A printed wiring board is the framework used for many modern electronic components. These boards are typically green in color with several styles of electrical components and computer chips attached. A printed wiring board has an extremely high reliability coupled with a very low cost. As a result, these boards are common in everything from cellphones, to children’s toys to automobiles.
All printed wiring boards are made of a non-conductive material called a substrate. This material is the base of the board. It needs to be light, strong and completely non-conductive. Most boards are made of a combination of man-made materials, such as polyester or fiberglass, mixed with various plastics.
The next step in creating a printed wiring board is laying on the conductive tracks. In order to do this, most companies cover the entire surface of the board with a copper alloy. After the board is covered, any unwanted material is taken off. Other manufactures lay the circuit pathways directly on the board, but this process is more complex and expensive, so it is rarely used.
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