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Matte Black Solder Mask PCB

Matte Black Solder Mask PCB

Matte black solder mask circuit board 1.company information Uniwell Circuits Co., Ltd, was founded in Shenzhen, China in April, 2007. Uniwell Circuits is a high-tech enterprise specializing in design, development, manufacture and sales of high precision double-sided & multilayer PCBs...

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Matte black solder mask circuit board

1.Product describe


Layer: 2  
Board Thickness: 1.6 mm 
Surface treatment:LF HASL. 
Material: FR4 . 
Min line width/line distance:10/10mil 
Min hole:0.81mm

These kinds of circuit boards are widely applied in communication, network, digital products, industrial control, medical care, aeronautics & astronautics, defense & military fields, as well.Uniwell provides Green/blue/red/black/yellow/white solder mask for free . 

2.Company information
Uniwell Circuits Co., Ltd, was founded in Shenzhen, China in April, 2007. Uniwell Circuits is a high-tech enterprise specializing in design, development, manufacture and sales of high precision double-sided & multilayer PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) focusing on quick turn, prototype, medium and large volumes.  With brand new equipment and total production area over 10,000 sq. meters, Uniwell Circuits is capable of producing 100,000 square feet of 2-32 layer PCBs and delivering over 5000 varieties monthly. We can produce quick turns to meet 24-hour delivery for double-sided PCBs, 48-hour for 4 to 8 layers and 120-hour for 10 layer or higher PCBs. In order to satisfy the growing market demands, we have built a new factory in October, 2010, which named Jiangmen Factory, located in Jianghai District Jiangmen city, especially designed for small to medium mass production volumes. The combined Jiangmen and Shenzhen facilities have proved to meet all our customer’s all requirements from prototype to mass production. 


3.Which color will you choose
When selecting the parameters for your printed boards one of the options that you get is a choice of colours for the soldermask.
Along with the traditional green there are others such as red, blue, yellow, white and black available and sometimes at no extra cost. But which one should you choose? Are there any advantages or drawbacks to choosing something other than the standard green? That’s the question I hope to answer in this short summary of my experience.
Since I’ve now had multiple boards printed using every soldermask colour available I’ll go through each one with a short overview of the good and the bad. 

Bog-standard green with white silkscreen. Boring eh? Maybe so but green is probably the best of all the available colours in practical terms. The contrast between traces, planes and vacant space is high so you can inspect your boards easily with the naked eye to check for manufacturing defects. The white silkscreen contrasts well with the soldermask and flux residue cleans up well leaving a professional looking board.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss green as your choice of colour because if your board routing is a work of art then green might just be the best colour to show it off. 

I like red, it’s bold and it looks professional. The contrast between traces, planes and empty space is good, but noticeably lower than on a green board. Inspection of fine traces on the board for defects is best done with some form of magnification. Silkscreen stands out well against the red background and flux residues clean up well, just as well as on a green board.
Red can look bold and eye-catching, though not exactly unique since everyone’s doing it these days. If you want your beautiful routing to be the star of the show then green is still the best bet. 

Blue doesn’t clean up as well as red and green. As a dark colour it is prone to showing off dirt and if you’re not careful then flux stains can be stubborn to remove.
Blue can be a good choice if you’re not bothered about showing off the traces on your board or you need to match colours with your Arduino shield design against an Arduino host.

I don’t know what it is about gloss black that makes me keep coming back and choosing it? The contrast between traces, planes and empty space is virtually non-existent. Inspection of the board not only requires powerful magnification but you also have to angle a light just so it casts a shadow where the traces raise slightly above the board. A total nightmare to inspect.
At least the silkscreen contrasts well; in fact the silkscreen and the pads are pretty much all you can see on the board without optics and lighting to help you. At the time of writing only gloss black is available. The extremely cool matte black is yet to become available at the prototyping services.
Another peril with black is the way that it absorbs heat during reflow. You have to either scale down your profile or make sure that your temperature sensor is actually placed on the board itself. The silkscreen is also prone to turning light brown during reflow, presumably because the board under it takes on so much heat.
Cleaning is very hard indeed. It’s not that the flux stains are harder to remove; it’s that if you tilt the board to the light to see your routing then you also see where all the stains were!
On the positive side, and probably the reason why I keep coming back to black is that it really is the best colour for mounting an LCD against. Nobody’s going to be looking past your screen at distracting details when the backing colour is black.
Black’s a tough one to love and you really have to want it to ignore all the drawbacks. I’d like to say that I’ve scratched my black soldermask itch but it does look so good as a screen background.

OK I’ll get right out and say it; you’ve got to be crazy to want the gloss white soldermask option. There’s really nothing at all good about it. My excuse is that I knew this board was never going to be the final version so I thought I’d select white just so I could see it, knowing full well that I’d be complaining about it later.
If you think that the black soldermask makes your routing hard to inspect then you haven’t seen white. Contrast is the lowest of all the soldermask colours and even tilting to the light fails to properly show the traces. My microscope has a 45° stage light and even under that the traces are almost invisible.
Cleaning is just as tough as you’d expect. If you can get all the residue off then the board can look quite nice but it’s white so you really have to get every spot off for it to look good.
I find that the overall look of a built board is quite strange. Because the traces are invisible your components look like they’re floating on a sea of white. It’s just not right. Perhaps if your board is so dense that the component area outweighs the white area then you might pull it off. I remain to be convinced.
On the plus side the black silkscreen contrasts just as well as you’d expect black on white to do so any artwork you’ve got in the silkscreen layer will stand out very well.
The BeagleBone is probably the best known professional product with a white PCB out there and while I don’t think it looks terrible I do think it would have looked better in a different colour; maybe blue would have looked best with all that black and silver on there to set it off nicely. 

Why does no-one choose yellow? It’s not bad at all really. OK yes, it’s a bit of a murky shade of yellow and I’ve tried to adjust the photograph colours to correctly show it but unless your monitor is calibrated like mine is then it’s not going to show correctly I’m afraid. Take my word for it, it’s sort of murky and desaturated.
The contrast between planes, traces and spaces is very high. In fact it’s just as high as green so if you’ve got some beautiful routing to show off (and your PCBshould be a work of art) then murky yellow may be the right choice for you.
About the only downside is that the white silkscreen does not contrast well with the board. Not so bad if you’re not producing something with lots of user instructions in the labels or you don’t go for fancy artwork in the silkscreen layer. I’d like to see an option for black silkscreen with this soldermask, I think it would work better for many designs.
I’ve found that yellow is a breeze to clean, no more difficult than green or red and any light residues that remain don’t stand out.
In summary I’m surprised that yellow isn’t an option chosen by more people. I may be unfairly maligning it by referring to it as ‘murky’. Perhaps ‘dark’ yellow is more appropriate.
I hope these can help you.

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