If you’ve ever opened up a piece of electrical equipment, the chances are you’ve found a printed circuit board (PCB). This thin, flat component is quite often the heart of the electrical piece of equipment you’re looking at. Did you know that you can connect two together? Continue reading to learn how to connect two PCB boards and the different types of circuit board connectors.
Learning how to connect two PCB boards
In order to connect two printed circuit boards to one another, you need connectors. There are a variety of different types of circuit board connectors, and they mostly fall into two categories: flexible and rigid.
Flexible interconnect systems
Flat flexible cables can be used in places where electrical connections require a high flexibility and for multiple printed circuit boards to be connected that are subject to vibrations. These highly flexible cables can be soldered at each end directly onto the printed circuit board, offering a permanent connection. Or, they can be supplied with a connector on either end.
Flexible interconnect cables are available typically from two to 32 poles and provide different insulation materials. Depending on the application, flexible interconnect cables can be supplied in a material that can withstand reflow soldering temperatures.
You will typically find flexible interconnects in applications such as industrial control systems, energy metering, automotive electronics, and white goods.
Rigid interconnect systems
Rigid Interconnects can also be used to connect two printed circuit boards together. They’re used where PCBs need to be stacked on top of each other or side by side. With either permanent or plug-in connection methods, rigid interconnections offer a wide variety of available options with various combinations of length, pin pitches, surface mount, through hole, plating types, orientations and number of poles.
Despite the vast range, customisation options mean there’s always a connector for every application.
Types of flexible interconnects
There are several types of circuit board connectors that fall into the flexible interconnect category, and they are:
- FIX – Jumper System
- HT – Jumper System
- SMD L
- Wire Link
Types of Printed Circuit Board
Now you know the different components available to connect two circuit boards together, it’s valuable to know the different types of PCBs. There are several types of circuit boards in use across many industries and pieces of equipment. Printed circuit boards may be characterised by their construction methodology, which includes: single-sided, double-sided, and multilayer board configurations.
- Single-sided – Single-sided PCBs are used for simple electronics and are mass-produced at a lower cost than other types of PCBs. They have only one layer of substrate which is covered with a thin layer of metal on one side. Copper is commonly used because of its high electrical conductivity. A protective solder mask layer follows, and a silkscreen coating may be added as a final layer to label the parts of the board.
- Double-sided – Double-sided PCBs are more commonly used than single-sided designs because the two sides allow for the introduction of more complex circuitry. They have only one layer of substrate, but both sides are covered with conductive metal, and the circuit components. Either through-hole mounting or surface mounting is then used to connect the components.
- Multilayer – Multilayer PCBs have multiple layers of substrate, with insulating materials separating each layer. They use the same technology as double-sided PCBs, with the components on multi-layer boards being connected by either through-hole or surface mounting. They have between four and 10 layers but can have more if the product demands it and are used for computers and servers.
Types of circuit board connectors at Hitaltech
At Hitaltech, we specialise in high-quality connecting technologies and enclosures suitable for electronic and electrical applications.
We have sole ownership of the Conex-it range of interconnect products and offer a large range of plastic enclosures manufactured in Italy, and flexible interconnect solutions from our manufacturing partner in Germany.
We pride ourselves in having expert knowledge and experience in connecting technologies, and different types of circuit board connectors.
Our close working relationships with our customers and extensive knowledge of the market have enabled us to develop a vast and comprehensive range of interconnection products and enclosures. From PCB Mounted Screw Terminal Blocks to IP Rated Enclosures, our range of innovative products is truly impressive.
If you’d like to speak to a specialist about what we can offer you, contact us today on 01253 899910 or email us at email@example.com.