High Voltage PCB Design

  • 10 years high voltage PCB design experiences
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Your Reliable High Voltage PCB Design Partner

Today circuit boards that function in high-voltage applications power the most innovative technologies available. When you are designing High-tech lasers or power supplies for particle colliders, these applications will require high voltage PCB design.

The same way that a city creates zoning areas and restricts what land can be used for when designing a high voltage PCB, you want to group your high voltage circuitry together too, in order to minimize the impact that high voltage circuitry will have on the rest of your (low voltage circuitry) board.

Your Leading High Voltage PCB Design Supplier in China

Venture is not only a high voltage PCB manufacturer but also an expert in high voltage PCB design field:

  • We strictly follow the high voltage PCB design standards: isolate high voltage areas and noise sources to the rest of the board, let you step the voltage down gradually and minimize interconnections, so to decrease the risk of electric arcing on the board.
  • We also focus on the spacing controlling between two conductive elements, because the voltage across the circuit board components makes it much easier for an electric arc to occur, any electric arc that does occur will bring higher risk to both the final product and users.
  • We choose the PCB material that suitable for high voltage PCB design, these materials are specifically designed to tolerate an over voltage event and the regular high V operating conditions. There are a few material options you to consider: such as FR4 Laminate, BT Epoxy., etc

Venture high voltage PCB design team has the industry leading design engineers and 10 years’ high voltage PCB design experiences. From design and material selection to circuit fabrication and final component assembly, Venture high voltage PCB design engineers have full experience in processing a wide variety of printed circuit board materials.

No matter you are an electrical engineer, a product designer, a system integrator or a maker looking for a high voltage PCB design, Venture high voltage design team will be here to help you. 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 expert high voltage PCB Design partner in China. At Venture we can answer any high-voltage PCB Design and high voltage PCB layout questions that you may have, pls feel free to contact us anytime.


High Voltage PCB Design: The Ultimate Guide

high-voltage-pcb-design

Designing high voltage printed circuit board requires precision and careful selection of PCB material.

Besides, knowing – why you need a high voltage PCB, standard specifications, quality testing procedures, component selection, classification criteria, etc.

Today’s guide covers everything on high voltage printed circuit boards, from basic definition to advanced design procedures.

Let’s get started.

High voltage PCB

High voltage PCB

High Voltage Printed Circuit Board Definition

High voltage printed circuit boards are special types of PCBs that can sustain high voltages and thermal fluctuations. They are mainly made from heavy copper material.

Conditions such as low air pressure can force voltages to arc rapidly. This calls for materials that can withstand these fluctuations. Hence, high voltage PCBs offer the solution.

High Voltage PCB Design

High voltage PCB Design

Why Design PCB for High Voltage Systems

Most industries require PCBs that can withstand high voltages.

Industries such as the aerospace industry, military, and power generating firms need these boards.

In some instances, using other boards may lead to increased arcing, which can be inconveniencing and costly.

Advantages of High Voltage PCB Design

High voltage PCB design has many benefits owing to the use of heavier copper, compared to other PCB designs.

Power transmission substationPower transmission substation

  • Enhanced endurance to thermal strains – With the heavy copper, you are assured that the board will be able to sustain thermal fluctuations.
  • It also comes with an increased capacity to carry currents. You might not find this quality in any other board.
  • High voltage PCBs also have enhanced mechanical strength. This is evident in the connector sites and the PTH holes.
  • By including higher copper weights on the board’s circuitry layer, the size of the product is immensely reduced.
  • The heavy copper-plated vias enhance heat transfer to external heatsinks.

 Disadvantages of High Voltage PCB Design

Some of the main drawbacks of high voltage printed circuit board design include:

·Time-consuming

The fabrication and assembly of high voltage PCBs are time-consuming.

This is due to the additional modifications required, including the use of heavier copper unlike in the other PCBs.

·Expensive

Additional materials usually imply an addition to the budget. High voltage boards require heavier copper which have to come at a cost.

Regulations and Standards for High Voltage PCB Design

Depending on where you intend to use the high voltage printed circuit boards, they should meet the following quality standards:

CT scanCT Scan

·cGMP

Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations are a set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  cGMP standards are critical when designing high voltage PCBs for medical equipment.

