Please enter text.

Unveiling the 4 Most Popular Plating Methods in PCB

 Nov 08, 2023

 Plating Methods in PCB

PCB plating is one of the most crucial processes involved in the printed circuit board assembly and manufacturing. The process typically involves the application of a metal layer on the board. This technique plays a critical role in augmenting the board's aesthetic appeal through the use of surface finishes such as gold, silver, and tin. So, would you like to know about the most popular plating methods employed widely in the manufacturing of PCBs? This post lists a few of them.

Why Plating is a Critical Step in PCB Manufacturing?

Before discussing the types of PCB plating, it is important to understand the major purposes of plating the PCBs with the required metal. The foremost advantage is that by undergoing the plating process, PCBs can readily conform to diverse design specifications. For example, applying a thin layer of gold plating can significantly enhance electrical conductivity, making it particularly suitable for circuits operating at high frequencies or demanding high reliability. Additionally, there are numerous other advantages associated with PCB plating:

  • PCB plating safeguards the board from oxidation and deterioration.
  • The process renders a clear surface finish and accurate soldering surface. This enables a quick and proper assembling of varied components on the board.
  • The technique enhances the electrical connectivity of the board
  • PCB plating helps in augmenting the board's lifespan and boost the boards’ overall appearance, whilst offering a uniform surface.

Get to Know About the 4 Popularly Used Plating Methods in PCB

There are various plating methods used in PCB manufacturing, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Check out the different types of PCB plating methods commonly used in the market today.

  • Through-hole PCB Plating: Through-hole PCB plating is a process used to make holes in a PCB conductive. The process involves drilling holes through the entire depth of the circuit board, from the top layer to the bottom layer. The holes are then plated with copper to make them conductive.
  • Finger-Plating: PCB gold fingers are a crucial element of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and play a vital role in ensuring dependable and effective electrical connections. These gold-plated contact pads, known as gold fingers, are located at the edge of a PCB and are primarily used for connecting the PCB to other devices or components. The purpose of gold plating on these contact pads is to provide a highly resistant surface against corrosion while maintaining excellent electrical conductivity over time. Gold is specifically chosen for this application due to its exceptional properties, including resistance to tarnishing and oxidation. By incorporating gold-plated contact pads, PCBs can deliver outstanding performance in harsh environments while preserving signal integrity.
  • Reel Linkage Selective PCB Plating (RLSPP): The selective plating technique known as RLSPP is a highly sophisticated method plating method in PCB. Unlike traditional plating methods, RLSPP involves applying a metal coating only to specific areas of the board, such as pins and contact pins for electronic components like connectors, integrated circuits, and transistors. Through the use of specialized equipment, this process allows for precise targeting during the plating procedure. Whether done manually or through an automated process, RLSPP offers unparalleled precision and accuracy in PCB plating.
  • Brush Plating: Selective plating, also referred to as brush plating or spot plating, is a plating technique in PCB assembly where a metallic coating is applied to a specific portion of the circuit board. This form of plating becomes useful when there is a need for targeted repair or when a particular area on the board requires a distinct finish compared to the rest. To execute brush plating, a specialized tool called a plating brush is employed. This brush is immersed in a plating solution containing the desired metal and is subsequently used to delicately apply controlled amounts of the metal solution onto precise sections of the PCB. As an electrical current contacts the plated brush, causing the metal in the solution to adhere to the surface being plated.

The quality of plating is of utmost importance when it comes to designing and manufacturing PCBs. It can greatly impact the overall performance and reliability of the board. That's why partnering with a reputable manufacturer like Accelerated Assemblies is crucial for achieving a superior final product. With their extensive experience in providing top-notch PCB plating, they have served various industries including aerospace, defense, medical, and automotive. Utilizing advanced plating techniques and cutting-edge equipment, Accelerated Assemblies ensures exceptional services. Their skilled team meticulously pays attention to the specifications and requirements of each project, guaranteeing that the end result adheres to the highest standards of quality and performance. If you have a PCB asssembly on the horizon, don't hesitate to reach out to their team today. They are ready to assist you every step of the way.

PCB Assembly Quote