Why Do Printed Circuit Boards Fail?

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the most important component of any piece of electronic equipment and are found in all but the most basic devices. These boards provide the layout required to connect individual electronic components electrically and mechanically. If a PCB fails, your equipment may be rendered inoperable until the source of the problem is identified and repaired.

Printed circuit boards power nearly all electronic devices we use today, including smartphones, display screens, and computers. When a printed circuit board fails, it can cause problems in both our personal and professional lives. PCB failures can occur for a variety of reasons, but they are frequently linked to a few major factors, such as environmental issues, age, and even manufacturing errors. Although failures are uncommon, they can occur on the first use or even after many years of use.

Here are a few of the most common causes of PCB failure.

  1. Environmental factors: The temperatures change and the PCB can expand and contract, causing boards to warp. With all of this movement, soldered joints are easily damaged, resulting in board failure. This type of problem is most likely to occur when a component’s barrier is broken and atmospheric particles such as dirt, dust, and moisture enter the component or circuit board.
  2. Poorly manufactured components: A poorly manufactured PCB is one of the most common causes of failure. Incorrect soldering temperatures, misalignment of the bare board and components, and dry joints are all symptoms of a poorly manufactured PCB.
  3. Burnt components: Printed circuit boards can become quite warm, causing components to operate outside of their normal operating temperatures. The amount of heat that a component can withstand is limited and is determined primarily by its size and structure. When designing your PCB, make sure that your components have enough space around them to allow air to circulate any heat sinks, and that they are operating within their operational capability.
  4. Chemical fluid leakage: The majority of chemicals are removed during the manufacturing process, but trace elements are frequently left behind. Leaks can occur within a component’s packaging, causing the semiconductor or package to age rapidly. This chemical leakage has the potential to cause shorts or become corrosive in the long run.
  5. Issues with the soldering process: Solders are the components that provide the necessary contact between the component and the circuit; without them, the PCB would not function. The most common solder issues that cause failure are flux contamination and poor processing conditions. Some flux residues absorb moisture and become conductive, resulting in short circuits.

Automat Electronic Services is the market leader in the Middle East in the field of Industrial Automation and printed circuit board repair, operating the largest network of Industrial Repair and Distribution facilities. If you looking for a PCB repair center in Dubai, contact us.

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