Printed circuit boards, widely known as PCBs, have a broad range of applications, including X-Ray screens, CT scanners, home appliances, entertainment systems, computer systems and smartphones. Because it’s used in so many systems, PCB corrosion of electronics is a major problem for designers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
The reality is practically all metallic materials on a PCB are vulnerable to corrosion under certain conditions, particularly if it’s humid. High-performance products may be shielded from the external environment, but this isn’t a full-proof guarantee against PCB corrosion, especially if there are dramatic environmental fluctuations. Corrosion can cause the device to fail. At best, this can be costly. At worst, it can pose safety hazards and even legal liability risks (resulting in the expense incurred for device failure exceeding that of the device itself).
Once a circuit board reaches a certain point of corrosion, it isn’t going to work and it will only get worse. Replacement will be inevitable. But what is corrosion, exactly?