How is FR1 PCB different?

PCB, aka printed circuit boards, is the heart of all electronic and modern devices. These PCBs are made of a certain type of material. PCB’s material determines its performance and lifespan. That’s why the material selection is crucial. Most known materials are FR1, FR2, and FR4, and the list is long. Every material has different properties.  So PCBs made from different materials also have different traits and uses.

A common man cannot tell the difference between these materials. FR1 is the most common material for PCB manufacturing. Let me tell you what FR1 PCB is and how it is different from the rest of the materials.

What is FR1 PCB?

A printed circuit board made of FR1 material is called FR1 PCB. It comprises a thin copper layer and phenolic resin. FR stands for flame retardant. It means how much heat a material can withstand 

Without melting. FR1 is the most common and familiar type of material to make PCB. It comes in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Whether you are new to PCB or have an old connection with PCBs, you once heard the name FR1 PCB. It is a thin copper substrate. It has some unique properties that are why it is the first choice of many Pub manufacturers.

Reasons for choosing FR1 for PCB

Following are some good reasons for choosing FR1 PCBs

1. It is affordable

Whether you are a hobbyist or an experienced designer, FR1 is affordable to everyone. Its pre-cut size is available at a quite reasonable price. If you buy them in bulk, they are very cost-effective. If you are a newbie in PCB designing, then you can easily experiment with this material. If you are working on different types of PCB design at the same time, then it is a highly recommendable material.

2. It is easy to drill

Printed circuit boards are made of different tiny components, such as resistors, capacitors, and circuits. These components are connected with each other. You can drill holes up to eight MM in the board without any problem connecting the parts together. You should use the appropriate tools for cutting and drilling so that the boards don’t break. You can use X-acto blades to cut the boards because these blades are sharp and cut the board easily without breaking its edges. FR1 is made of paper laminates, that’s why Drilling is safe and less dusty.

3. It helps you to save time.

When you are working on FR1 PCB, then you don’t need to solder the wires first. You just need to drill some holes and arrange the components on the board. You can drill holes easily as compared to their materials. Circuits are simple, so it doesn’t consume much time. If you are using pre-cut FR1 boards, then once again, you are saving time.

4. It allows for making compact circuit boards.

 If you want to make a single-sided compact PCB, then FR1 can serve you better. You can arrange a large number of components on this board, and interconnections are not bulky. That’s why you can easily create big and complicated circuits.

5. It has compliance with RoHS.

This certification refers to the prohibition of hazardous substances. It means that there are substances that are not suitable for electronic products. FR1 meets the requirements of ROHS regulations in terms of environmental protection and heat resistance.

Tips for choosing the right FR1 for PCBs

The following tips will help you choose the right FR1 material for PCBs. Choose the supplier carefully because different suppliers have different standards. If you are going for the pre-cut sizes, then check the measurements carefully.

 After checking the measurements of ready-made FR1 boards then, go for designing or arrangement of components. If you have already done everything, then don’t go for the pre-cut sizes. Then cut the material according to your design and component arrangement. You can ask for ISO, CCC, and RoHS certification from the supplier for the FR1 material to ensure the quality. Reworking and inspecting smaller panels is easier as compared to large ones.

How to make problem-free FR1 PCB?

  • Don’t make the circuit too complex. Reduce the unnecessary components
  • Keep PCB components on the primary section of the FR1 printed circuit board
  • Impedance control requirements and guidelines
  • All PCB components should be at least 2 mm from the top of the V-score.

Some frequently asked questions

· Can I use FR1 for double sided PCBs?

No, it is not suitable for double-sided PCBs. Double-sided PCBs have two-sided traces with a top and bottom layer.FR1 material is not suitable for over-hole, so it is usually used for single-sided PCBs. If you are going to make double sides or multi-layer PCB, then you have to go for other materials like FR4.  

· Is FR1 PCBs thermal resistant?

Thermal resistance is necessary when it comes to PCBs. FR1 PCBs can sustain temperatures up to one-thirty Celsius. FR1 PCB will not change its shape if temperature fluctuations are in the range of one-thirty Celsius. 

· What is FR4 PCB?

FR4 is also a type of material. It is also known as glass-reinforced epoxy resin laminate. It has excellent adhesion and good moisture resistance. It is suitable for double and multi-layer PCBs. It also shows excellent heat-resistant properties. For such devices where heat dissipation or high temperature is an issue, FR4 PCB can easily work. 

· Can I design FR1 PCB with software?

Yes, of course. You can use different software for this purpose. Much software specially design FR1 PCB design and ensure its functionality. KiCad and OrCAD are the most popular software for this purpose. You can find more tools and software for FR1 PCB designing efficiently.

Wrapping up

FR1 is cost-effective and readily available material for PCB. FR1 PCBs are single-sided and part of many electronic devices and machines. FR1 material has some drawbacks also, such as thin resin overlay, soldering issues, and fusing. That’s why handling the FR1PCB is a little bit tricky. Despite everything, FR1 PCBs have their unique properties and demand in the PCB industry. 

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