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What is FR4 PCB?
FR-4 is the most common name in the printed circuit board industry. The people who have a preliminary understanding of FR-4 both inside and outside the industry believe that it is a kind of printed circuit board material.
The above statement is no problem, but in fact, FR-4 is more accurately a code used in PCB materials, mainly referring to the heat resistance grade of products. Therefore, the complete meaning of FR-4 is the material specification that can self-extinguish when the resin material burns. It is a material grade rather than a name.
There are many FR-4 grade materials, which are also the most commonly used in the printed circuit board industry all the time. Undoubtedly, Viasion is no exception and uses FR-4 materials as well. Conventional single-sided printed circuit boards, double-sided printed circuit boards, including multilayer printed circuit boards, mostly use FR-4 grade materials, and most of the materials are made of TERA-FUNCTION epoxy resin, Filler, and glass fiber, which belong to composite materials.
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Types of FR4 Materials and Parameters
The name of FR-4 and glass fiber epoxy resin copper clad laminate is too complicated. We usually call them FR-4 copper-clad laminate or CCL.
The grading characteristics of FR-4 CCL are excellent, ranging from high to low quality. Different grades of FR-4 CCL are selected according to different products. This can not only meet the needs of high quality but also further ensure the cost performance of products. In addition, it is particularly important to know and understand our products. According to different product specifications and characteristics, choose the corresponding FR-4 CCL level, which can not only achieve the best quality but also make the price in the most competitive position!
Regarding FR-4 CCL, Viasion usually divides them into the following grades according to their characteristics.
FR-4 CCL series
1. FR-4 A1 level CCL
Because of the super high-quality factor of the standard, it can cover a wide range of industries and serve high-end products in various industries. The coverage of this level is extremely wide, from consumer level to industrial level, and even military level. For example, the following products are covered: military products, mobile phones, other communication products, computers, and other digital products, including electronic products in automobiles, as well as industrial instruments products that Viasion produces most, including measurement and security instruments. This level of CCL is the most widely used in the high-end industry, and the quality is also guaranteed, which has reached the worldwide recognition level. All our FR-4 printed circuit board are produced with the highest standards of FR4 substrate.
2. FR-4 A2 level CCL
3. FR-4 A3 level CCL
4. FR-4 Halogen-free CCL
CCE-3 CCL series
Then came the CEM-3 series CCL. The product features of the CEM-3 series are different from those of the FR-4. Their advantages and features are better punching performance. Some products that need punching will use a similar feature.
The series also has four levels. The main industries are white goods and electronic products, such as various LEDs, electronic clocks, recorders, video recorders, game consoles, etc., covering a large number of our daily electronic products. The CEM-3 series CCL also requires customers to have a clear understanding and positioning of the product, and use more appropriate grade materials.
Viasion has rich experience in this field, and the materials of the appropriate grade can be more cost-effective and competitive in terms of price while ensuring quality.
FR4 Performance Advantages
Because of its extensive application, FR-4 has covered most electronic products excellently, and its advantages are also widely known. For example, we know that FR-4 has good insulation, good heat resistance, and is not afraid of moisture. Besides the excellent mechanical processing performance mentioned many times, FR-4 also has many advantages and characteristics in processing technology. So FR4 PCBs are widely used in many industry areas.
FR-4 Quality Control
In the production of FR4 circuit, the most common problem is board warping after PCB completion. We will share our experience in warping prevention based on Viasion’s experience.
The use of materials is crucial. The first point of materials is the formulation of resins. Viasion usually chooses resins and curing agents with better flexibility, which is the first and crucial step. The selection of materials lays an important foreshadowing for the production quality of subsequent products.
After the selection of resin is decided, the next step is the selection of substrate. According to Viasion’s production experience, we found that when using paper-based CCL, the degree of warpage is different in different suppliers. Some are upright and some are reversed. Based on our experience, we combined the paper-based CCL that produces upright and reverse warping, and finally found that the flatness of the finished product is very good, but only for paper-based CCL.
The above conditions are not found for glass fiber cloth, but the materials produced by different manufacturers have a certain impact on the warpage, which needs to be carried out according to the procurement experience of their respective manufacturers.
