Cross Section Analysis for PCB

How can the internal quality of a printed circuit board be inspected and verified using cross section analysis?

One of the many inspection processes that measure the quality of the circuit board is called a Cross Section Analysis or Micro-section.

To complete the analysis a section of the circuit board is cut out (approximately one inch square) and is placed into a soft acrylic that hardens around it in the shape of a hockey puck. Thus the enclosed section of the board is called a “puck”. This allows the side view of the board to be easily viewable under a microscope for detailed inspection.

Cross Section - 1Micro-section or cross section analysis is a threefold inspection tool of the internal makeup of a printed circuit board. It is effective for in-process verification as well as a failure analysis.

The sections can be taken from coupon sets produced with the production boards or directly from the boards themselves. The inspection criteria are normally set by the product specification cited by the customer – IPC 6012 class, MIL-PRF-55110/31032 or by the customer’s own requirements.

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