Green Vs Blue Printed Circuit Boards – This one’s going to be a bit interesting, mainly because there’s no general consensus as to why it’s so prevalent.
why is Green the color of choice for so many printed circuit boards? Let’s find out.
First, we need to modify the question asked previously.
Why are PCBs Green and Blue?
This is actually an inaccurate inference. It’s the resin atop the PCB that’s typically dyed green. The PCB itself is often comprised of several ultrathin copper layers in computer applications.
Since copper will oxidize over time with help from water vapor in the atmosphere, a protective sealant, so to speak, is needed to prevent the degradation of traces and signals over time.
It’s also used strategically in waves, soldering applications to isolate certain areas of the board for storing. It’s an efficient process.
What is Sealant?
Now the sealant is called solder mask and consists of similar non-conductive plastics and resins typically dyed again green.
So, back to the original question then. Why green? Well, there are many reasons offered on the World Wide Web, as I’m sure you can imagine. There is really no clear consensus here,
But perhaps the most consistent one I’ve found has to do with psychology and the easiness of green on the human eye. Colors like bright yellow can act as stimulants and inducing xiety, while colors like blue and violet can be physically difficult at all to perceive.
So we choose green because it’s easier to stare at. That’s basically what this theory boils down to. Electricians and engineers who stare at PCBs 24/7 would appreciate colors that didn’t evoke an unwarranted emotion.
I think there’s a lot more to it than just the psychology of it. I mean, sure, green is a generally pleasing color. Maybe it doesn’t play well with PC aesthetics in 2021, but it gets the job done.
But there are other colors from a psychological standpoint at least, that are just as viable, if that’s your only argument. So for instance, a lighter shade of yellow or blue, like a baby yellow or a baby blue.
Problems With PCB Colours!
But the problem with these colors is that they don’t always contrast nicely with the tracks, which are the small copper paths connecting two or more points on a board.
You can often see these clear as day on basic circuits, and depending on the layering, you could have more than one track in the same unit area.
Bare copper is already a goldish orange color and would contrast pretty terribly with a yellow resin. Same goes for light blue. It just doesn’t look right now.
Colors that do contrast great with copper are green and red. Just probably why these are the most prevalent. The green is even more so, which ties back into our previous point regarding color, intensity and emotion.
Red is a much more aggressive color, especially when it’s surrounding you, right. If you’re inside of a large system, let’s say, and I mentioned contrast more than once,
Because we still have and use humans to see boards and production tracks need to be apparent. You need to be able to see if those tracks have been degraded before they are being sold on shelves. Right.
And elements cannot blend in with that surrounding mask. So you need to be able to see those clear, distinct issues if they exist.
What is Silkscreened?
Now, there’s also another word I mentioned that likely caught your ear, maybe something you haven’t heard of before. I hadn’t before.
I research for this blog Silkscreened that is that thin layer of ink traces used to identify board components like pins and resistors.
This text typically is white and obviously needs to be legible, making green yet again a great fit yellow and red and not so much.
It also helps that green is a natural color from any glass epoxy and resins, to begin with, meaning extra pigmentation may not even be necessary, Which means costs stay down.
And to that end, there are some pigments that distribute terribly in certain applications. White pigments used to make white PCBs like this one are prone to more coating errors and tolerance issues than conventional green or red ones, and thus cost more to produce.
Which explains why we don’t see too many of them, although they do look mighty fine. They’re also horrible, by the way, at contrasting tracks and silkscreens, which makes them difficult to debug and troubleshoot.
Final Reason for Green Printed Circuit Boards
Now, a final reason for the green solder mask may have something to do with the US Army, which has traditionally used green for camouflage. Right?
This is no secret. They use green for their trucks, helicopters, uniforms and even their guns. So it may it may make sense, right, for them to have early printed circuit boards that were green as well.
That and any potentially exposed bright red or bright yellow PCB in the battlefield would have stood out for miles in a sea of green, making things a bit easier for your enemies.
But the military conducted a plethora of tests in the fifties related to PCB fabrication and. Even received a patent for their design,
So they were heavily invested in the stuff and through nearly every scenario imaginable, apparently green pigment held up the best in their testing.
So in that way, it was more of a coincidence that it happened to be the same color as US Army camo or at least a derivation of that color. There’s more forest green. This is more of a neutral green.
Anyway, I know this theory is a bit weird and kind of multilayered, but either way, I hope you’ve at least learned a thing or two about why we use green pigment and solder masks and why it’s a necessity for copper derived PCBs.
Conclusion (Green Vs Blue Printed Circuit Boards)
the most consistent one I’ve found has to do with psychology and the easiness of green on the human eye. Colors like bright yellow can act as stimulants and inducing xiety, while colors like blue and violet can be physically difficult at all to perceive.
There is nothing different between Green Vs Blue Printed Circuit Boards, the only reason is the psychology and the easiness of green on the human eye, just only this.
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Good Bye 🙂
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