What are PCB Pads?

PCB Fabrication 
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Editorial Team - PCB Directory

Aug 9, 2022

pads - printed circuit board concepts PCB

A pad on a PCB is an exposed region of metal that allows the soldering of the component leads onto printed circuit boards. These pads are then connected to traces on the board to form a circuit. When no components are soldered on to a PCB, a visible PCB pad footprint can be seen on the board (see figure above). 

There are two types of PCB pads:

Through Hole Pads: Pads used to mount through-hole components are known as Through Hole Pads. 

Through-hole technology - Wikipedia

They are further differentiated into two types.

a.) Plated Through Hole (PTH) pads: 

PTH refers to a pad where the hole wall will be plated with copper or solder or any other material which will have protective plating. The hole plating is done by using electrolysis. This plating provides an electrical connection between the different layers in a board.

b.) Non-Plated Through Hole (NPTH) pads:

NPTH is a pad without any kind of plating in its hole. NPTH pads have holes that are void of any traces of copper which is done to prevent any electric shorts between copper layers and components that will be placed. It is primarily used for single-sided boards where the component can be soldered on the top or the bottom depending on design specifications.

Surface Mount Pads:

Pads used to mount surface mount components are known as surface mount pads. They can be rectangular, round, or square in shape. They are denoted with distinctive pad numbers which are useful for identification purposes during component placement.

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