For aerospace PCB assembly, quality is key. These circuit boards are subjected to extreme temperatures, humidity, pressure, impact, wind, and radiation. Even if a component does not malfunction, it will likely still be damaged if it is rushed into space. As such, a quality aerospace PCB assembly company must ensure that its circuit boards are resilient and durable to withstand these conditions. A quality aerospace PCB assembly company should use high-grade materials and perform standard maintenance.
To make sure the PCBs are durable and long-lasting, aerospace manufacturers use laboratory-certified materials for PCB production. Aerospace PCB assembly also requires a flexible and durable design to be able to withstand harsh conditions. Using a variety of materials can maximize the life of an aerospace PCB. Aluminum substrates are lightweight and resistant to high temperatures, which makes them ideal for a variety of aerospace applications.
An aerospace PCB assembly manufacturer wanted to improve its efficiency and throughput. The 10-step process included premixing and ruggedizing materials, manual masking, and application of conformal coatings. The entire process took 210 minutes, and heat-cure times were lengthy. Two employees could only produce 16 PCBs per day. Therefore, the manufacturer needed a high-quality solution to improve their throughput and efficiency. The new technology would also reduce the risk of component failure in space.
Aerospace PCB assembly involves a highly sophisticated process that requires more precision than standard PCB manufacturing. As such, it is crucial for the process to be flawless. The components and the PCBs used for military applications require Mil-spec grade components. Mil-spec components are made to withstand higher tolerances than commercial ones. PCBs must also be designed to handle the maximum current load. It is important to differentiate high-frequency components from low-frequency ones, since their interference can degrade the signal quality.
Another aspect of aerospace PCB assembly that requires special care and attention is reliability. These components are subject to extreme temperatures, which can affect internal devices. When they are placed close to an airplane’s engine, temperatures can reach thousands of degrees. When they fail, there can be serious consequences. In order to ensure their reliability, aerospace PCB assembly must adhere to standards known as ISO 9100. And it must adhere to a range of other aerospace and defense industry standards.
For electronics to work well in space, they must withstand extreme temperatures. In outer space, temperatures can drop to minus 150 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, the vacuum of space means that heat transfer between electronics and other parts can only occur through radiation. Therefore, aerospace PCB assembly requires high-temperature laminates and thermal compounds. To mitigate heat transfer, some manufacturers choose to set components at twenty thousandths of an inch away from the surface of the board. Other engineers use soldering and pins for PCB assembly.
Another important aspect of aerospace PCB assembly is the use of stencils. Stencils are used to create different shapes, ensuring that solder paste is applied to the right location. As part of the aerospace PCB assembly process, thermal compounds and swages are applied to solder the components. The finished PCB is then fed through a conveyor belt, and the components are passed through a reflow oven to ensure the solder paste adheres properly.