Suppose you’re working with printed circuit boards (PCBs) used for electronic devices; the question of whether or not to cleanse them comes up at some point. Cleaning takes time and expense, and if it’s done wrong, the process can cause more harm than benefits. Cleaning PCBs is crucial for many reasons, and this article will demonstrate how to clean them correctly.

What Is the Purpose of Cleaning a Printed Circuit Board (Pcb)?

The methods used to manufacture electronic assemblies usually involve several chemical processing stages. At each step in the process, there’s the possibility that hazardous compounds remain on the PCA, which can cause the safety of the assembly at risk. It is typically essential to wash the PCA to eliminate these potentially dangerous residues and to increase reliability. Cleaning can also eliminate remnants, which can be helpful for inspection purposes. You may check out assembly services from AEICM for more information.

Improve the PCBs Aesthetic Appeal

For PCB contractors, the boards’ appearance might reflect their performance. The inbound QC inspectors could raise red flags when they notice an oily remnant of a solder joint. Solder joint “blow hole” may appear as the flux residue gets charred and forms spots on the solder joints. It serves as a fault tag in the rework area, alerting others to the issue even though it isn’t an issue initially.

PCB Reliability Improvements

In the end, the character of the end product dictates the requirement for reliability. If a keyboard on a computer breaks down, no one will be killed because it’s a disposable item. An EMS provider may use non-clean flux to avoid cleaning thoroughly. On the other hand, pacemaker electronics need to meet rigorous standards, as board malfunctioning can result in death. Rework and assembly will require cleaning. The procedure must be rigorously evaluated to verify its efficiency and reproducibility. Even though cleaning is needed, long-lasting, durable items can fall between the two, lacking strict testing and standards.

Protect PCBs and Components from Corrosion

There are acids in the remnants of flux left behind on circuit boards for electrical use. Remaining residues may attract air moisture and cause corrosion of component leads and printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) contacts if a process of cleaning doesn’t remove them.

The Conformal Coating Prevents Adhesion Issues

Most individuals are aware that a clean surface is required for painting. The paint will peel otherwise. The coating that conforms to the requirements is contaminated with no-clean flux. “No-clean” refers to ionic compounds left after soldering, not whether the layer will stick.

The coating may lift off or delaminate if flux remnants are left on the PCB before coating. This is apparent when pockets are isolated between solder joints (except at the base of wave-soldered PCB). The layers are typically semi-permeable. They “breathe” some. In the case of flux residue, moisture can cause corrosion. For additional information, find out more on this link on their services offered.

Avoid Ionic Contamination and Dendritic Growth

Dendrites develop when polar or ionic particles from flux residues and other source materials are exposed to humid air, and a current is applied. Since they conduct electricity, they can cause an unintentional track that may let out current or even shorten the circuit over time.