Why Are Printed Circuit Boards Green?

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If you have ever noticed, the printed circuit boards have a green color finish with silver and copper lines in between. But, the major color is green. At first look, it seems as though it’s the board itself that is completely green. But the reality is that the substrate is not green. In fact, the color of a printed circuit board has nothing to do with the substrate.

The printed circuit board colors depend on the solder mask. A solder mask is like a protective layer over the substrate and the copper layers that protect the inner connections from dirt, moisture, and damage. So, you can choose whatever color you want on your printed circuit boards by asking the manufacturer for any desired color solder mask.

Once your board goes through the smt assembly process, the assembler will cover the board in a solder mask. Most commonly they use a green solder mask, but you can choose black, blue, red, yellow, and almost any color you want.

Importance Of Printed Circuit Board Colors:

The color of the printed circuit board does not hold too much importance aside from aesthetics. If you want an aesthetically pleasing color that’s different from the plain, boring, and old green color, you can choose a bright and radiant color like pink or yellow, or even go for a black printed circuit board if that’s your thing. 

But, the real importance is that of the solder mask and not of the color of that solder mask. No matter which color you choose, the solder mask will do its duty of protecting the board from moisture and dirt and prevent any damage to the printed wires and lines.

However, there is a reason why manufacturers prefer the green printed circuit board color. When the board needs repairing, the contrasting colors make for a better view than the aesthetically pleasing colors. Meaning, repairing a green printed circuit board will be easier than repairing a pink printed circuit board because the green light helps the human eyes see the wires and lines much more clearly.

Good Printed Circuit Board Color Choices:

Green is the universal color of printed circuit boards, mainly because it has been for years, and it is the cheapest option out there. However, that doesn’t mean that the other colors are a bad choice. The main thing to look for while choosing a printed circuit board color is contrast, so the board not only looks good but is easy on the eyes as well as easily repairable. Here are THREE very popular printed circuit board color options:

  • Black: Black printed circuit boards are the epitome of aesthetically pleasing PCB color. The contrast is not as good as green, but it is still good enough to enable repairing under some magnifications. Available in gloss as well as matte finish, a black printed circuit board is certainly something different.
  • Red: Red color on PCBs is considered the best choice after green. The contrast is good, the outlook is bold and beautiful, and the red color smolder masks are easily available too. 
  • Blue: Blue is another color for printed circuit boards that have become very popular in recent times. Even though the contrast with the copper lines is a bit shallow, people don’t seem to mind that. One thing people do care about is the outlook, and the blue boards look very beautiful and unique too. As for repairing, magnification is a must for proper and professional repair of any damage.

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