·IEEE

This is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. It is a professional body that regulates the development of electro-technology.

It produces periodic journals that give guidance on some of the most current and advanced electro-technology.

Ensure that you subscribe to this body to stay updated on the most recent technologies and emerging regulations.

·CE

CE is a mark of quality that finds its origin in the European Economic Area.

It entails a number of regulatory measures that your high voltage PCB has to go through within the European Union.

These standards vary from health standards, user-friendly standards, and environmentally friendly standards.

This will also come in handy when purchasing components within the European Union markets. Ensure that such components bear this mark.

Ensure also that you attain these standards when intending to sell or use your board within Europe. This should be regardless of where you manufacture it.

·RoHS

Hazardous substances are usually restricted with this standardization mark. It is also common within the European market.

Your electronic and electrical products should be free from hazardous substances.

This standardization mark will last you about five years. Restricted products include lead, mercury, chromium, and cadmium.

These regulations also restrict PBBs and PBDEs.

When you are purchasing components for your high voltage PCB, ensure that these set standards are met. It is a universally accepted standardization mark.

·CCC

The Chinese certification mark is another crucial mark to look out for. Expect this mark of quality on products produced, imported and used within China.

You will find most high voltage components manufacturers located in China. This mark will help you a great deal in ensuring quality standards.

·ISO

ISO 9000 is perhaps the most commonly accepted standardization mark universally. It is an assurance that organizations meet the desired standards for consumers.

Ensure that the components you purchase for your high voltage PCB bear this mark. It is a confirmation of quality.

Besides, ISO 14000 ensures that the PCB and manufacturer conforms to safe environmental standard.

·ASTM

This is also another organization that ensures that international standards are adhered to. It also comes up with publications on production strategies.

These standards are usually mutually agreed on. Materials that you use in your high voltage PCB design should meet these standards.

How to Choose Material for High Voltage PCB Design

Creation of high voltage PCBs comes with a number of stringent conditions that must be adhered to. It is crucial to ensure that no arcs are formed for the product to be safe and reliable.

This would mean that the design stays in perfect condition even as it ages. Let us have a look at some of the most recommended materials:

PCB Material

PCB Material

·FR4 Laminate

This laminate has a high dielectric breakdown. However, it has higher porosity compared to epoxy and polyimide. This makes it susceptible to contamination.

It’s a weaker edge structure. Whenever there is a crack on the edge, the dielectric value decreases.

The adjacent electronics are also likely to be carbonized. This is as a result of overvoltage events.

·BT Epoxy

This material has strong sidewalls. It is most preferred for applications that have planar coils. It is also the best with medium-voltage circuits.

·Isola, High V laminates

This is preferred because it extinguishes arcs. They are, however, expensive.

Normally, they are only applicable when handling single-sided and very basic double-sided boards.

It is important to note that when using these suitable materials, you should consider environmental factors.

When you use materials with very high insulation standards, ensure the material can sustain vacuum or high-power applications.

Component Sourcing for High Voltage PCB

PCB Components

PCB Components

When sourcing for high voltage PCB components, it is essential first to develop a bill of materials (BOM).

This gives an overview of all the components that you will need in the assembly of your board.

The details should entail the number of parts required, sizes, and where to get them. With a well spelled-out BOM, you will be having a clear insight of the entire process.

In most cases, you’ll have to outsource some components from other manufacturers.

For proper guidance on what you need, the BOM will be a requirement. As we had learned, this will help the manufacturers identify what you need for your high voltage PCB.

You should source component from reliable, experienced, and certified company.

Remember, you will use the bill of materials to generate the quotations.

When you are sourcing for PCB components overseas, the manufacturer should have shipping capabilities.

Usually, components are fragile, hence the need for special packaging and shipping. Make sure that the manufacturer has these capabilities.

With these considerations, you will be rest assured that the outsourced components meet your needs.

PCB components

PCB Components

Of course, the type of PCB components you will source for depends on the specific applications of printed circuit board.

Don’t strive to get cheap components. Quality is paramount when it comes to high voltage PCB components.

High Voltage PCB Design Considerations

There are many considerations that you are supposed to make when designing high voltage PCB. Let us delve into some of these design considerations.

