How to Observe PCBs From the Outside
Observing the pcb from the outside makes it easy to identify defects in the outer layers. It’s also easy to spot the effects of not enough gap between the components when looking at the board from the outside.
Observing a pcb from the outside can easily identify defects in the outer layers
Observing a PCB from the outside can help you spot defects in the outer layers of the circuit board. It is easier to identify these defects than they are to spot inside. PCBs are typically green in color, and they have copper traces and soldermask that make them easily recognizable. Depending on the size of the PCB, the outer layers may have varying degrees of defects.
Using x-ray inspection equipment can overcome these issues. Since materials absorb x-rays according to their atomic weight, they can be distinguished. The heavier elements, such as solder, absorb more x-rays than those that are lighter. This makes it easy to identify defects in the outer layers, while those that are made of light-weight elements are not visible to the naked eye.
Observing a PCB from the outside can help you identify defects that you might not see otherwise. One such defect is missing copper or interconnections. Another defect is a hairline short. This is a result of high complexity in the design. If these defects are not corrected before the PCB is assembled, they can cause significant errors. One way to correct these errors is to increase the clearance between copper connections and their pads.
The width of conductor traces also plays a crucial role in the functionality of a PCB. As signal flow increases, the PCB generates immense amounts of heat, which is why it is important to monitor the trace width. Keeping the width of the conductors appropriate will prevent overheating and damaging the board.