PCB Physical Strength
Despite making considerable efforts to build circuits and PCB layouts to avoid power loss and poor efficiency, the physical strength of PCB determines its service life and tolerance, especially used in harsh environments such as automotive, industrial control and avionics.
Let's consider two identical systems to measure temperature that is built as per exact PCB parameters. One of them is placed indoors to measure room temperature and the other is placed on the hood to measure the temperature of the entire engine. The main difference between the two systems is shown as follows.
It is clear that the outdoor use requires additional physical strength PCB to extend its service life and have efficient working conditions.
Physical Stress Impacts
Physical stress can cause the following problems.
Dusty surface-- Dusty surface can generate conductive paths resulting in short circuit or interference during normal operation.
Lack of rigidity-- Some precision systems require rigid substrates to align them to calibrate/sense the required parameters. So the lack of rigid surface due to external forces will destroy its function.
Solder connection damage-- Extreme vibrations can cause stresses in the joints and larger components, which will weaken its bonding, and thus causing resistive current path or open circuit.
How to Improve PCB Physical Strength
In order to solve the prescribed problems, there are three simple solutions.
Thicker flexible board-- The obvious solution is to strengthen PCB board with stronger boards and higher degree of flexibility to ensure its stress dissipation.
Vibration arresting-- Enclosing the system in a tightly packed mat can absorb vibration and synchronize with the movement of the object.
Weather Proofing-- Enclosing the system in a weatherproof metal enclosure to prevent the board from being exposed to dust, humidity and contaminants.