December 10, 2022

Technology: 3 Common Reasons Your Circuit Boards Malfunction

2 min read

technician with a circuit boardDenver is fast becoming the biggest technology hub in the Rockies and Midwest. In today’s post, we’re going to explore a common issue faced by both STEM workers and electronics hobbyists.

Circuit boards are incredible devices that allow nearly every piece of electronic equipment in the world to operate. However, being made of many small soldered pieces and parts, circuit boards are also rather delicate.

Due to their complexity, there are many different circuit board problems that can arise. If your computer, home theater, or other tech is not functioning properly, the issue might be from one of these common causes of circuit board malfunctions:

  1. Environmental Problems
    According to Ensil.com, outside factors can be detrimental to a circuit board. Some outside factors can damage a circuit board slowly over time. For example, moisture in the atmosphere can cause slow rusting, corrosion, and oxidation. Dust and fibers can also build up on the panel, leading to clogs and overheating.

    Other environmental harms are more obvious and can completely destroy a circuit board. Electrical fires, floods, surges from lightning strikes, and big changes in temperature can all destroy a circuit board. Even dropping an electrical device can rattle and damage a circuit board, ruining its functionality.

  2. Poorly Manufactured Components
    Circuit boards are constructed using both human labor and computer software to lay out the circuit pattern, with spaces between electrical conducting paths that are often 0.04 inches (1.0 mm) or smaller. Working with such minuscule proportions creates many opportunities for errors. Troubleshooting these problems is difficult since manufacturing issues from inappropriate board thickness to poor soldering techniques can manifest a whole host of operational problems. If you’ve done proper maintenance, and your computer or electrical component is fairly new, then operational malfunctions might be related to design or manufacturing flaws.
  3. Age
    Circuit boards are delicate and not exactly built to last. According to AER technologies, as time passes, some components will simply wear out, leading to issues like a failing capacitor. Global Electronic Services Inc. writes that older circuit boards may require an entirely different method of inspecting and diagnosing issues compared to more moderns boards.

There are hundreds of ways a circuit board can malfunction. Luckily, replacing parts and repairing circuits at home is possible. Finding a PCB (printed circuit board) specialist might help identify and fix a circuit board problem, so that you can have your favorite electronics up and running again in no time.

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