PCB Micro-Sectioning – The Ultimate FAQ Guide in 2022


Micro-Sectioning is a technique used to evaluate the internal quality of PCBs. It is a highly accurate method for detecting potential failure points on printed circuit boards. One-third of the PCB panel is usually cut from top to bottom. The remaining two-thirds are scored at a 90-degree angle. The PCB is then examined under a microscope using a metallograph.

Vias are an important part of the PCB design. These are conductive traces and paths that are inserted into the PCB holes. These holes are called vias and are used for electrical and thermal connections. They are often used as connections between different parts of the PCB.

The size of the holes on the PCB is a key consideration. The diameter of these holes should be approximately 0.020″. This spacing will help reduce board stress. However, if these tabs are not positioned to reduce the stress on the PCB, they will resemble mouse bites. This type of defect must be corrected prior to final assembly.

It is also possible to specify the weight of the copper layer on the PCB. This makes it easier to measure, usually in mils (ounces). One ounce is approximately 1.344 mils (35 microns). A heavy copper layer is a copper layer that weighs 3 or more ounces per square foot. This copper layer dissipates heat and is typically used for high current applications.

What Is PCB Micro-Sectioning?

Micro-sectioning is a common process in the PCB manufacturing industry. This method provides a cross-sectional view of the PCB microstructure and allows for more accurate measurements. Metallographic preparation and cross-section are other terms for micro-sectioning. The process requires cutting the sample plate into smaller sections. This is a destructive test, but it reveals important information about the manufacturing process.

Micro-Sectioning can be used to measure the thickness of internal copper solder pads and drilled holes. This method is useful when the inner layers of a PCB must be plated. A good Micro-Section analysis can help identify any problems that may lead to poor connections. In some cases, poor connections can be caused by process problems, such as improper drilling.

The hardness of various PCB materials and mounting media varies. Proper micro-sectioning techniques can prevent the formation of false features or artifacts. The process also requires specialized equipment and skilled personnel. It is also important to choose a manufacturer that is IPC-A-610 or IPC-A-600 certified. This type of testing can help a company’s bottom line by improving the overall quality of the PCB.

PCB Micro-Sectioning Sample

PCB Micro-Sectioning Sample

Micro-sectioning can also be used for failure analysis. They may be required when individual boards have evidence of internal processing failures. For example, cross-sectional views of surface trace work can show additional copper, poor soldermask development, and excessive etching. These measurements can be used to improve processes and verify different manufacturing steps.

What Are the Uses of PCB Micro-Section Analysis?

Micro-section analysis is widely used in the PCB manufacturing industry. Engineers can see the underlying microstructure of a circuit board and use this type of analysis to make accurate measurements. Cross-section and metallographic preparation are other terms for microtome sectioning. The process involves splitting the sample into two parts. Micro-sectioning can reveal information about the manufacturing process, the production line, and even board health checks.

PCB micro-section analysis can reveal defects on the PCB surface. For example, if the copper layer has a weak connection, the board’s performance may be compromised. Poor connections are often the result of process defects such as incorrect drilling. Engineers can use micro-sectional analysis to detect and correct these defects.

PCB Micro-Section Analysis

PCB Micro-Section Analysis

PCB micro-section analysis is a thorough way to inspect entire assemblies and prevent failures. This type of analysis is usually performed at the end of the manufacturing process and provides the engineer with detailed pictures of the board. It detects defects that can lead to costly products and result in shorter service life. Engineers can use this process to remove defective components and compare them to components that perform as expected.

Engineers can also use micro-sectional analysis to trace faults back to the machine that made the PCB and prevents a recurrence. In addition, micro-sectional analysis is useful in failure analysis to help identify internal problems and prevent them in future production.


PCB Micro-Sections for Traceability

Micro-section analysis is an essential tool in PCB manufacturing. It gives manufacturers insight into the inner workings of PCBs, allowing them to make accurate measurements and ensure quality. The technique uses through-hole specimens to check the quality of PCBs. These specimens must be cut and prepared within 10% of the center of the plated through-hole. Manufacturers often use automated coupon extraction stations to cut coupons using precision CNC router cutters.