1. High Voltage PCB Design Guidelines

High voltage printed circuit board

High voltage printed circuit board

Consider Your Operating Frequency

This will affect your high voltage design because arcing at a lower voltage is likely at high frequencies.

This calls for good spacing between the signal lines and special consideration at the end of the frequency spectrum.

DC differential can potentially cause etching. It can also result in electrochemical migration. Moreover, because of the migration of the electrochemical, the layers are likely to arc.

This will decrease the board’s creepage and clearance distances.

Some of the most common metals that contribute to electrochemical migration are tin, silver, and at times, copper.

You can minimize this by avoiding the use of pure tin or silver when finishing your high voltage PCB design.

If you have to use tin, lace it with low lead contents to control the emergence of conductive filaments.

Derate Your Components

Derating is important when your design is meant to work in high-stress environments. Lower the highest value of current, voltage and even temperature of the component.

This will give the product a longer lifetime, which is calculated using your percentage rating.

You should hence derate your materials to a parameter value that they will experience when in real use. This will lower production costs.

Photo courtesy: Electronics Point

Note that the risks associated with the boards are as a result of overvoltage, causing arcing on the board.

Ensure that you derate to maximum, not average voltage. This will see your high voltage PCB survive in case of overvoltage.

Select Your Components

After derating, review all the components that you selected. High voltage is likely to cause high variability in electrical connections across your board.

It will also cause field stresses among the components of the board.

Fluctuations in voltage may also create arc points and destroy components.

2.Multi-layer High Voltage PCB Designs Guidelines

Let us look at some guidelines for four-layered multi-layered high voltage printed circuit board.

This is a rather complex procedure owing to the number of set standards that ought to be followed.

Multi layer PCB

Multi layer PCB

According to electrical conductor spacing, boards with 80V difference between conductors should have the following qualities between conductors:

  • The internal layers are supposed to have 0.1 mm between them.
  • The external layers that are uncoated should have 0.6mm between them.
  • External layers that are coated on the other hand, should have 0.13mm between them.

These numbers are just the minimum clearance that the layers should have between them. It is crucial to note that the high power vias keep clearance in low voltage side.

3.Heavy Copper Circuits in High Voltage PCB Design

Heavy copper circuits are usually manufactured with copper weighing between 4 oz/ft2 and 20 oz/ft2.

There are also instances in which copper weighing anything between 20 oz/ft2 to 200 oz/ft2 are used. This is referred to as extreme copper.

Thick copper PCB

 Thick copper PCB

Let us focus on extreme copper.

4.Construction of Heavy Circuit Copper

The only difference between the manufacture of heavy copper PCB and other PCBs is in etching. The plating techniques also seem to differ considerably. The plaiting is high speed while the etching is differential.

In this plating, you as the fabricator will have a chance to increase copper thickness. This thickness will be realized in both the plated holes and the via sidewalls.

Printed circuit board

printed circuit board

PowerLink is the method used to combine heavy copper with other ordinary single board’s features. This comes with some advantages, including a reduction in the number of layers. It also leads to low impedance in power production and reduced production costs.

5.Current Carrying Capacity and Temperature Rise

Usually, the level of current tolerance in a copper circuit is dependent on heat rise that it can sustain.

This is because there is a positive correlation between heat rise and current flow.

Current flow along a trace leads to localized heating. Conduction is responsible for the cooling of the trace and subsequent expulsion to the outer environment.

The maximum current that a trace can tolerate is established by estimating the heat rise associated with applied current.

Ensure there is a balance between the rate of heating and the rate of cooling.

6.Circuit Board Strength and Survivability

There is a vast number of dielectric materials that you can choose from.

However, if you are going to expose your board to extreme environments, you should use exotic material.

Using heavy copper circuits helps to avoid thermal failures. When you plate the holes to 2 oz/ft2, the chances of failure are limited to zero.

7.Thermal Management

The heat released during the operation of the board must be dissipated. This dissipation should be from the source to the environment.

If the components are left to overheat, the likely result is the failure of the whole system.

Thermal management

Thermal management – Photo courtesy: Nex Logic

When using heavy copper circuits, heat loss will be reduced. The heavy copper circuit achieves this by conducting heat away from the crucial components.

Heatsinks ensure that the heat is dissipated from the point of generation to the outer environment.

