Your Valuable Aerospace PCB Supplier
The aerospace PCB requires printed circuit boards with high reliability in extreme conditions. Venture provides printed circuit boards that offer a wide range of materials, composites, substrates and construction that are very effective in the aerospace industry.
High-temperature laminates, copper, and aluminum substrates can perform very well in these challenging extreme environments. The aerospace industry is a unique, highly-rigorous, and mission-critical industry. When customers require aerospace PCB, any quality issues that risk human lives or safety will be a disaster, using a reliable and established PCB partner can mean the difference.
Your Leading Aerospace PCB Supplier in China
As a one-stop aerospace PCB solution provider, Venture offers you the convenience of dealing with fewer third-parties, stronger IP protection, and many other advantages which are important in aerospace projects, Venture has provided specialized products and services to China aerospace industry for over 10 years, such as:
- Radio communication systems
- Radar Installations
- Power converters
- Power supplies
- LED lighting systems
- Temperature sensors
- Audio interface applications
Our experienced knowledge of various aerospace PCB projects has positioned us to understand how to work with a wide range of materials, composites, substrates, and constructions that are necessary for aerospace projects.
Long development cycles and high qualification costs require aerospace customers to carefully select reliable, responsible, cost-effective partners, our expert knowledge of aerospace PCB production and quality control systems are the key that leads to aerospace customers.
Through our 2 hours rapid response services from our 24/7 sales and tech support team, and excellent after-sales service, we will be your best aerospace PCB manufacturers and suppliers in China. At Venture we can answer any aerospace PCB questions that you may have, pls feel free to contact us anytime.
Aerospace PCB – The Ultimate Guide
Today we will shift our focus to aerospace PCBs.
Air travel, space journeys and satellite transmissions have become necessities in the 21et century. Aerospace PCBs play a crucial role in manufacturing air-bound machines.
In this guide, we will focus on the types of aerospace PCBs and manufacturing factors.
Later, we will also look at the design and fabrication process, and their applications. Finally, we finish by looking at how to find the best dealer for these PCBs.
What is Aerospace PCB?
Circuit boards are essential in the manufacture of electronics. PCB together with its components makes the “engine” of whichever electrical appliance you come by.
This is because PCBs assist in directing electrical charges which are integral for seamless functioning.
Plane cockpit PCB
Aerospace PCBs are used in the aerospace industry. Military war crafts and other airplanes have multiple devices.
Due to the sensitivity of the industry, special PCBs are required. Aerospace printed circuit boards are the solution.
These PCBs take to account factors such as durability, shock absorption, humidity among others. These considerations make them the most suitable for the aerospace sector.
The nature of the task they are intended for also dictates on the type of material that should be used. Due to high temperatures that airplanes get exposed to, laminates, copper and aluminum substrates are mostly used.
Gold finger PCB for aerospace industry
The oxidation which is often induced by heat is addressed by using anodized aluminum.
Types of Aerospace PCB
Depending on the nature of applications, there are many types of PCBs for aerospace industry. Some of these applications include:
Circuit diagram for aircraft
These are circuit boards which have their components mounted on its one side. In the aerospace industry, they are used in making switching relays. They are also used in surveillance machine circuits.
These are circuit boards with two layers on which the components can be mounted. In the aerospace industry, they are commonly used in making power supplies. They are also essential in LED lighting.
All multilayer PCBs have at least three layers of conductive material. In the aerospace industry, they are used in the manufacture of devices for signal transmission. The production of devices for aerospace probe and GPS technology also rely on multilayer PCB.
·Types of PCB (based on function and design)
Some of the most common printed circuit boards in the category include:
i. Rigid PCB
This is a type of PCB that can never be twisted nor folded into any other shape. They are used in the manufacture of auxiliary power units, airplane cockpit instrumentation, and the manufacture of power converters and temperatures sensors.
They are also crucial in the instrumentation in the control tower.
They are made using flexible plastic substrates such as a polyimide. It is used as a connector in various applications in the aviation industry.
These are circuit boards that use both rigid and flexible board technologies. They take minimal space and have less weight, making them ideal for the industry.
Rigid flex PCB
iv. RF PCB
Radio-frequency PCBs are essential in the aerospace industry. They enable seamless communication as pilots rely on radio waves.
In this design, physical features of the board such as packaging, interconnection and layout impact integrity of the signals.
High speed PCB
These PCBs are commonly used in the aviation industry due to reliability in communication which is essential.
The base material of these PCB is made of metals, most commonly aluminum, steel alloy and copper. The aerospace industry requires these as they enhance heat dissipation.
Metal core PCB
A lot of heat is generated during compression and decompression of airplanes. Aluminum dissipates heat efficiently and is less costly.
