When you look at your printed circuit boards, you will probably see a green soldermask, which is a cover that goes over some of the parts of your PCBs. In some cases, the soldermask might come in other colors, depending on the company that you purchase your boards from. Regardless, you could be wondering what this part is used for and if it is really necessary.

Even though it might not seem like much, the soldermask is actually a very important part of your printed circuit boards. These are a few things that this cover is used for.

Provide Protection

First of all, you should know that the copper pieces on your average printed circuit board are very sensitive. If they come in contact with other metals, they can become damaged, which can cause the entire circuit board to stop working. There is little that can be done to stop this problem, so printed circuit board manufacturers put soldermasks on top of these copper parts to help keep them protected. Then, with the soldermask in place, these sensitive parts are less likely to come in contact with other metals and are more likely to remain in good condition.

Make Soldering Easier

You will probably need to make some adjustments to your printed circuit boards to make them work for your products. For example, you may need to solder on certain parts. With the soldermask in place, it's easier to see where things need to be soldered; this is partly because of the green or other bright color of the mask. Since it helps make your printed circuit board components stand out, it's a breeze to solder things in the right place.

Prevent Solder Jumpers

Solder jumpers, in which two or more pins are connected together, can be a bad thing and can cause a lot of problems with your products. Therefore, it's best to avoid jumpers completely if possible. Luckily, your soldermask will help ensure better soldering without jumpers, so it can improve the quality of your products and can help prevent costly or aggravating issues during the manufacturing stage.

If your company uses printed circuit boards as a regular part of manufacturing, you probably want to know as much as you can about these important parts. You might have even looked at the soldermask and wondered if it really served any purpose, but as you can see, this simple part provides a few different benefits when placed in PCBs.

For more information on PCBs, you can contact a PCB manufacturing company, like Streamline Circuits.