High-quality products cannot be separated from strict control of various parameters during production, and it is crucial to ensure the consistency of resin content and gelation time of the prepreg to ensure the flatness of PCB. Viasion also found a more appropriate control index after a lot of practice.
When applying glue, try to control the size of the external force. It is better to be smaller than too big. Secondly, the materials from different manufacturers should be distinguished and should not be mixed randomly. In addition, materials of the same specification should be used. If the semi-cured sheets comes from different manufacturers, it should also be avoided to mix them, because such mixture will produce different tensions and ultimately affect the flatness of the product.
When PCB is hot pressed, Viasion usually uses heat transfer oil for heating, which will make the temperature difference of hot pressed plate smaller. When controlling the temperature rise, stability must be guaranteed first. Too fast or too slow is not good for the final PCB. To reduce the loss of gel during operation, pay attention to the fluidity and gelation time of the prepreg.
In addition, attention should be paid to the setting of the hot pressing plate to ensure uniform heating, otherwise, the flatness of the final PCB will be greatly affected.
To produce a satisfactory and flat PCB, it is necessary to design a reasonable preheating temperature and pressure rate. In addition, in the selection of stainless steel plate thickness, try to select materials with better thickness and hardness, which will help to ensure the quality of the final product.
According to Viasion’s observation, the warpage of the outer layer is usually greater than that of the inner layer, which is considered to be caused by the cooling rate. According to Viasion’s experience, we usually control the cooling rate by subsection. Instead of directly using cold water and cold oil for cooling, we first use warm water for cooling to avoid excessive temperature differences between the inner and outer layers, leading to warping of the inner and outer layers.
In terms of pressure, Viasion usually uses a vacuum press, so that molecules in PCB can be more easily discharged from it, to achieve a multiplier effect with half the effort. With lower pressure, it can obtain products with higher density. And lower pressure will also reduce internal stress, which can further reduce the warpage of the finished product.
In addition, low pressure can also ensure less glue flow and further avoid warping.
CCL must pay attention to the sealing during storage. The moisture-proof sealed packaging is the best, and its stability should be guaranteed during storage and placement. It should be placed flat, avoiding side or vertical, and do not place heavy objects on it. Viasion has rich experience in storage. Even if CCLs are stacked, flat isolation plates should be placed in them, otherwise, deformation will occur easily.
The above is Viasion’s production experience. Production based on the above experience can greatly avoid CCL warping.
Features of FR-4 to Consider When Choosing FR4 PCB
Uses and Applications of FR4 PCB
FR4 PCB Specification of Viasion
FR-4 PCB specifications of Viasion include the following types of material: High TG FR4, Halogen-free FR4, and High Speed FR4. Please contact us freely for any of your FR-4 printed circuit boards needs.
Why Choose Us?
Viasion has provided PCB & PCBA manufacturing services since 2007. Viasion also has rich production experience and cooperation experience in FR-4. As mentioned above, Viasion will evaluate the primary use of the electronic product before carrying out the manufacturing process and choose different types of FR-4 material depending on the use and characteristics of the product to ensure that our work is done meticulously and rigorously. The following points explain why you should choose Viasion as your FR4 PCB supplier.
We have 16 years of experience in supplying FR-4 printed circuit boards, trusted by 1000+ customers all over the world. Both the quality of our products and the high standard of service are highly recognized by the market.
Viasion has established a sound service system and service team. Over the years, we have been cooperating with our customers on an equal, mutually beneficial, and win-win basis. Our company offers you more than just products. Our goal is to become a full range of experts supplying FR-4 printed circuit boards and other types of PCB boards.
We hope to cooperate with you. You are welcome to contact us!
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Viasion Technology is your trusted partner & one-stop shop for PCB fabrication, components sourcing, PCB assembly and electronic manufacturing. With more than 16 years of experience, we have been supplying high-quality PCBs with competitive pricing for 1000+ customers worldwide. Our company is ISO9001:2015 Certified & UL Listed, and all our products are 100% E-tested and inspected by AOI & X-RAY to meet the highest industry standards. So please get an instant quote from our sales team now, and we will take care of the rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
An FR-4 PCB refers to a printed circuit board made of FR4 materials. FR4 is a kind of glass-reinforced epoxy which meets the UL 94V-0 rating.
