US $): US$10 Million - US$50 Million
- No. of Production Lines: 8
- No. of R&D Staff: 5 -10 People
- No. of QC Staff: 41 -50 People
- OEM Services Provided: yes
- Factory Size (Sq.meters): 1,000-3,000 square meters
- Factory Location: Building 15, Wan Xia Industrial Park, Tongfuyu Industrial Zone, Shajing,Baoan District, Shenzhen, China.
- Contact Person: Ms. Megan
- Tel: 86-1351-0758219
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