Types of High Voltage Printed Circuit Board

When you’re looking for high voltage printed circuit boards, you can consider any of the following:

i.Single-sided High Voltage PCBs

These are the most basic forms of high voltage printed circuit boards. They are the most preferred boards for low-density designs.

Single sided PCB

Single sided PCB

This board usually has no plated through holes. Resist is printed on the bare copper board. You then proceed to etch and print the solder mask.

By the use of photoresist, you will be able to pattern the circuit. Raw materials used in the manufacture of these board include FR4, Aluminum and Copper base.

ii.Double-sided High Voltage PCBs

Unlike in the single-sided high voltage PCB, this board has two conductive layers. This means both sides of the board have both traces and paths. This advancement in capabilities informs its use in advanced electronic applications.

Double sided PCB

Double sided PCB – Photo courtesy: Engineering projects

There are two methods used in mounting components onto this board: through hole technology and surface mount technology.

The layers are also laminated on both sides of the board. Glass epoxy resin is usually used as an insulating material for insulating the base of the design.

Use copper foil to laminate both sides of the substrate, and solder-mask to protect the board for protection.

iii.Multi-layered high voltage PCBs

Multilayer high voltage PCBs usually has more than three conductive layers buried in the center of the material. This makes it different from both single and double-sided high voltage PCBs.

To achieve this multilayer design, alternate layers of prepreg and the core materials.

Multi layer PCB

Multi layer PCB

You will need high temperature and pressure in laminating these materials together. This will help in the removal of trapped air between the layers.

Conductors are further encapsulated with resin. You then proceed to melt and cure the adhesive that holds the layers together.

In the fabricating multi-layered high voltage PCB, you can use basic epoxy glass, exotic ceramic, or Teflon materials.

iv.Rigid Flex High Voltage PCBs

This kind of high voltage PCB is made up of both rigid and flexible circuit substrates laminated together.

Rigid flex PCB

Rigid flex PCB

Normally, the flex substrate is made of flexible polyimides like Kapton or Norton. These polyamides are usually laminated together with copper using heat, acrylic adhesive and pressure.

This is what is laminated together with the rigid substrate. You will then mount components on both sides of the resulting multilayer board.

Rigid flex high voltage PCB doesn’t require connecting cables between the two substrates. This is because the flex PCB circuit achieves electrical connection.

This leads to a number of performance advantages.

First, it improves the circuit’s signal transmission and leads to controlled impedance in the circuit.

Rigid-flex high voltage PCBs also help to eliminate common connection problems such as cold joints. The weight is also reduced, while still offering adequate for more components.

Layout Guidelines for High Voltage PCB Design

When you are designing your high voltage PCB, you will first have to isolate high voltage areas. Grouping the high voltage circuitry together will minimize the impact on your board.

 PCB Layout

PCB Layout

  • Ensure that you reduce the voltage across the board and isolate noise sources. The interconnections should also be minimized.
  • Use design checks to ensure that the high voltage PCB has excellent performance and lifetime protection.
  • In your design, ensure that the creepage and clearance distance is observed.
  • Clearance is usually the shortest distance through air between two conductive layers. A smaller clearance on the PCB is likely to lead to the formation of an arc between the boards during overvoltage.
  • Creepage, on the other hand, is the distance between conductive layers in a PCB. It is a measure of the shortest distance along the insulation surface’s material.
  • The operating frequency is also another critical aspect to be considered in high voltage PCB design. Avoid the use of pure tin or silver to finish this kind of PCB.
  • The components should also be derated to the maximum voltage as opposed to average voltage. This assures you of product safety and survivability when subjected to over-voltage.
  • To prevent the occurrence of arc, you should avoid corners and sharp edges.
  • For the pads, it is important to ensure that the curves are smooth. The corners should also be curved. You can also use solder balls at connection points.
  • Ensure that the material that you are using for the board is appropriate. These materials include FR4 laminate, BT epoxy and Isola High V laminate. High voltage PCBs require laminates that will tolerate overvoltage.
  • It is equally very critical to ensure that the glass resin content used is the appropriate one. If these are not selected appropriately, then the result could be flaws in the final product.

Creepage and Clearance Distance in High Voltage PCB

Just like any other PCBs, high voltage circuit boards also have tight spacing requirements. These are usually measured in creepage and clearance.