Micro-section analysis is a critical step in the PCB manufacturing process, enabling manufacturers to identify internal defects and potential failure points. Customers can match test results to specific production runs and batches by taking sample boards from different production runs or batches of PCBs. PCB micro-section analysis can detect cracks, defects, and other problems in the circuit.

Radiography is another method for testing PCBs. This measurement method is used in automotive and avionics. This method is particularly useful for electronic circuits and components where traceability is critical. It can also be used to detect defects in PCBs that cannot be detected by non-destructive testing.

Traceability systems are becoming increasingly popular in the electronics industry. They are simple in design and can be embedded in small PCBs with space requirements of 10 x 10 mm. However, incorporating monitoring technology into a PCB will add another layer to the PCB design and increase the overall cost of the PCB.


Identifying Failures With PCB Micro-Section Analysis

Identifying PCB faults requires extensive analysis. There are several factors that can cause a PCB to fail. For example, overheating and board contamination may be the cause of failure. Component failures or defects may also be the cause.

Failures can be identified using PCB micro-section analysis. This metallographic technique can be used on the entire PCB or on individual boards if internal faults are visible. Manufacturers can determine which components failed during the manufacturing process by examining cross sections of the PCB. This information helps improve the reliability of the final product.

High magnification microscopes are used to examine PCB micro-sections. This type of microscope can be magnified up to 1000x. The analysis is needed to identify defects and determine their origin. The PC-MS-810 quality standard and ASTM E3 quality standard govern these micro-section tests.

Copper thickness, pads, and solder resists can all be inspected using micro-section analysis. It can also detect defects in x-ray images. Finally, it can help prevent failures by detecting defects and shortening service life. This technique is used to detect defects before they cause significant damage during the manufacturing process at the end of production.

Identifying PCB faults

Identifying PCB faults

Microsection analysis is a non-invasive technique used by manufacturers to detect and correct defects. This analysis method can provide more specific information about the thickness of solder joints and other materials used in PCB assembly. In addition, it can help manufacturers prevent future problems by preventing solder paste contamination or ensuring proper aspect ratios.

What Difficulties of PCB Micro-Sectioning?

Micro-sectioning is an important step in PCB manufacturing. The method can be used to analyze various aspects of a PCB and to detect defects. The method is also used to verify different manufacturing steps, such as copper thickness, solder resist layers, and pad connections.

PCB Micro-sectioning is the process of cutting the PCB into small parts using a diamond blade. Micro-etching of the samples is the first step of the process, followed by digital photography. Digital photos are then saved for each sample and any defects are magnified 100 times under a microscope. The samples are then tested for solder impregnation. After this, a diamond saw is used to cut and smooth them. After that, the samples are cleaned and dried with IPA.

A cross-sectional procedure is used for the second step. This is called metallographic preparation. This process involves removing two-dimensional slices of the PCB sample and provides a more accurate technique for the failure analyst. Failure analysts use these slices to discover PCB features.

How to Make PCB Micro-Sectioning

Identifying PCB faults

PCBs are complex and require careful design and manufacturing. Mistakes can cause PCB failures and jeopardize the final product. Fortunately, most designers are aware of these problems and are trained to avoid them. However, human error or misinterpretation of design parameters can occur.

Additional PCB Testings

Visual, functional, and electrical testing are all part of PCB assembly testing. X-ray imaging, automated optical inspection, and in-circuit testing are all popular methods. These tests help ensure that your PCBs are in good working order before they leave the factory. However, you should know what to expect from these types of tests before you start manufacturing.

Aging testing is a comprehensive procedure that simulates the operating conditions on a circuit board. The procedure is designed to detect early failures and determine load capacity. It is important to note, however, that aging tests often cause damage to the part. Over a period of 48 to 168 hours, the board is subjected to powerful forces. This process can lead to infant death or premature failure.

Another type of PCB inspection is a manual visual inspection, which involves enlarging the board. It can reveal a variety of defects that a visual inspection cannot find. However, it is important to note that this test may miss minor issues, such as soldermask applications, and may even cause the board to fail.

Additional PCB testing entails a number of processes to assess the quality of the board before assembly. These tests help determine if the design is properly implemented in the manufacturing process, thus improving the quality of the finished product. Peel-off PCB testing, which measures the force required to peel off a PCB laminate, is another type of testing. Wetting balance analysis and surface mount simulation are two other tests that can be performed.

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