FR-4 printed circuit board material are the most widely used circuit board material. It has the following properties:
1. Meet UL 94V 0 flammability rating;
2. High reliability for electronic devices;
3. High processing performance, FR4 PCBs can be produced from 1 layer to 100 layers;
4. Cost-effective, so FR4 circuit boards are widely used in almost all industrial areas.
TG means glass fiber deformation temperature from solid to liquid. The typical TG of FR4 PCB material is 130-140°C. But higher TG FR4 materials are also commonly used, such as: FR4 TG130°C, FR4 TG150°C, FR4 TG170°C, FR4 TG180°C or may over TG200°C. All these FR4 substrates meet UL 94V-0 standards.
The most usual FR4 PCB thickness is 1.6 mm, but we can produce FR4 PCBs from 0.1 mm to 10.0 mm.
There are no specified requirements for the solder when assembling components on an FR-4 PCB. The commonly used solder is a lead-free alloy that contains 96.5% tin, 3% silver, and 0.5% copper.
1) If we talk about the copper conductors, a single-sided FR-4 PCB only has copper foil on one side, while a double-sided FR-4 PCB has copper foil on both sides.
2) If we talk about electronic components on PCBs, the solder joints of a single-sided FR-4 PCB are usually on one side only, and the other side is for inserting components. A double-sided FR-4 PCB can be soldered on both sides.
3) A single-sided FR-4 PCB has only one layer of copper trace, while the double-sided FR-4 PCB can be routed on both sides and connected to each other by plated vias. So, double-sided FR-4 boards can design more functions. Consequently, the double-sided FR-4 PCB is more suitable for complex circuits than the single-sided FR-4 PCB.
4) Apparently, a double-sided FR-4 PCB is more expensive than a single-sided FR-4 PCB if the other parameters are the same.
Besides consumer electronics, FR-4 PCBs are also used in automation, industrial control, telecommunications, IoTs, robotics, test and measurement, medical, safety and security equipment, automotive, aerospace, LED lighting, etc. Generally speaking, FR-4 PCBs are the most widely used circuit boards, it is used almost in all electronic devices.
Operators should be trained and standard operation of relevant processes should be demonstrated to them.
The factory should carry out the maintenance and overhaul of machines and equipment regularly.
We should take precautions to prevent damage caused by dust, noise, corrosive potions, and exhaust gases.
Workers should be equipped with labor protection appliances during the production of FR-4 PCBs. For example, they should wear goggles, acid-resistant gloves, and aprons when adding potions, wear masks in a workshop with exhaust gases and wear earplugs in noisy workshops.
Usually, almost all types of components can be mounted on an FR-4 PCB. There are no specified requirements for components that can be mounted on an FR-4 PCB. Which components to be mounted is determined by the customer’s requirements and the characteristics of the electronic products.
The properties of the FR-4 material make it versatile and its price is affordable.
Excellent electrical performance
Meet UL94V-0 flammability rating
The structural stability can be ensured.
The durability of an FR-4 PCB is high.
Strong mechanical properties.
UV blocking/AOI compatible
Cost-effect so it is the most widely used material
Generally, the maximum temperature an FR-4 can handle is between 90 °C and 110 °C. But there are some advanced and reinformed FR-4 materials that have an operating temperature of up to 150 °C.
The most common thicknesses available for FR-4 PCBs are 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.8mm, 1.0mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 1.6mm, 1.8mm, 2.0mm.
The typical lead time for an FR-4 PCB is 1-3 weeks. More details as follows:
Quick turn FR-4 PCB service takes 1-5 days.
It takes 1-2 weeks for prototype and small series production.
Two or four weeks are taken for mass production.
However, the lead time greatly depends on the PCB material and the order quantity. Please contact our sales team if you want to know the price and lead time to produce your FR4 circuit boards.
There is no minimum order quantity for an FR-4 PCB in Viasion. Regardless of the order quantity, we will provide high-quality products and serve you wholeheartedly.