Why Blue PCB is Gaining Popularity in the PCB Industry

The green color is usually considered the standard color for a printed circuit board in the past years. With constant innovation and development in the technology world, there are now a wide range of PCB colors. The solder mask color is responsible for the color of the PCB. Also, solder masks are available in different colors now. These colors include red, white, and blue among others.

Therefore, PCBs are available in different colors. However, the green solder mask is still the most commonly used color for PCB assembly. Blue PCB assembly has become popular amongst engineers and designers due to its attractive color. Designers see blue PCB assembly as more appealing than the dull green boards. We will be providing more details about the blue printed circuit board in this article.

What is a Blue Printed Circuit Board?

A blue PCB board offers mechanical support and electrical connections to electronic components with the help of conductive channels. The color of this circuit board is blue due to the color of the solder mask used on it. Also, this blue board looks similar to the Arduino Blue. Blue circuit boards are becoming popular because of their aesthetic appearance.

Asides from their appearance, this board offers a lot more. In a blue board, there is a little difference between the empty region and planar traces. Also, blue solder mask color offers this level of magnification that helps to easily identify production flaws. Therefore, blue PCB boards are ideal for complicated electrical devices like RC robots.

Furthermore, it is very easy to detect the metals on a blue PCB surface. A blue PCBA helps to route power and communications across hardware components. During repairs or rework, designers can remove stretched parts from the substrate without having any effect on others. Also, a blue PCB has a high contrast between the solder mask and screen print.

The blue color of this PCB isn’t because of a dye or paint, the substrate itself is blue.  Apart from the blue substrate, this PCB comprises a blue solder mask. The performance of blue PCBs is very similar to that of green boards. However, a blue PCB is a better option when you need to match your board with your Arduino.

Also, a blue printed circuit board has several electronic components. Electronic components like diodes, capacitors, and transistors are present in blue printed circuit boards. Also, these electronic components are crucial for the functioning of a blue PCB. Blue PCB cost may be higher than conventional PCBs.  

Other Types of PCB Colors

PCB boards are available in a wide variety of colors. Also, the solder mask color determines the color of the circuit board. The green solder mask is the standard color for PCBs. So, what other colors of PCBs do we have?

Black

It is very rare to see a black PCB. This PCB color is very tough to handle. This is because there is a low contrast between empty traces and planes. Also, a black PCB requires very powerful magnification for its inspection. One other disadvantage of a black board is its heat absorption rate during reflow. Despite its limitations, this board works with the contrast of silkscreen. Also, you can clearly see the distinction between the pads and silkscreen.

Yellow

A yellow PCB is a surprise to most designers and engineers. Yellow solder mask provides very high contrast between empty planes and spaces. Also, yellow PCBs are very easy to clean. These boards are very easy to clean.

Red

Red PCBs are professional and bold. The red solder mask offers great contrast between traces, spaces, and planes.  However, this contrast may be lower than that of a green PCB. Also, red circuit boards offer a high level of visibility. These boards clearly define the contrast of empty spaces, planes, and traces.

White

White PCBs are not a first choice among designers and manufacturers. While these boards may look very clean, they have very low contrast. Also, it is very difficult to clean these boards. Inspection is also difficult, especially when it comes to tilting it to light.

What Does a Blue PCB Comprise?

Blue PCBs are just like a standard PCB. It comprises four different layers such as substrate, copper, solder mask, and silkscreen. The blue PCB is just a cake with several layers. Each of these layers has crucial role to perform.

Blue substrate

The base material or substrate of a blue board comprises blue fiberglass. Also, the substrate layer is the core of a blue PCB. It is responsible for the rigidity and thickness of the printed circuit board. Blue substrates are available in a wide range of thicknesses.

Copper

The copper layer is the second layer of the blue PCB. It is a layer made of thin copper foil. PCB manufacturers use heat and adhesive to laminate the copper layer and the substrate layer. When copper layers are available on the two sides of the substrate, it is a double sided blue board. Low-end electronics integrate single sided PCBs. Also, the copper thickness varies.

Solder mask

This is the third layer of the blue PCB. It is usually on top of the copper layer. Also, the solder mask is responsible for the color of the PCB. Most times, blue solder mask is usually integrated in this circuit board. Since the blue PCB has a blue substrate, the solder mask can be either blue or transparent. The solder mask offers protection to the copper layer. Also, it prevents the copper layer from having contact with solder, metal and conductive bits.

Silkscreen

This is the fourth and final layer of a blue PCB. It is usually laid on top of the solder mask. Silkscreen adds numbers, symbols, and letters on the blue board. Also, silkscreen helps engineers and designers to understand certain information on the PCB.

Transmission Lines on a Blue PCB

Transmission lines if a blue board are interconnections that move signals from transmitters to receivers. There are at least two conductors for every transmission line. One conductor is one single trace. Also, every transmission line should include a single return path.  Most return paths are ground planes.

A blue color PCB board has two types of transmission lines which are microstrip line and stripline.

Microstrip line

This type of transmission line has single uniform trace on the external layer of the blue board. Furthermore, the ground plane’s return path is parallel to the trace. There is a PCB dielectric that separates the trace from ground planes.

