Your electronics at home do not just rely on the socket and the plugs to run and perform its tasks. A special type of board is built inside them to transform this electricity into a mechanical energy that turns your devices on and off. This board is called printed circuit boards (PCB). PCBs are composed of electrical elements that performs specific tasks and function. These are resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors and fuses. It is impossible not to come across these parts as all of these are significant elements in every aspects of PCB production, including the planning, designing and the actual manufacturing. Now, lets us briefly look into the function of these important PCB components:
This is a key element of PCB that determines the flow of current in an electrical unit. It is called a “resistor” because it resists the current flow and regulates the amount of electricity that passes through an electrical device. The amount of voltage it produces can be computed using in Ohm’s law and measured using an ohmmeter. Resistors have two kinds: series circuit and parallel circuit. A series circuit is a type of circuit where current only has one path to flow to and from. The amount of current is the same through all the resistors. On the other hand, a parallel circuit is a type of circuit where current breaks at points as the heads of each resistors are connected as well as its tails. Both of these types are very important even at the designing stage of the printed circuit board.
Capacitors are the storage bags of every electrical units. These tiny electrical devices store energy as an electrostatic field. The stored electrical charge are stored inside two conductive plates separated by an insulating film called dielectric. When there is power supply that flows within the electrical unit, the capacitor charges up. When the power is turned off, the capacitor discharges the stored electrical charge.
Diodes is a component of a printed circuit boards that limits the direction of electric current into one linear way. Diodes block the current that goes on the opposite way to avoid messed up current flows. Usually, diodes directs the electrical flow towards the positive point of a circuit.
Transistors act as a switch or gate of electric signals that opens and closes to regulate the current. It is made up of a semiconductor material with special properties that allows control of electricity that flows through it.
A fuse is composed of metal strips or wires that regulates the overflowing of electricity. It basically breaks the electric circuit to protect it from damage. There are different types of fuse that have performs varied specifications. Some of its types are the thermal fuse and the resettable fuse.
There is no standard arrangement pattern of these elements. The composition of these five elements vary depending on the kind of printed circuit boards.
Aside from these basic elements, a circuit board can be comprised of other complex electrical devices and materials that varies on the type of boards. For example, a single-layer board and multi-layer boards can be comprised of different base materials. Each may have an inner and outer layer composed of copper foils and wires. The basic materials in building a multi-layer board are: copper foil, prepreg, core, and an inner layer. The thickness and thinness of the metal sheets of a circuit board does different effects and functions. Same goes with the arrangement of the basic electrical devices. Therefore, every details of the circuit board design must be carefully decided and done.