High-Density Interconnect PCBs gives the ability for lighter products to be faster. This is achieved by its ability to leverage blind vias and to integrate it with micro vias.
Smaller devices in airplanes are made using this technology.
Features of Aerospace PCBs
Now, before you invest in any PCB for aerospace industry, it should have the following critical features:
·Highly reliable in extreme conditions
In the aerospace industry, stronger PCBs are required. These PCBs should be sturdier compared to those used in average electronics.
High-temperature laminates together with copper and even aluminum substrates help aerospace PCBs overcome these temperatures. Thermal compound is also used to prevent heat transfer to other electronic parts.
·Reliable PCB material for Aerospace PCB
In the design fabrication and assembly of aerospace PCBs, additional features are incorporated. Thermal compounds such as aluminum have to be applied to dissipate heat.
Critical traces must be shielded and grounded. Since they get exposed to aggressive environments, they are sprayed with acrylic spray.
·Ability to withstand shock/shock absorption capability
Extreme shock and vibration are common in the aerospace industry. Aerospace PCB manufacturers counter this by altering the design of the boards.
Pins are pressed on the board as opposed soldering. This helps to hold the component tightly. Sometimes a combination of both soldering and pin is applied.
·Durable and reliable
The most superseding factor for aerospace electronics is reliability. These electronics have to perform in severe environments. Satellites have to transmit signals for long periods without failure.
These PCBs are therefore made from very strong substrates, and the components are firmly pinned or soldered to stay intact for long.
·Ability to withstand radiations
PCBs used in the outer space have to overcome high levels of radiation. Radiation in space is capable of causing damage to equipment.
Aerospace PCBs have to be designed in such a way that they become radiation tolerant. Antifuse technology is applied due to enhance resistance to radiation.
·Ability to withstand varying frequencies
Radio waves are essential for communication in the aviation industry. These signals have to be transmitted regardless of the situation and environment.
Shielding is done in strategic places on the printed circuit board. The antennas also have to be shielded. Transmission lines are also made shorter. These help in ensuring seamless transmission.
An invisible coating is placed over exposed copper areas. These coatings include aerosol coating and solder masking.
Epoxy coatings can also be used as they are effective barriers to oxidation which results in corrosion.
The coating used must be able to withstand thermal demands in cases of high temperatures.
·Conform to aerospace regulations and standards
The manufacturer of aerospace PCB has to take to account these standards. These standards are categorized based on distinct aspects of the PCB manufacturing processes that they give priority to.
·Ability to optimize the operation of aerospace systems
Factors such as the right material and ability to withstand fluctuating temperatures are taken care of. Aerospace PCBs are also expected to be resistant to corrosion.
They should be able to withstand high frequencies and radiation. Together with durability, they are in a position to operate optimally.
Aerospace PCB Design and Fabrication
Aerospace printed circuit board fabrication involves numerous stages. This section covers some of the most critical aspects of these printed circuit boards.
1)Aerospace PCB design and layout
Several major design and layout considerations have to be made in order to make aerospace PCBs more robust. You need to use the correct mil-spec components. There is also the need to design extra cushion for the currents among other important factors.
So the first step should be to beef up the current within the PCB circuitry.
Design the PCB to carry an extra ampere that will help out in case of failure of the other two
Employ aspect ratio in handling the ratio between the bare boards compared to the vias when drilling the latter. The ratio ration should be 1:10. Exceeding this to, say 1:15, will most probably jeopardize reliability.
High power PCB design and layout
In this design, ensure that you separate power and ground planes. Low-frequency and high-frequency ones should be kept separate.
When you use oscillating components at higher frequencies, they are likely to generate waveforms. These are likely to affect components of the lower frequency.
Shield and ensure the cleanliness of the clock signals. This is achieved by the use of aluminum or other materials bearing the same qualities with aluminum.
The next step is verification of impedance calculations. You will also have to conduct pre-layout simulations as it is near impossible to test aerospace applications in normal environments.
You are supposed to introduce simulation software to make this possible. This will help you get recommendations for possible alterations. It thus helps to ensure that your PCB works optimally.
When trace routing aerospace PCBs, you have to maintain it at no more than 45-degree angles. Curved traces are the most preferred. This will help in smooth transmission of currents within the circuitry.
For efficiency and strength, cushioning has to be done to the mechanical holes.
For low-frequency applications, use polyimide, FR4, Cyanate Ester or G10. For the high-frequency applications, you should use Droids, Rodger Series and other Teflon-based materials.
2)Aerospace PCB fabrication
Aerospace PCB fabrication is supposed to take into account all the conditions that airplanes get subjected to. A number of stages are put in place to help realize this.
These developments are in addition to the normal PCB fabrication processes. The stages are as outlined here:
Sequential lamination- this is done with polymer matrix-composites. They are stiff and light but heat resistant.
