Protecting PCBs from Surges
To maintain the standards you set for quality and performance, it is important to ensure that the components on your PCBs are protected from the elements. Most protection on PCBs is used to guard against the elements such as high temperatures and humidity. However, at times electromagnetic interference and other forces can generate transients that can destroy components. There are different types of surges that can occur, which is why it is important to understand how to best protect your PCBs during the design phase.
Electrostatic Discharge – Also known as ESD, electrostatic discharge is the most common surge. It is caused by a buildup of charge on the equipment or people near it and can produce a surge that damages or destroys semiconductor components.
Electrical Fast Transient – EFT bursts happen when an inductive load is opened. Inductors store energy and when the circuit is opened the energy is released, which can also have damaging effects.
Expect the above two types of pulses, electromagnetic interference, lightning and other forces all can disrupt electronics. Thus, it is important to improve PCB designs which can protect against these surges and help engineers maintain circuit integrity and efficiency.