PCB Through Hole vs Surface Mount
THT (Through Hole PCB Assembly Technology) vs SMT (Surface Mount PCB Assembly
Technology)-select the suitable assembly scheme for your high reliability application.
The mainstream mounting methods of components on printed circuit board (PCB) are through
hole PCB assembly technology and surface mount technology (SMT). SMT is a very popular
installation method in recent decades, so application designers often set it as the
method. But in fact, these two schemes have their own merits, so we need to choose them
carefully in high reliability application design.
The most obvious advantage of SMT is that there is no need to drill holes in PCB,
and the components are fixed by pads on the surface of PCB. As mentioned earlier,
compared with axial or radial Through Hole PCB Assembly, SMT often takes up less
space and can be installed on both sides of MDF. With the shrinking appearance of
electronic products, and designers' increasing emphasis on size, weight and power
(SWaP), the space efficiency of SMT has been more reflected. Furthermore, SMT
welding requirements are simpler-only one side of PCB needs to be welded, while
Through Hole PCB Assembly needs to be welded on both sides. In addition, SMT uses
reflow soldering instead of wave soldering. Wave soldering is more common for
Through Hole PCB Assembly, which is a more complex technology and needs to control
environmental factors such as temperature.
Depending on whether the design chooses to use Through hole PCB assembly or SMT, a major
consideration is how the circuit board will be assembled.
PCB assembly is the key final process of manufacturing circuit boards, so it is the
responsibility of the assembler to ensure that the finished products meet the design
requirements. This manufacturing stage includes a lot of inspection, verification and
the following basic steps:
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