I don't know when the black PCB became a representative of high-end electronics in the minds of many people. But that's true today many major manufacturers have adopted black PCB in motherboard design, such as Apple, Asus, MSI and so on. Some PCB manufacturers also use black as a premium parameter. So is the black PCB really as high-end PCB as people feel? Today we will specifically discuss this issue.
What is solder mask
Solder mask refers to the colored ink directly printed onto the copper foil of the printed circuit board. At present, the common colors include green, red, yellow, blue, purple, white, and black, in which green is the most used.
The role of solder mask
Prevent physical disconnection of traces
In the soldering process, prevent short circuit caused by bridge connection
Solder only on the parts that must be soldered to avoid wasting
Reduce copper ion pollution
Prevent insulation deterioration and corrosion caused by external environmental factors such as dust and moisture
High insulation, it increases the density of the circuit
Black PCB board = high-end product?
In fact, the difference between the black PCB and other PCBs such as green PCB, blue PCB, and yellow PCB is that the color of the solder resist paint is different. If the PCB design and manufacturing process are exactly the same, the color will not have any impact on performance. Those large brands didn't use black PCBs as motherboards at the beginning, for example, until iPhone 4 was born, the motherboards of Apple's products were still blue. While, the black PCB has some obvious disadvantages.
Any slight stain or scratch will become noticeable on black PCBs, especially on matte black surfaces. Once transported and stored improperly, it may be an ugly look, and handling stains on black PCB might tend to make things worse.
Black inks are a little bit more toxic. Although black inks are more expensive than green inks, the composition makes it more toxic. For PCB manufacturers, the wastewater treatment is also more trouble.
Why these giant use black PCBs?
Anti-plagiarism. Because the traces of black PCB are difficult to distinguish with the naked eye, it can be counter-pirated somewhere.
Better visual experience. Black is usually synonymous with luxury. In the automotive field, the black shape can reflect its line design to the greatest extent, and it appears calm. Now this aesthetic is also cited in the electronics field.
As a panel or a matching shell. In the design of the front panel of many products, the black PCBs are the most popular, also often used to match the black case or chassis.
Cater to user preferences. The survey shows that the top 3 colors of PCBs that users like most are black, blue, and green, which do not only involve the color theory but also affected by the implication of the use of black PCB design by major brands. What is worth noting is that the user support of purple, yellow, and red is low, which may be due to the impression that these three color products are mainly in the low-end product lines.
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