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Circuit Boards - PCB

Printed Circuit Board Industry products include; G-10/FR-4 Laminates, Paper Phenolic Riser Plates (aka Tooling Plates) and Polycarbonate Test Fixtures. We also offer Kapton Polyimide Film, Mylar Polyester Film and Durostone ® Wave Solder Pallet Materials. Polycarbonate and G-10/FR4 are used for PCB Bed of Nails Test Fixtures. X-Grade Paper Phenolic Sheets are used as Fixture Base Plates, Riser Plates or Tooling Plates. Durostone® composites are used as Wave Solder Pallet materials. Professional Plastics offers these and other materials from our 15 locations in the USA and SE Asia. G-10/FR-4 Copper Clad Sheet
Copper Clad FR-4 - PCB Laminate Sheet PCB Material


The abbreviation "FR4" means: F (for flame) and R (for retardancies) and the 4 is a # 4 epoxy. FR4 features high flexural, impact, superior mechanical strength and bond strength at temperatures up to 130ºC. It is possible to use standard FR-4 with minimum Tg 135ºC for double sided boards which might pass trough 2-3 soldering processes.

My company always select the reliable PCB material supplier FR4 material to fabricate the PCBs for our customers. We call it "Standard FR4 Material". It can meet most customer application need.

Only for some very strict application you may need to select the below special quality material. Click the below links to check the material data sheet, properties, parameters and suggestion applications.
FR4 S1000 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1000-2 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1130 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1141 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1141 150 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1141 170 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1141KF Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1155 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1165 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications R-4 PCB Laminate = Flame Retardant

FR-4 PCB Laminate is the most commonly used base material for printed circuit boards. The "FR" means Flame Retardant (to UL94V-0), and Type "4" indicates woven glass reinforced epoxy resin.
Custom Manufacturing of Double Sided FR4 SMT PCB for the Instrumentation Industry

(click on thumbnail to enlarge)Understanding PCB Materials and Specifications

by Sharad Bagri

When you give a PCB for fabrication, you need to specify details on PCB materials, impedance controls, finish, copper thickness and so on. Most of the details are so common that they are always assumed. However still it is better to know them.

Below is a screenshot of quotation submitted by a fabricator for a PCB design of size 9.870 X 9.830 cm

Let us understand each term one by one and things related to them

1) 4 layer specifies NUMBER OF LAYERS - This means the number of conducting layers. The layers may be either routing layer or plane layer. The commonly used no. of layers are 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and other even numbered layers. Odd number layer boards may be formed but they are not standard boards and doesn’t offer any savings. The PCB materials used for 3 or 4 layers would almost be same.FR-4 is the NEMA grade designation for glass reinforced epoxy laminate sheets, tubes, rods and printed circuit boards (PCB). FR-4 is made of woven fiberglass cloth with an epoxy resin binder that is flame resistant (self-extinguishing). Note that FR-4 is a specification - not a product in itself.Typical FR4 Laminate Properties, 0.059" [1.5mm]

PROPERTY VALUE
Thermal
Tg, min. (DSC) 135°C
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
x-axis 14 ppm/°C Ambient to Tg
y-axis 13 ppm/°C Ambient to Tg
z-axis 175 ppm/°C Ambient to 288°C
Electrical
Deilectric Constant @,
1 MHz - 4.7
500 MHz - 4.35 Products FR4 is made from sheets of Prepreg, which is itself constructed from fibre glass matting which has been impregnated with the epoxy resin. A standard 1.6mm circuit board is made up from 8 layers of Prepreg and the outer copper layers. The Prepreg and outer copper foil layer are stacked up together and placed into a large press which bonds all the layers into the final laminate.
The copper foil is made on a slowly rotating stainless steel drum dipped into a copper plating solution. As the drum turns copper is electroplated onto the drum, which is then stripped off as the plated section leaves the solution. Electronic Components and Tec ...