An arc can easily form in between the conductive elements of the high voltage PCB.

When you correctly space components on the high voltage PCB, you reduce the chances of occurrence of an arc. This spacing is determined by the clearance and creepage.

The term clearance is the distance through which air circulates between two conductors.

When conductive layers between the high voltage PCB lack adequate clearance, an arc is likely to form.

Creepage is the distance between two conductors. However, it is on the surface of the material as opposed to through the air.

When your high voltage PCB has proper creepage, the components will not become too crowded.

Manufacturing High Voltage Printed Circuit Board

High voltage printed circuit board, just like any other PCB, is made with copper. Usually, copper is plated to a substrate then carved away to expose the board’s design.

PCB Assembly

PCB Assembly

The following is a step by step procedure on how to manufacture your high voltage PCB.

Step 1 – The Design

Designing of the board will give you the blueprint on which your high voltage PCB will be based. Usually, this is accomplished using computer software.

You will use the trace width calculator when generating details of the inner and the external layers of the high voltage PCB.

Step 2 – Printing the Design

In this step, use the plotter printer in printing the design of the high voltage PCB. This is because it is able to produce a film that details the layers of the board.

After printing, use two different ink colors in the inner layers of the board.

Clear ink will be denoting the non-conductive areas while the conductive copper traces will be indicated with black ink. Use the same colors on the outer layers but with reversed meanings.

Step 3 – Creating the Substrate

In this stage, we can confidently say your high voltage PCB has started taking shape. Substrates start forming when you pass the board through an oven.

Passing epoxy resin and glass fiber through heat semi-cures them.

Proceed to pre-bond copper to both sides of the layer, then etch to expose the design from the printed films.

Step 4 – Printing the Inner Layers

After creating the substrate, proceed to print the design to a laminate, which is the body of the structure.

Use a photo-sensitive film to cover the structure. This is also necessary for the alignment of the blueprints and the final print on the board.

Drill holes on the board. This will also help in the process of alignment.

Step 5 – Ultraviolet Light

After aligning the resist and the laminate, take them through ultraviolet light. This will help in hardening the photoresist.

Having passed through the ultraviolet light, copper pathways will be exposed. Parts earmarked for removal are prevented from hardening by the black ink.

You can then deep the layers into an alkaline solution to remove the excess photoresist.

Step 6 – Removing Unwanted Copper

In this step, you will be removing excess copper that will have remained on the board.

For this process to take place, wash the board with a solution similar to the previously used alkaline solution.

This will wash off excess copper on the board.

During this process, the hardened photoresist will remain intact.

Step 7 – Inspection

For alignment purposes, you will have to inspect the cleaned layers. The formerly drilled holes will also enable you to align both the inner and the outer layers.

Using an optical punch drill, you will be able to line up the layers. After inspection using the optical punch, proceed to use an alternative machine to inspect the board.

This will help clear doubt of whether the board is perfect. It is important to use the advanced inspection machine because you will not be able to correct the missed errors.

Step 8 – Laminating the Layers

At this point, the board will now be taking the final shape. This is a result of the fusion of the boards together.

Use metal clamps to hold the layers together at the commencement of the lamination process. Ensure that the prepreg layer goes into the alignment basin.

After this sub-step, put a substrate layer above the prepreg. This should then be succeeded by the placement of a copper foil layer.

Onto this add prepreg resin. Ultimately, you can proceed to add a layer of copper. This is the press plate.

Step 9 – Pressing the Layers

You should now press the layers together. This starts with the punching of pins through the layers to ensure that they are effectively aligned and secured.

Depending on the technology that you are using, these pins can be removed later on.

After this, you will apply both heat and pressure onto the layers. With heat, epoxy will melt in the prepreg.

The pressure on the other end will aid in the fusion of the layers together.

Step 10 – Drilling

You should use a computer-aided drill that will lead to exposure of the substrate and the inner panels.

Remove any copper that will remain after this step.

Step 11 – Plating

Use a chemical solution to fuse together these layers. Proceed to clean the board with recommended chemicals.

The panel will be coated with a thin copper layer. This seeps into the afore-drilled holes.

Step 12 – Outer Layer Imaging

Apply a photoresist layer onto the surface of the outer layer as you did in the third step.

