A printed circuit board (PCB) can be considered the backbone of countless electronic assemblies, coming in the form of a structure consisting of conductive and insulating layers. With printed circuit boards, various electronics can be securely attached on a single component, and reliable electrical connections ensure interconnectivity and powering. With their capabilities, printed circuit boards find use in countless applications that range from small consumer devices to large industrial machinery. In this blog, we will discuss the primary components that are installed on printed circuit boards, allowing you to better understand their use and importance.
Resistors are a staple of PCB assemblies, and they are considered to be one of the simplest in functionality. With a resistor, the flow of current is mitigated as electric power is dissipated as heat. Coming in numerous forms that differ in their materials and design, the most popular type that many are familiar with is the “axial” style resistor which features leads on both ends and color rings to indicate resistance values. Potentiometers are a type of variable resistor, allowing for resistance values to be controlled with a knob. With such components, equipment like radios can have adjustable audio.
Capacitors serve as the next most common PCB component, such parts being used to temporarily hold electric charges for later release in areas of the circuit that require it. With two conductive layers separated by a dielectric, the capacitor can collect opposite charges. Similar to resistors, capacitors come in numerous types, each differing in their conductors and dielectric materials. As some capacitors have a similar appearance to axial resistors, one should be careful not to mix the two up during construction or repairs.
Inductors are another passive component like resistors and capacitors, capable of storing energy in the form of a magnetic field that is powered when current flows through them. In their most basic form, inductors can be a coil of wire in which the number of windings have a direct influence on the strength of the magnetic field and the resulting inductance. Typically, inductors are used to filter and block out various signals, ensuring that performance is not affected by interference.
Transformers are used to transfer electrical energy between circuits, all while increasing or decreasing voltage. With a soft iron core with two or more wire coils wound around it, power can move from one source to the other through the coils.
Diodes manage electricity, ensuring that it can only move in one direction from the anode to the cathode. This is done by having high resistance in a single direction, ensuring that current cannot flow backward to damage other components. The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of the most popular diodes in use.
Transistors are a basic building block of electronics, serving as amplifiers and electronic switches. With numerous forms, each differing in their use, several billion transistors may be implemented on a single IC chip.
Integrated circuits (IC) are circuits that have been compactly assembled on a single wafer of semiconductor material. Integrated circuits have revolutionized electronic assembly, allowing for a plethora of components to be placed on a single chip.
Beyond such examples, other common PCB components include Silicon-Controlled Rectifiers (SCR), crystal oscillators, switches, relays, and sensors. At Industrial Gamut, we serve as a trusted supplier of all types of electronic components and other industrial products. Take the time to explore over 2 billion items currently in stock, and our team is always on standby to assist you through the purchasing process however necessary. If there is a particular item in our inventory that you wish to procure, fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website, and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less with a personalized quote for your comparisons.
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