FR4 printed circuit board design for Giga-bits embedded optical interconnect applications

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Athens/Shibboleth
This paper appears in:
Electronic Components and Technology Conference, 2004. Proceedings. 54th
Date of Conference: 1-4 June 2004
Author(s): Jaemin Shin
Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA
Cheolung Cha ; Sangycon Cho ; Jaehong Kim ; Jokerst, N.M. ; Brooke, M.
Volume: 2
Page(s): 1996 - 2001 Vol.2
Product Type: Conference Publications Cost Analysis of Printed Circuit Board(I. I NTRODUCTION OF PCB MATERIALS)

I. I NTRODUCTION OF PCB MATERIALS
The materials used to make PCBs are very important. And because the price of different material can vary from 10% to 100%, so the price differences of PCBs made by different materials can be huge! But as we said before there is no "free lunch", usually low cost material come with low quality. In this section different PCB materials will be introduced.
1. Glass transition temperature Tg: A high Tg is very important for the PCBs to guard against barrel cracking and pad fracture during soldering operation Comparative Tracking Index (CTI)

Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) Mike Pentolino 08/09/01 SMTA
Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) davef 08/15/01
Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) Mike Pentolino 08/16/01 SMTA
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This message was posted the Electronics Forum @

Date: August 09, 2001 11:05 AM
Author: Mike Pentolino
Subject: Comparative Tracking Index (CTI)
I'm currently looking for technical information on the Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) of various Printed Circuit Board Substrates (ie: FR-4, XPC, etc.)

I would also like to know if anyone familiar with this term knows of Subsrates that meet IEC material group I (CTI>/=600).

Best Regards,

Mike Pentolino

(http://www.smtnet.com/Forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=17154)

Date: August 15, 2001 04:14 PM Printed Circuit Boards
It is thanks to the current flame retardant technologies, that electronic components, which regulate the complex programming of the plethora of new and evolving products in our environment, can operate safely within regulation guidelines.
All electronic devices now contain printed circuit boards , providing customers with intelligent and interactive services. Present in TVs, computers, mobile phones, washing machines and even refrigerators or coffee makers, they are typically made of plastic laminates with metal circuits, with soldered chips, components, cables and sockets.

There are many types of printed circuit boards, the most common being:

FR-2 Paper/Phenolic
FR-2 is the grade designation for synthetic resin bonded paper, a composite material made of paper impregnated with a plasticized phenol formaldehyde resin, used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. Until recently, FR-2 sheet was widely used to build low-end consumer electronic equipment.

FR-4 Epoxy
FR-4 circuit boards are made of woven fibreglass cloth with an epoxy resin binder that is flame resistant (self-extinguishing). With near zero water absorption and considerable mechanical strength, FR-4 is most commonly used as an electrical insulator. The material must retain its high physical values and electrical insulating qualities in both dry and humid conditions. They also have to meet high flammability requirements (UL 94 V-1 a plastics flammability standard or higher). More than 90% of these circuit boards are based on brominated epoxies.

FR-4 High and ultra-high performance
Today’s high reliability battery-powered consumer electronics require highly dependable circuit boards, to maximise autonomy. This is even more important in such ultra-high end applications as computer servers, aerospace and military applications, which require especially demanding electrical properties (dielectric permittivity (Dk), loss tangent (Df). Currently, many of the circuit boards in these applications are based on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). A variety of alternate resin systems are available, which may include brominated or phosphorus-based flame retardants.
PCB LAMINATE MATERIAL INFORMATION
Here you will find a number of different laminate materials used to fabricate printed circuit boards for advanced electronic applications. Among these are materials with a range of dielectric constants, low dissipation factor, and controlled mechanical properties. Some materials are priced for low-cost commercial applications.

Vendor Product Type IPC 4101A Arc Resistance min. (sec.) Electrical Strength
min. (volts/mil.) Flammability UL94 Glass Transition Temperature
"Tg" (°C) Degradation Temperature
by TGA (°C) Dielectric Constant
(1 MHz) Dielectric Constant
(1 GHz) Loss Tangent at
(1 MHz) Loss Tangent at
(1 GHz)
SHENGYI S1000 Low CTE FR4 /24 100 - V-0 175 335 4.8 - 0.013 -
S1130 FR4 /21 115 - V-0 135 - 4.6 - 0.016 -
S1141 FR4 /21 115 - V-0 140 - 4.5 - 0.016 -
S1155 FR4/
Halogen Free /21 115 - V-0 135 - 4.7 - 0.01 -
S1165 FR4/
Halogen Free /94 127 - V-0 170 260 4.8 - 0.007 -
S1170 FR4 /24 123 - V-0 175 340 4.6 - 0.012 -
S1600 High
CTI FR4 /21 126 - V-0 135 - 4.7 - 0.016 0.008
S1860 FR4 /29 90 - V-0 210 - - 3.6 - 0.008
S1440 FR4/
UV Block /97 125 - V-0 140 - 4.7 - 0.0015 -
S2130 CEM-3 - 115 - V-0 132 - 4.6 - 0.0016 -
S3110 CEM-1 - 118 - V-0 110 - 4.4 - 0.022 -

