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A summary of several solutions to block vias on high-frequency circuit boards
2021-09-10
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Author:Belle

    Conductive hole Viahole is also known as via hole. In order to meet customer requirements, high-frequency circuit board via holes must be plugged. After a lot of practice, the traditional aluminum plug hole process is changed, and the high-frequency circuit board surface resistance is completed with white mesh. Welding and plugging. Stable production and reliable quality.


    Viahole through holes play the role of interconnection and conduction of lines. The development of the electronics industry also promotes the development of high-frequency circuit boards, and also puts forward higher requirements for printed board manufacturing processes and surface mount technology. Viahole plugging technology came into being, and should meet the following requirements at the same time:


    1. There is copper in the via hole, and the solder mask can be plugged or not plugged;

    2. The through holes must have solder mask ink plug holes, opaque, and must not have tin rings, tin beads, and flatness requirements;

    3. There must be tin and lead in the via hole, with a certain thickness requirement (4 microns), and no solder mask ink should enter the hole, causing tin beads to be hidden in the hole.


    With the development of electronic products in the direction of "light, thin, short and small", PCBs have also developed to high density and high difficulty. Therefore, a large number of SMT and BGA PCB high-frequency circuit boards have appeared, and customers require plugging when mounting components. Hole has five main functions:


    1. Prevent the high-frequency circuit board from passing through the through-hole through the component surface to cause a short circuit when the high-frequency circuit board passes through the wave soldering; especially when we put the high-frequency circuit board via hole on the BGA pad, we must first make the plug hole, and then plate the gold Handling to facilitate the welding of BGA.


    2. Prevent the tin bead from popping up during wave soldering, causing short circuit;

    3. Avoid flux residue in the vias;

    4. Prevent surface solder paste from flowing into the hole, causing false soldering and affecting placement;


    5. After the surface mounting of the electronics factory and the assembly of the components are completed, the high-frequency circuit board must be vacuumed on the testing machine to form a negative pressure before it is completed.



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    Realization of Conductive Hole Plugging Process

    For surface mount boards, especially the mounting of BGA and IC, the via hole plug must be flat, convex and concave plus or minus 1mil, and there must be no red tin on the edge of the via hole; the via hole hides the tin ball, in order to reach the customer The process of plugging via holes can be described as diverse. The process flow is particularly long and the process control is difficult. There are often problems such as oil drop during hot air leveling and green oil solder resistance experiments; oil explosion after curing. Now according to the actual production conditions, various plugging processes of high-frequency circuit boards are summarized, and some comparisons and explanations are made in the process and advantages and disadvantages:


    Note: The working principle of hot air leveling is to use hot air to remove excess solder from the surface and holes of the high-frequency circuit board, and the remaining solder is evenly coated on the pads, non-resistive solder lines and surface packaging points, which is the surface treatment method of the printed circuit board one.


      1. Hole plugging process after hot air leveling


    The process flow is: board surface solder mask→HAL→plug hole→curing. The non-plugging process is adopted for production. After the hot air is leveled, the aluminum sheet screen or the ink blocking screen is used to complete the via hole plugging required by the customer for all the fortresses. The plug hole ink can be photosensitive ink or thermosetting ink. In the case of ensuring the same color of the wet film, the plug hole ink is best to use the same ink as the board surface. This process can ensure that the through holes will not lose oil after the hot air is leveled, but it is easy to cause the plugging ink to contaminate the board surface and uneven. Customers are prone to false soldering (especially in BGA) during mounting. So many customers do not accept this method.


    2. Hot air leveling and plugging process


    1. Use aluminum sheet to plug the hole, solidify, and polish the board to transfer the graphics


    This technological process uses a numerical control drilling machine to drill out the aluminum sheet that needs to be plugged to make a screen, and plug the holes to ensure that the via hole plugging is full. The plug hole ink can also be used with thermosetting ink. Its characteristics must be high in hardness. , The shrinkage of the resin is small, and the bonding force with the hole wall is good. The process flow is: pretreatment→plug hole→grinding plate→graphic transfer→etching→board surface solder mask


    This method can ensure that the plug hole of the via hole is flat, and there will be no quality problems such as oil explosion and oil drop on the edge of the hole when leveling with hot air. However, this process requires one-time thickening of copper to make the copper thickness of the hole wall meet the customer's standard. Therefore, the requirements for copper plating on the entire board are very high, and the performance of the plate grinding machine is also very high, to ensure that the resin on the copper surface is completely removed, and the copper surface is clean and not polluted. Many high-frequency circuit board factories do not have a one-time thickening copper process, and the performance of the equipment does not meet the requirements, resulting in that this process is not widely used in high-frequency circuit board factories.


    2. After plugging the hole with aluminum sheet, directly screen-print the surface of the board for solder mask


    In this process, a CNC drilling machine is used to drill the aluminum sheet that needs to be plugged to make a screen, which is installed on the screen printing machine for plugging. After the plugging is completed, it should not be parked for more than 30 minutes. The process flow is: pre-treatment-plug hole-silk screen-pre-baking-exposure-development-curing


    This process can ensure that the via hole is well covered with oil, the plug hole is flat, and the color of the wet film is consistent. After the hot air is leveled, it can ensure that the via hole is not tinned and the tin bead is not hidden in the hole, but it is easy to cause the ink in the hole after curing. The soldering pads cause poor solderability; after the hot air is leveled, the edges of the vias bubble and lose oil. It is difficult to use this process to control production, and it is necessary for process engineers to use special processes and parameters to ensure the quality of the plug holes.


    3. The aluminum sheet is plugged into the hole, developed, pre-cured, and polished, and then solder resist is performed on the surface of the board.

    Use a CNC drilling machine to drill out the aluminum sheet that requires plugging holes to make a screen, install it on the shift screen printing machine for plugging holes. The plugging holes must be full and protruding on both sides. The process flow is: pre-treatment-plug hole-pre-baking-development-pre-curing-board surface solder mask


    Because this process uses plug hole curing to ensure that the via hole does not lose oil or explode after HAL, but after HAL, it is difficult to completely solve the problem of tin bead storage in the via hole and tin on the via hole, so many customers do not accept it.


    4. The high-frequency circuit board surface solder mask and plug hole are completed at the same time.


    This method uses a 36T (43T) screen, installed on the screen printing machine, using a pad or a bed of nails, and when completing the board surface, all the through holes are plugged. The process flow is: pretreatment-screen printing- -Pre-baking-exposure-development-curing.


    The process time is short and the equipment utilization rate is high. It can ensure that the via holes will not lose oil after the hot air leveling, and the via holes will not be tinned. However, due to the use of silk screen for plugging the holes, there is a large amount of air in the via holes. , The air expands and breaks through the solder mask, resulting in cavities and unevenness. There will be a small amount of through holes hidden in the hot air leveling. At present, after a large number of experiments, our company has selected different types of inks and viscosity, adjusted the pressure of the screen printing, etc., and basically solved the voids and unevenness of the vias, and has adopted this process for mass production.