Blind and buried vias – these are used to connect layers of PCB where space is limited. It enables the connection between the inner and outer layers. Buried vias are able to connect outer layers but never go through to an outer layer.
Filled vias (conductive and nonconductive vias): this helps in the prevention of solder or other contaminants from getting into the via. It also provides the copper pad with structural support as it covers open holes in the cases of via in pad.
Laser Drilling and Stacked Vias: In the aerospace industry, lacer PCB drilling is essential in the creation of vias. It is also the most appropriate for FR4 and the composite materials used.
Heatsinks- high-grade thermal compound is used to insulate heat sinks. This is done in order to pad printed circuit boards. This ensures the reduction of vibration issues.
Edge Plaiting and Castellation: This refers to the interlacing of strands. It enables modification of aerospace PCBs. Holes can be drilled easily. It also makes it possible to create slots and millings.
Application of thermal compounds-Thermal compounds are applied due to their ability to help insulate heat sinks. Aerospace PCBs are exposed to various temperatures.
Soldering of swages-These are soldered to the pad. This is used in soldering of printed circuit boards.
3)Aerospace PCB assembly Process
Some of the main processes in the PCB assembly process include the following:
BGA PCB Assembly
Planning makes an essential step in all manufacturing processes. The design and layout of the aerospace PCB desired are formulated.
All the specifications are checked and those that are likely to cause flaws are rectified.
·Solder paste application
Solder paste is applied to the board. Stencils are used in order to create various shapes and sizes.
This ensures that the solder paste is applied to the right position.
·Placing of components
This is an automated process. It enables placement of components on the intended areas of the board.
In the aerospace PCBs assembly, robotic machines are used. They are accurate as they rely on design software.
·Application of solder paste
After the placement of the components, solder paste has to be correctly applied and solidified. The components are able to stick to the board.
The aerospace PCB is put through a conveyor belt. This belt passes through a reflow oven.
The oven is supposed to be of industrial standard. It enhances the melting of the excess solder paste.
They are then exposed to cooler heaters. These cool down melted paste and solidify it, firmly holding the components on the board.
The aerospace PCB is then put through an inspection. This helps in identifying whether there is any functionality issue.
Poor quality connections are likely to lead to operational flaws of the aerospace PCB. Checking is first done manually. They are further inspected using optical options which are digitized.
·Through-hole component insertion
Aerospace PCB components need through-hole insertion. This is since most of the PCBs used in this industry are multilayered.
The use of through-hole technology enables the passing of signals from one side of the board to the other.
In this stage, functionality and electrical characteristics are inspected. These include voltage and current inspection.
The signal output is also subjected to inspection. This is important considering the risks that airplanes are exposed to. The flaws could be disastrous.
Flux can remain on the aerospace PCBs. It is therefore essential to clean the PCBs off such residues as they have the potential of interfering with functionality.
This is done by washing these boards with de-ionized water. They are then dried efficiently using compressed air.
This ensures that the components are not subjected to electrical flaws or defects that could hamper functionality.
Testing Aerospace PCB Assembly
After assembling aerospace PCBs, it is essential to test whether they are working as desired. Unlike other PCBs, aerospace PCBs are very sensitive.
A minor mistake has the potential of translating to disaster.
Tests are conducted to confirm whether the PCBs have attained the standards and specifications of the aviation industry. It also helps in ascertaining whether the desired features are captured aptly.
PCB quality testing
More often, prototype aerospace PCBs are created. During prototyping, the flaws are detected early enough and corrected.
Due to the sensitivity of aerospace products, it would be imprudent to roll out a PCB before prototyping. Production of PCBs has to go through this process.
The prototype has to meet the standards set by the relevant aviation authorities before they are rolled out for production.
Aerospace PCB Packaging
Aerospace PCB packaging is a delicate process. The same applies to the shipping of the parts.
They have to be packaged appropriately to prevent damages that can be catastrophic in the future. When shipping these products, protection should be provided by curing them in special boxes.
They have to be cushioned within the boxes to prevent movements that have the potential of being destructive.
Application of Aerospace PCB
Honestly, there are many applications of PCB in aerospace industry. Here are just a few applications:
·Radio communication systems
Radio communications are essential in the aerospace industry. They aid in communication between the crew and the control tower.
Aerospace PCBs have to be used to ensure that the communication is seamless and efficient at all times.
Reliability is essential for the aerospace industry. Radar installations help transmit radio waves. These are very important in communication.
Aerospace PCBs are used in the installation of radar. These PCBs are resistant to the hazardous and extreme environmental conditions that these installations are made in.
·PCB for aerospace sensor
Sensors in the aerospace sector are a necessity. They are important in detecting signals, pressure, and heat among others.
Due to the sensitive role they play, sensors have to be stable and reliable. They must also be cost effective. Aerospace PCBs are therefore designed to possess these qualities.