HONG TAI HTE-420 FR4 - 120 - V-0 145 - 4.2-4.8 - 0.019 -
HTE-740 FR4 - 120 - V-0 175 - 4.2-4.8 - 0.019 -

ISOLA ED130UV FR4 /21 100 - V-0 135 - 4.7 4.34 0.02 0.016
FR406 FR4 /24, /26, /28 60 1000 - 170 295 - - - -
FR408 FR4 /24 120 1400 - 180 370 - 3.63 - 0.013
P95 Polymide /41 131 1200 V-0 260 - 4.4 4.2 0.016 0.014
Policlad
370HR FR4 /24, /26, /98 115 54 V-0 180 350 4.7 4.5 0.016 0.017
Getek PPO /25 >60 1200 V-0 175-185 - 3.6-4.2 - .010-.015 -
IS-410 FR4 /24, /26, /28 129 1100 V-0 180 350 - - - -

ITEQ IT140 FR4 /21 60 - V-0 135 305 5.4 - 0.035 -
IT140G FR4/
Halogen Free /21 90 760 V-0 155 365 4.5 - 0.015 -
IT158 Low
CTE FR4 /24 125 - V-0 155 345 4.6 - 0.016 -
IT170G FR4/
Halogen Free /24 100 - V-0 180 380 4.5 - 0.009 -
IT180 FR4 /24, /99 60 760 V-0 170 340 4.4 - 0.016 -
IT600 High CTI FR4 /21 60 - V-0 140 305 4.8 - 0.018 -

NAN YA NP-140 FR4 /21 - - V-0 140 311 -
Choosing the most suitable flame retardant solution needs to take into account multiple factors. One single criterion cannot be the basis for material selection.

Electrical properties
Nowadays not only computers, but also “smart” mobile phones, TV sets, hi-fi systems and even some washing machines incorporate sophisticated microprocessors. Their frequencies are constantly increasing, resulting in demanding electrical performance and excellent signal integrity. Some critical electrical parameters are high-speed bus performance, dielectric permittivity (Dk), loss tangent (Df) and moisture absorption (specifically how it affects the former parameters).[1]
These electrical properties are directly linked with the chemical composition of the polymers used in the circuit boards. The availability of best solutions for printed circuit boards is therefore a prerequisite for continued progress in electronics.
For example, electronic components are usually designed to perform best at a certain dielectric permittivity (3.6 < Dk < 3.9 are common values for the industry-standard brominated epoxies). The higher average dielectric permittivity of alternative formulations currently available (~4.0 < Dk < 5.2) can affect the functioning of highly sensitive electronic components such as microprocessors, with higher risk of failure for the end product.[2]
Author: davef
Subject: Comparative Tracking Index (CTI)
Comparative Tracking Index [CTI]. In printed circuit board fabrication, CTI is a measure of the ability of the laminate surface to withstand tracking [carbonneous tracks on the surface, under wet contaminated conditions] across two electrodes placed on the surface, when an electrolyte is dropped between them. It is a test of the bare laminate. Two specified methods are: IEC 112 and ASTM D 3638-85.

CTI is expressed as that voltage which causes tracking after 50 drops of 0.1 percent ammonium cloride solution have fallen on the material. The results of testing the nominal 3 mm thickness are considered representative of the material's performance in any thickness.
CTI Range - Tracking Index Assigned PLC
(in volts)
600 and greater 0
400 through 599 1
250 through 399 2
175 through 249 3
100 through 174 4
Less than 100 5

2. Coefficient of thermal expansion (Tce): SMD assembly process exposes the printed wiring assembly to more temperatur e shocks than typical through-hole process. At the same time, the increase in lead density cause the designer to use more and more 2 layers, making the board more susceptible to the problems concerned with the base materials ...Tce. This can be a particular problem with regard to Z-axis expansion of the material since this induces stress in the copper-plated holes, and becomes a reliability concern.
Dissipation factor: A measure index of the tendency of an insulating material to absorb some of the ac energy from electromagnetic field passing through it. Low values are important for RF application, but relatively unimportant for logical applications.