You can then send the panel for imaging.

Use ultraviolet light again to harden the photoresist. Remove the excess photoresist.

Step 13 – Plating

Plate the panel with a thin layer of copper, as you did in step 11

Coat the board with a thin layer of tin. This will offer protection to the copper on the outside layer. As a result, the copper will not be etched off.

Step 14 – Etching

In this step, you are expected to remove excess copper trapped underneath the resist layer. Tin guard layer will secure the needed copper.

Step 15 – Solder Mask Application

Before applying the solder mask, clean all the panels. Next, apply epoxy together with the solder mask film.

If you realize that the solder mask is in excess, expose the board to ultraviolet light. The required solder mask will remain baked onto the board.

Step 16 – Silkscreening

This is a crucial stage as it ensures that critical information is printed on the high voltage board. After application, proceed to the last coating and curing process for the board.

Step 17 – Surface Finish

The bonding quality is an essential consideration in surface finishing. Based on the board’s requirements, you will decide on which solder finish to use.

Step 18 – Testing

Electrical tests are usually conducted on boards to ensure that they meet the set standards. You can hire a technician to do this for you.

Without this process, the board cannot be said to be complete. Compare with the original blueprint design to ensure that quality is not compromised.

High Voltage PCB Assembly Process

PCB Assembly

 PCB Assembly

Step 1: Solder Paste Stenciling

The process bears similarity with the screen-printing of shirts. However, the exceptionality of this process is characterized by placing of a thin stainless-steel stencil over the PCB.

This means that you will be applying the solder only on some parts of the high voltage PCB.

These parts are usually the places on which the components will be mounted in the final product.

To effectively melt and bond to a surface, solder is mixed with flux.

PCB Stencil

PCB Stencil

With the aid of an applicator, apply the solder paste with precision on the intended areas. The machine will also help you spread the paste evenly on the board.

When you finally remove the stencil, solder paste will remain on the pre-identified locations.

Step 2: Pick and Place

After the application of solder paste, you can now pick and place components using a pick and place machine.

This is a robotic machine that aids in the placement of surface mount components (SMDs).

These components are then soldered onto the board’s surface in a later stage.

In the past, this process would be done using a pair of tweezers.

This translated into the manual placing of the components where assemblers picked and placed components.

Also, the former method was imperfect due to fatigue and eye strain among assemblers.

Currently, automation has promoted precision and efficiency. Automated machines can work around the clock without getting fatigued.

With the aid of vacuum grip, the automated machine can pick and place components onto the station.

The robot then applies the SMTs onto the surface of high voltage PCB surface. The components are mounted atop the soldering paste in the locations that had been identified earlier.

Step 3: Reflow Soldering

After placing the surface mount components, it is essential to ensure that they stick there. There is hence need to solidify the solder paste to sustain the components onto the board.

Transfer the high voltage board to the conveyor belt, which will move the board through a reflow oven.

In the oven, various heaters heat the board to a temperature of about 250 degrees Celsius. These temperatures melt away solder in the solder paste.

The PCB continues to move in the oven, where it is subjected to cooler heaters to solidify the melted solder.

Moreover, this process happens in a controlled manner, creating permanent solders that connect the surface mount devices to the printed circuit board.

During the reflow of two-sided high voltage PCB, special measures will have to be put in place. It is necessary to stencil and reflow each side separately.

You will first stencil the side that has fewer and smaller parts, and then repeat the same on the other side.

Step 4: Inspection and Quality Control

After you have soldered the surface mount components into their rightful place, test for functionality.

The intense movement that characterizes the reflow process is likely to degrade connection quality. It can also result in complete lack of connection or electrical shorts.

Many inspection methods can be used to ascertain that such flaws are absent. Let us discuss some of the methods that you can use here.

·Manual Checks

Although in the recent past there have been technological advancements in the inspection of PCBs, the manual check is still commonly used.

When dealing with a small number of batches, an in-person visual inspection can come in handy. This will help you ascertain the quality of the board after the reflow process.

·Automatic Optical Inspection

This method is the most effective one when inspecting a large number of batches during high voltage PCB assembly.

The machine used is known as automatic optical inspection (AIO) machine. Its inspection capabilities are realized by high powered cameras.