These are designed to convert electrical energy from one form to another. This is very sensitive in the aerospace industry.
Space shuttles, for example, rely on power converters to enable them to fly to space. Failure of these converters is catastrophic.
Aerospace PCBs for converters are fabricated such that they are able to withstand radiation in space. This helps in ensuring efficiency.
These are devices that supply electric power to electric boards. Failure is not an option in the aerospace industry.
Aerospace PCBs are designed and fabricated in such a way that they are able to withstand fluctuations in power supplies. In most instances, aluminum is used as it has the ability to dissipate electrical power currents.
·LED lighting systems
Light emitting diodes are largely used in the aviation industry for lighting. Aerospace PCBs have to be used in the manufacture of these LEDs. This is because the aviation industry is delicate.
A small fault in the design of the PCBs for LEDs can potentially translate into catastrophes. It is imperative that the aerospace standards are met when making the LEDs.
·Electronic flight instrumentation
This is found in the flight deck. It displays flight data electronically. It is a multifunctional display for the plane.
Also, this is one of the most sensitive components of a plane. Aerospace PCBs used in its manufacture must be designed to ensure durability and resistance to most of the extremities faced by the airplane.
These are devices which detect and measure hotness or coolness within a system and subsequently convert them into electrical signals. Airplanes are subjected to fluctuating temperatures.
There is need for PCBs that can handle this kind of fluctuations. This can only be found in aerospace PCBs. They are manufactured bearing this factor in mind.
·Engine control systems
This is charged with the duty of controlling and coordinating different components of the engine for optimal performance.
It is imperative that aerospace PCBs are used in the manufacture of these systems. This will help ensure that efficiency is realized.
·Audio interface applications
A good example, in this case, is a flight data recorder. These are supposed to record all the information spoken over radio in the airplane.
They help in storing data. The data stored can be retrieved after aviation accidents and be used to ascertain the cause of the crash. This helps in the prevention of similar accidents.
Aerospace PCBs are used in these devices due to their ability to withstand extremities.
Where to Buy Aerosp
Probably, sourcing for aerospace PCB can be the most challenging task. But, this section will make the process simple and easy to understand.
Let’s break it down:
Aerospace PCB design
When sourcing for aerospace PCBs, you have to ensure that the provider is an expert.
You can ascertain this by confirming whether the provider is certified with the relevant aviation bodies.
You should also confirm membership to relevant professional bodies for the members of staff.
The sensitivity of airplanes and spacecraft dictates that the components such as PCBs are fabricated by professionals.
This will guarantee quality. Only this way are you able to avoid hazardous and tragic outcome.
More extended experience is usually associated with perfection. This also applies to the design and fabrication of aerospace PCBs.
It is advisable to source aerospace PCBs from providers with longer experiences in the industry.
Experienced providers are also most likely well acquainted with the regulations of the aviation industry. You will thus be sure get perfect PCBs for your aerospace needs.
Technology is ever evolving. From time to time, innovations come into play.
These innovations ensure that the products made are more efficient and reliable. They draw their strength from the incorporation of the benefits of the previous technology.
Besides, they also capitalize on the failures of the preceding technology and improve on them.
This translates into better products. When sourcing for aerospace PCBs, look out for providers using the latest technology.
Aerospace PCBs are expensive. They are made with a lot of environmental considerations that airplanes are exposed to.
You don’t want to buy such an expensive product without a warranty.
The warranty shows the confidence of the manufacturer on the product that he sells to you. It also gives you value for your money in case an anomaly arises within the specified period. This will help you minimize losses.
Manufacturers of aerospace PCBs should be able to work out logistics for the transportation of their products.
Due to the delicate nature of aerospace PCBs, not all courier companies can transport them.
You should choose a provider who is able to transport the products you have ordered for. This will help ensure that caution is taken when transporting the products.
·After sales servicing
It is also imperative that you choose an aerospace PCB provider who can service their product. In some cases, components of the PCBs can have issues.
It would be ideal to get it serviced or replaced by the dealer. This will help ensure that you get the correct service for the component. A provider who is not able to maintain his product is unsuitable.
Other factors to consider include:
-Timely response from the manufacturer whenever there is need.
-The providers ought also to be able to provide a guide on how best to use the product. This will help ensure that breakage during the assembly of devices is minimized.
This translates into the reliability of the aerospace PCB provider.
We have leant that PCBs are essential for the aviation industry. A number of considerations must be incorporated when designing and fabricating aerospace PCBs to tackle fluctuating temperatures, radiation, radio frequencies.
They must be designed to be reliable and durable.
We have also looked at the design and fabrication process of these PCBs. From this, we have realized that a few strategies have to be taken into account to ensure that the PCB is of quality.