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PCB Glossary-5


A thin layer of material, conductive, magnetic or dielectric, deposited on a substance surface.


Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE)

The ratio of dimensional change of an object to the original dimension when temperature changes, expressed in %/ºC or ppm/ºC.



Any of the basic parts used in building electronic equipment, such as a resister, capacitor, DIP or connector, etc.


Component Hole

A hole that is used for the attachment and/or electrical connection of component terminations, including pins and wires, to a printed board.


Component Side

The side of the circuit board on which most of the components are mounted.


Conductive Pattern

The configuration pattern or design of the conductive material on a base material. (This includes conductors, lands, vias, heat sinks and passive components when those are integral parts of the printed board manufacturing process.



A thin conductive area on a PCB surface or internal layer usually composed of lands (to which component leads are connected) and paths (traces).


Conductor Spacing

The distance between adjacent edges (not centerline to centerline) of isolated conductive patterns in a conductor layer.


Conductor Thickness

The thickness of the conductor including all metallic coatings.


Conformal Coating

An insulating & protective coating that conforms to the configuration of the object coated and is applied on the completed board assembly.



The intelligence inherent in PCB CAD software which maintains the correct connections between pins of components as defined by the schematic.



A plug or receptacle which can be easily joined to or separated from its mate. Multiple-contact connectors join two or more conductors with others in one mechanical assembly.



An uninterrupted path for the flow of electrical current in a circuit.


Controlled Impedance

The matching of substrate material properties with trace dimensions and locations to create specific electric impedance as seen by a signal on the trace.


Copper Foil (Base Copper Weight)

Coated copper layer on the board. It can either be characterized by weight or thickness of the coated copper layer. For instance, 0.5, 1 and 2 ounces per square foot are equivalent to 18, 35 and 70 um-thick copper layers.


Core Thickness

The thickness of the laminate base without copper.


Corrosive Flux

A flux that contains corrosive chemicals such as halides, amines, inorganic or organic acids that can cause oxidation of copper or tin conductors.



The breaking up of large conductive area by the use of a pattern of voids in the conductive material.



The condition of a resin polymer when it is in a solid state with high molecular weight. Being insoluble and infusion.


C-Stage Resin

A resin in its final state of cure.


CTE - (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion)

The measure of the amount a material changes in any axis per degree of temperature change.


CTI - (Comparative Tracking Index)

It indicates the highest usable voltage for a laminate. It becomes important in application with high humidity, such as washing machines or cars. A higher index means a better protection. Similar is 'PTI' and 'KC'



The act of applying heat and pressure to the laminate materials in order to produce a bond.


Curing Time

The time needed to complete curing of an epoxy at a certain temperature.




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