Various Types of PCB Board Materials and Their Characteristics

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Various Types of PCB Board Materials and Their Characteristics

PCB Introduction

PCB, or Printed Circuit Board, also known as a printed wiring board, is a crucial electronic component. It serves as the support for electronic components and the medium for their electrical connections. It is called a “printed” circuit board because it is made using electronic printing techniques.

PCB Classification

There are three main types of PCB boards:

  1. Single-Sided Boards

In single-sided boards, components are concentrated on one side, and the wiring is concentrated on the other side. Since the wiring only appears on one side, these are called single-sided PCBs. Due to the strict design limitations of single-sided boards (as the wiring cannot cross over and must take separate paths), these types of boards are typically used in early circuits.

  1. Double-Sided Boards

Double-sided boards have wiring on both sides. To utilize the wiring on both sides, proper electrical connections between the two sides are required. These “bridges” between the circuits are called vias. A via is a small hole on the PCB, filled or coated with metal, that connects the wiring on both sides. Because double-sided boards have twice the area of single-sided boards, they solve the problem of intersecting wiring in single-sided boards (by passing through a hole to the other side) and are more suitable for more complex circuits than single-sided boards.

  1. Multilayer Boards

To increase the wiring area, multilayer boards use multiple single or double-sided boards. A printed circuit board that consists of one double-sided layer as the inner layer, two single-sided layers as the outer layers, or two double-sided layers as the inner layers, with insulating bonding materials alternating between them and the conductive patterns interconnected as required by the design, becomes a four-layer or six-layer printed circuit board. The number of layers does not represent the number of independent wiring layers; in special cases, blank layers may be added to control the board thickness. The layers are usually even in number, including the outermost two layers. Most motherboards have a structure of 4 to 8 layers, but technically, PCB boards can have nearly 100 layers. Large supercomputers often use very multi-layered motherboards, but as these computers can now be replaced by clusters of many ordinary computers, ultra-multi-layer boards are gradually becoming less used. Although the layers in a PCB are tightly bonded, the actual number can still be observed if you look closely at the motherboard.

The Role of PCBs

The use of printed boards in electronic devices has ensured the consistency of the same type of printed board, thus avoiding errors in manual wiring and enabling the automatic insertion or surface mounting of electronic components, automatic soldering, and automatic testing. This has ensured the quality of electronic devices, improved labor productivity, reduced costs, and facilitated maintenance.

Advantages of PCBs

PCBs have been widely applied due to their unique advantages, summarized as follows:

How to choose the best PCB material for your project

  • High density. Over the past decades, the high density of printed boards has developed with the improvement of integrated circuit integration and installation technology.
  • High reliability. A series of checks, tests, and aging experiments ensure that PCBs can work reliably over the long term (usually 20 years).
  • Designability. The various performance requirements (electrical, physical, chemical, mechanical, etc.) of PCBs can be achieved through standardized and normalized design, which is fast and efficient.
  • Producibility. With modern management, standardized, scaled, and automated production can ensure consistent product quality.
  • Testability. A relatively complete set of testing methods, standards, and various testing equipment and instruments have been established to test and appraise the quality and service life of PCB products.
  • Assemblability. PCB products facilitate standardized assembly of various components and can be mass-produced automatically and scaled. Additionally, PCBs and assembled component parts can be assembled into larger components and systems, even complete devices.
  • Maintainability. Since PCB products and assembled component parts are designed and produced in a standardized and scaled manner, these parts are also standardized. Therefore, in the event of a system failure, they can be quickly, conveniently, and flexibly replaced, quickly restoring the system to operation. There are, of course, more examples. For instance, they contribute to the miniaturization, lightweight, and high-speed transmission of signals in systems.

PCB Industry Trends

The future development of the PCB industry will be influenced by several significant trends. Firstly, the increasing demand driven by emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, 5G, artificial intelligence, and automotive electronics will lead to continuous growth in PCB requirements. Secondly, the growing awareness of environmental protection will have a profound impact on PCB manufacturing. More companies will focus on reducing environmental pollution during PCB production by adopting renewable materials and green manufacturing technologies to meet global environmental regulations. Thirdly, the prevalence of smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 will significantly transform the PCB manufacturing industry. Automation equipment, IoT technology, and big data analytics will be widely used in the PCB production process, enhancing production efficiency, reducing costs, and achieving digital management and intelligent control of the production process. Fourthly, globalization will promote international cooperation and exchange in the PCB industry. Multinational corporations will strengthen cooperation and resource integration globally to address international trade frictions, supply chain risks, and market competition pressures, driving the common development of the global PCB industry. Finally, the increasing demand for customization and small-batch production will drive growth. As consumer demand becomes more personalized, companies will focus more on providing customized PCB solutions to flexibly respond to market changes and enhance competitiveness.

PCB Board Materials

94V-0 and 94V-2 are classified as a flame retardant material level, with 94V-0 being the highest among them. PCB materials generally come in several colors, with green being the most common, followed by black, red, blue, and yellow. The color has nothing to do with quality; it is merely a matter of personalization.

When considering PCB materials, the focus is usually on the material and thickness, not the color. The color you are referring to is likely that of the solder mask ink. Solder mask ink colors include white, yellow, black, red, blue, and even transparent. The most commonly used is green ink. The solder mask ink used depends on the precision requirements of the board.


With the growing demand for customization and low-volume production in the PCB industry. As consumer preferences become increasingly personalized, PCB manufacturers are working to provide customized solutions to meet these needs. This trend is driving innovation and flexibility within the industry as companies strive to respond quickly to market changes and enhance their competitive advantage. The future of PCB manufacturing is likely to focus more on customer-specific designs and production runs to meet the diverse and changing needs of the electronics market.

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