Electronics integrated in cars, smartphones, airplanes, and machineries consist of PCB (Printed Circuit Boards) integrated in them. The quality of these PCBs impacts the reliability of the entire electrical system of these equipment. Also, during the manufacturing and transport of the PCBs, they are exposed to various mechanical and thermal strains that affect their quality and sometimes result in the failure of components. These strains include bending strain during the installation of components, breakage during mounting, vibration during transportation, thermal effects and mechanical stress due to screw tightening. Therefore, the mechanical quality of PCBs are checked at the early stages of development to avoid any future systematic failures.
Strain gauges from TML are used to measure strain in PCBs to an extremely accurate degree. Since the PCBs are very small in size, it is quite challenging to install a strain gauge with the limited space available. Special miniature strain gauges from the EF series are designed for such purposes. They have a small grid pattern required for the measurement of printed circuit boards and a backing made of polyimide resin. They can operate in high temperatures upto +300°C for single element gauges.
Measurements on a PCB are effective at areas where the risk of failure is estimated to be especially high such as the corners, the stiff regions of the board and areas close to solder-joints.