Manufacturers often produce Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) of different colors, even if it makes their components more costly. It helps to distinguish PCBs by purpose, which is beneficial for mistakes prevention and quality assurance compliance overall.
Not many people actually know what’s the meaning for black PCB color, how to fabricate a black PCB, and its pros and cons. It results in misunderstandings between specialists of different companies and even industries.
You will learn from this post more about black PCBs specifically and how the coloring of PCBs is helpful overall.
For starters, PCB is a piece of electronics – a laminated structure comprising conductive and insulating layers needed to provide electronic connection.
As evident from its name, black PCBs are ones that are black-colored. It is achieved due to the use of a black solder mask in the production process, instead of green, red, blue, or any other.
In its turn, a solder mask is simply one protective lacquer-like polymer layer applied to a PCB. It helps electronics to resist oxidation and reduces the risk of solder bridges (unintended electrical connection). As a bonus, the different solder masks may enhance PCBs with features that you will discover in the below text.
When it comes to solder mask colors and, respectively, colors of PCBs, there are many of them:
This is the complete list at the moment. But, there are good chances that more colors will be available in the future.
The simple answer is – No, they aren’t. You see, all the specified above colors have one clear main purpose – facilitating the quality testing by ensuring greater visibility with certain parts of PCBs. And the secondary purpose – enhances the aesthetics of electronics overall. It does not have anything in common with the superior performance of PCBs themselves.
To prove this claim, we gathered for you several misconceptions about black PCBs and refuted them:
Therefore, black is just an aesthetic color compared to others. It offers high contrast with white. It has some functional properties that make performing quality testing on black-colored PCBs easier. But it is not even close to the same as a high-end product.
In essence, the very materials that ensure this color of PCBs are the solder mask itself and the black ink. These are described below. All other materials any PCB is made of are not listed not to degrade your attention to the text.
Despite the above claim that black PCBs do not perform better than PCBs of any other color, there are some strengths that are attributed specifically to this color:
Depending on whether a glossy or matte solder mask was chosen, the extent to which these strengths may be expressed may slightly fluctuate.
Black PCBs also have natural weaknesses that you should consider while choosing to manufacture such components.
Now, you may consider yourself an expert in PCBs’ solder masks’ color types. Black PCBs are not high-end compared to other PCBs, but they definitely offer a high level of aesthetics, protections from counter-pirates, and superior contrast with white. Additionally, such PCBs’ traces are better visible under light.
Generally, you may be advised to choose color based on the convenience of visual inspection and the electronic goods’ designs.
As the professional supplier for PCB manufacturing, PadPCB offer rangle of color for options. Feel free to contact us if you have any concerns.
Need any help with PCB or PCBA manufacturing? Contact us now.
PadPCB is a professional PCB solution supplier in Shenzhen, China. We help our clients with everything from PCB design to the final mass production….
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