Besides, the cameras are strategically placed to view the solder connections.

The machine uses different lights to denote the quality of different solder connections. This allows the AOI to identify low-quality solder.

The AOI usually assesses the quality of the boards in a very short time.

·X-ray Inspection

X-ray inspection is not a very common inspection method. It is most appropriate for boards viewed as complex or multilayered.

With the x-rays, you can see through the layers. This enables you to view the lower layers and identify hidden issues.

When you realize that the boards have malfunctioned, you have two options. You can rework them or scrap them altogether, depending on the severity of the malfunction.

It is important to note that even if these inspections fail to find mistakes, further functionality tests should follow. You will test the board’s connections to be assured of quality.

If the high voltage boards you are testing require either programming or calibration, even more tests will be necessary to ascertain functionality.

You should conduct such tests regularly after the reflow process to unearth potential problems. Such checks will ensure that there is timely identification and fixing of the flaws. This will help you in saving time and resources.

Step 5: Through-Hole Component Insertion

Depending on the applications you intend to make from the high voltage board, the components could go beyond the usual SMDs.

Some PCBs need plated through-hole components (PTH).

These components pass signals across the board using plated through holes.

Such components cannot be mounted by reflow soldering SMDs. There are two options in soldering through hole components onto the high voltage printed circuit boards.

·Manual Soldering

Manual through-hole insertion is where an individual inserts a single component into a predestined PTH and solders it.

When the first person is through, the board moves to the next person who also inserts the next component.

The process goes on until all the PTH components are fixed appropriately.

This can be a very inconvenient, time-consuming, and tiring process, especially when the components are many. However, there are a number of designs that still require this method of PTH component soldering.

·Wave Soldering:

This refers to the automated version of PTH component soldering. However, the process involved in this method is strikingly different.

After putting the PTH component in place, you will place the high voltage PCB board on a conveyor belt.

The conveyor belt will run through an oven in which molten solder washes the board’s bottom. As a result, the pins at the bottom of the board are soldered at a go.

This can only be done on one side of the PCBs and may prove tricky for double-sided high voltage PCBs. Soldering of the components on the second side is likely to interfere with the functioning of the already soldered components.

Step 6: Final Inspection and Functional Test

When you are through with the soldering process, conduct the final tests to ensure the board’s functionality.

The process is a simulation of the conditions under which the high voltage PCB design will operate.

Ensure that you run power through the board’s paces. Use testers to monitor the electrical characteristics of the high voltage PCBs.

Unacceptable fluctuations in voltage, current and signal output are indications of failure of the board.

Decide on whether to scrap or recycle such a board depending on the magnitude of fluctuations and set standards.

This should be the last stage in high voltage PCB assembly.

Applications of High Voltage PCB

High voltage PCB Assembly

High voltage PCB Assembly

·Military Applications

High current PCBs are used in the manufacture of military applications by adding duplicate layers. The layers have an additional 3 to 4 oz of copper in parallel.

The layers cross their fingers, enabling them to share currents evenly. This allows the board to eliminate load sharing.

As a result, thermal stress is reduced in the applications.

This informs application in the manufacture of weapon control systems.

High voltage PCBs are also used in the manufacture of power supplies for radar systems.

Military power distribution panels and battery charges and monitoring system are also manufactured using high voltage PCB.

·Aerospace Applications

High voltage PCB designs are also used in the aerospace industry. Thermal stress common in other boards can easily result in multiple system failures, with fatal outcomes.

This informs the use of high voltage boards in the manufacture of radar systems.

They are also used in the manufacture of communication accessories in the aerospace industry. Apart from airplanes, these boards are also used in spacecraft and other space equipment.

·Power Transformers

Power transformers are usually manufactured using high voltage PCBs. This can be attributed to the board’s ability to control thermal stress.

Usually, power transformers act as distribution grids for various power users. This involves a lot of thermal fluctuations that have to be regulated.

Conclusion

High voltage PCBs are very important in the manufacture of applications that work under fluctuating thermal conditions.

They are specially designed to handle such fluctuations.

With proper manufacturing of the board to the assembly process, you are guaranteed efficiency.

Therefore, you need to consider every aspect highlighted in this guide.

For high voltage PCB, contact us today.