Electrical breakdown voltage DBV: The voltage per unite th ickness of an insulator at which an arc may develop through insulator.

Water absorption factor WA: The amount of water an insulating material may absorb when subjected to high relative humidity, expressed as a percent of total weight. Absorbed water increa ses relative dielectric constant as well as reduces Electrical breakdown voltage .

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ABSTRACT

As the demand of high data rate increases, electrical interconnects on the board becomes a bottleneck for the overall system performance because of crosstalk, transmission line effects, clock skew, and timing jitter. Thus, considerable effort has been made to investigate alternatives to board-level electrical interconnect, such as optical interconnects. However, current board-level optical interconnects still have limitations such as board fabrication cost, optical loss, and alignment tolerance. In this paper we discuss an optical board-level interconnect that uses optoelectronic devices embedded in an optical waveguide, to provide a solution to for Giga-bit data range interconnect, on FR4 printed circuit board (PCB). FR4 PCB is an attractive candidate because it is low-cost and widely used technology. However, the design of electrical interfaces to the optical interconnect still faces all the challenges of FR4 PCB design. Therefore, careful design of electrical path by EM/Schematic co-simulation is inevitable to use the FR4 PCB for 10 giga-bit per second (Gbps) applications even with optical interconnect. From the results of the measurements and simulations provided in this research, we see that fully embedded optical interconnect is a feasible solution to replace the current board-level electrical interconnect in high speed digital systems, however, the design of the optical electrical interfaces remains a challenging part of the interconnect problem.

The glass cloth is literally made by weaving fine strands of fibre glass yarn together. The yarn is in turn made from small threads of glass twisted together. Its the toughness of the glass in the cloth that give the laminate it's strength, and also the ability to take the edge off a steel drill bit in seconds.
COPPER CLAD LAMINATES
FR4 SPECIFICATION
NO ITEM UNIT INDEX
1 SURFACE RESISTANCE AFTER DAMP HEAT AND RECOVERY M W MIN : 50000
2 VOLUME RESISTIVITY AFTER DAMP HEAT AND RECOVERY M. W m MIN : 10000
3 PERMITIVITY AFTER DAMP HEAT AND RECOVERY / MAX : 5.5
4 DISSIPATION FACTOR AFTER DAMP HEAT AND RECOVERY / MAX : 0.035
5 PULLING STRENGTH N
6 PEEL STRENGTH AFTER EXPOSURE TO SOLVENT VAPOUR N MIN : 60
MIN : 1.4
7 BLISTERING AFTER 10S HEAT SHOCK /
8 SOLDERABILITY (WETTING TEST), 2880C, 20S / NO BLISTERING OR DELAMINATION
9 FLEXURAL STRENGTH MPa 2
10 FLAMMABILITY (VERTICAL BURNING TEST) / MIN : 300
11 WATER SBSORPTION mg FVO PR FV1
12 MEASLING / NO MEASLING OR BLISTERING OR DELAMINATION
13 WARPAGE BOW mm MAX : 18
TWIST MAX : 20
1 GHz - 4.34
Surface Resistivity, min. 2x105 megohms
Volume Resistivity, min. 2x107megohms/CM
Dielectric Breakdown 55kV
Arc Resistance 100 seconds
Physical
Flammability UL94-V-0
Moisture Absorption <0.25%
Warp and Twist 0.5%
Tensil Strength
LW 50,000 psi
CW 40,000 psi

FR-4 glass epoxy is a popular and versatile high pressure thermoset plastic laminate grade with good strength to weight ratios. With near zero water absorption, FR-4 is most commonly used as an electrical insulator possessing considerable mechanical strength. The material is known to retain its high mechanical values and electrical insulating qualities in both dry and humid conditions. These attributes, along with good fabrication characteristics, lend utility to this grade for a wide variety of electrical and mechanical applications.