Stripline

Striplines on a blue board feature uniform trace of signals on the internal layers of the PCB. Also, a parallel blue PSC dielectric layer separates the conducting planes and trace. Furthermore, the conducting places serve as return paths. Stripline works very well with compact designs due to the increased density. Also, the inner layers of this transmission line provide reduced electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Applications of Blue PCB

Blue PCB is ideal for use in several areas.

Medical devices

Medical devices like CAT scanners, internal devices, and infusion pumps feature blue PCB. Due to its appealing nature, this PCB is widely used in vast majority of medical devices.

LEDs

The LED industry is one of the industries that widely integrate blue PCBs. Light emitting diodes in medical lighting, computer displays, automotive displays, and residential lighting feature blue printed circuit boards.

Automotive

Blue PCBs are available in automotive parts like transmission controls, sensors, and navigations systems. Also, you will find these PCB in other automotive parts like music systems, electronic control systems, and LCDs.

Telecommunication

Telecommunication devices like signal processing units, handheld systems, and base stations among others integrate blue circuit boards. Also, communication satellites and signal processing units feature blue PCB.

Consumer electronics

Blue PCBs play a crucial role in the manufacturing of consumer electronics. Also, consumer electronics like smartwatches, laptops, Tvs, and smartphones contain blue PCB. Blue PCBs are usually more appealing than green boards. Therefore, they are highly preferred in some consumer electronics.

Aerospace

The aerospace industry is not also left out. Blue PCB impacts the production of aerospace components. Also, aerospace components like radar systems, radio communication systems, and GPS feature blue PCBs.

Industrial equipment

Industrial equipment such as measuring tools, power tools, and manufacturing tools widely integrate Blue printed circuit boards.

What is the Difference between a Blue PCB and a Green PCB?

The blue solder mask color used for a blue board is the same as arduino. Also, a blue board has the same arduino blue color. Blue PCB can detect solder mask magnification. Also, this board makes it very easy tp detect any manufacturing errors. The major difference between a blue PCB and a green board is the solder mask color.

A blue board offers a significant level of contrast between the silkscreen and solder mask. Also, a blue PCB is ideal for a board with labels. Furthermore, it a good alternative when you want your board to have the same color as your Arduino.

On the other hand, green PCBs are more popular than blue printed circuit boards. While blue boards offer great visual inspection, green boards offers greater visual inspection. Green PCBs are more environmentally friendly than blue boards. Blue PCB ink is conductive since it is usually doped with carbon and combat. This may increase short circuit risk.

Factors that Impact the Impedance Control of a Blue PCB

A blue PCB board should offer exceptional performance. To ensure the exceptional performance of a blue PCB, it is crucial to pay attention to its impedance control. Your blue PCB will function better if you control its impedance in a perfect way. However, some parameters impact the impedance control of a blue PCB. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the relationship between impedance control and these  variables.

Dielectric thickness

The dielectric thickness separates the circuit board’s traces. Also, an increase in the dielectric thickness causes a slight increase in impedance. Therefore, the impedance and dielectric thickness have a logarithmic relationship.

Trace width

The impedance of a blue PCB will be lower when the trace width is larger. The thinner the trace width, the more the impedance. Also, trace width is an important consideration in blue PCB design.

Dielectric constant (Dk)

The Dk of a circuit board fluctuates with frequency. Also, a blue PCB with a low and stable Dk is suitable for high frequencies. Also, a low dielectric constant offers low control impedance. A high Dk value may have unexpected impacts on impedance. This is because it is more difficult to measure.

Copper thickness

The thickness of the copper layer has a huge impact on the impedance of a blue PCB. The impedance will fall if there is an increase in the copper thickness.

Impedance control involves calculating the impedance of certain traces during blue PCB fabrication. Also, the impedance must stay within the limits of the designer. Furthermore, impedance control is necessary when there is a need for quicker processing. Also, impedance control is very crucial when changing from a low ohmmeter to a high ohmmeter.

Blue PCB Packaging

Blue PCB packaging doesn’t just offer an aesthetic appearance, this board comprises huge slabs of fiberglass and copper. This blue PCB material is very fragile. Therefore, it is important to take certain precautions during blue PCB packaging. Also, blue PCB material requires proper handling and packaging.

Compact packing

This type of packaging uses elastic material to wrap delicate objects to make the effect of the vibration to be evident enough.

Mold box packaging

This type of packaging helps to achieve a shockproof impact. Therefore, it creates a mold box to package the circuit board.

pcba box build assembly

Moisture-proof packaging

Your blue PCB can damage due to moisture in the air. For example, a drop of water may transfer the trace of a circuit on the printed circuit board. Therefore, this may cause a short circuit. Therefore, you can keep your boards safe by keeping then in moisture-proof packaging. Also, this packaging type has a desiccant which absorbs moisture out of the container.

Conclusion

Blue PCB assembly is gradually becoming more popular in the PCB industry. Printed circuit boards come in a wide variety of colors. Blue PCBs are more appealing and offer great functionality in an electronic device.