FR-4 is the primary insulating backbone upon which the vast majority of rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) are produced. A thin layer of copper foil is laminated to one, or both sides of an FR-4 glass epoxy panel. These are commonly referred to as "copperclad laminates."

FR-4 copper-clad sheets are fabricated with circuitry etched into copper layers to produce printed circuit boards. More sophisticated and complex FR-4 printed circuit boards are produced in multiple layers, aka "multilayer circuitry".

FR-4 is a worldwide standard PCB dielectric used in quality PCBs. FR-4 is similar to CEM-3 and is part of a family of laminates of varying specification and cost. See also printed circuit board.

Routing layers contains tracks while plane layer are generally used to connect power or ground. Plane layers have plane of copper from which connections are drawn up or down wherever needed. Islands can be formed on plane layers and each island may have different signal. Suppose some sets of chips on one board use 3.3 V while other use 5 V then the power plane may be partitioned into two islands of 3.3 V and 5 V.

2) FR4 specifies PCB MATERIAL TYPE – FR4 is other name for “Glass reinforced epoxy laminated sheets”. It is a commonly used PCB material. The reasons for its ubiquity as a PCB material are its high dielectric strength, high mechanical strength, light weight, resistance to moisture and other properties conducive for PCB manufacturing. FR in FR4 stands for “fire retardant”, another feather in this PCB material’s cap.

A client from the Instrumentation Industry contracted to custom build this double sided printed circuit board (PCB) used within an electronic instrumentation application. This PCB design utilizes surface mount technology. Meeting client specifications, our company manufactured 250 boards for this client.

To begin this project, we pulled all the necessary laminates from stock and drilled all necessary holes. Direct metallization was performed to produce conductive hole walls. We also deburred the PCBs, providing a smooth surface, and carried out primary imaging.

After imaging, the PCBs were plated in copper, then solder, and finally etched to remove excess copper from panels. We also applied all LPI solderamask and silkscreen graphics to the PCB. Holding tolerances as tight as ± .005", we manufactured these PCBs to measure 10.5" x 8". Meeting high industry standards for both quality and performance, all finished units were vacuum packed and shipped to our client's facility in New York.


You can see our demonstration of the FR-4 rating here - we have blowtorched the PCB on the right hand side of the image. While the PCB did flame slightly, the flames extinguished themselves. Only continued application of the blowtorch would reignite the laminate. The Glass weave itself becomes clearly visible in the carbonised burnt circuit board. The circuit board still has some mechanical strength - it is severely degraded, obviously, but it still supports the tracks and pads. At a low voltage, surprisingly, there is little conductance across the burnt area, it might still function in a marginal sense.

While a PCB would not normally encounter a blow torch during operation, our test is a reasonable facsimile of what can happen when there is a failure in a circuit and a part overheats to the point of incinerating the surrounding board and circuitry. We have seen damage very similar to this in boards that have had these types of failures.
FR4 S1170 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1180 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1440 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
FR4 S1600 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
CEM-3 S2130 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
CEM-3 S2133 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
CEM-1 S3110 Material Data Sheet, Features, Properties, parameters and Applications
This flame retardant copper-clad laminate is made of continuous woven glass cloth impregnated with epoxy resin. The substrate is made of FR4 which is a flame retardant version of G-10 material. Copper Clad FR-4 Sheet is used to created printed circuit boards.
.059" is most common thickness.


G-10/FR-4 Copper Clad Sheet Features:
Available thicknesses: , .010", .020", .031", .047", .059" .090" & .118"
Copper-Coated in 1/1, 1/0, 2/0, 2/1, H/H
1/1 designated 1 oz. copper per square foot on BOTH sides of the sheet.
1/0 designates 1 oz. copper per square foot, coated on only 1 ONE side of the sheet
H/H designated 0.5 oz copper per square foot, coated on BOTH sides of the sheet.
0/0 designated UNCLAD (NO Copper). Click Here for this grade


Technical Documents & Material Application Overviews:
Bed of Nails Tester Materials & Overview # 1
Bed of Nails Test Fixture Materials & Overview # 2
Wave Solder Pallet Brochure