When PCB boards were first introduced, they were green in color. This is because the solder mask on the PCB is green in color. In 1954, the US military at the National Materials and Procurement Center in Cedar Bluffs Virginia chose this specific shade of green for printed circuit boards. Thorough testing was conducted to check the right color and shade that would offset the white legend ink. These tests were conducted under demanding conditions to determine the right combination for PCBs. The color green was chosen as a standard military color.
Colors other than green are being used as solder mask for PCBs. The cause and reason for this is detailed in this section. During the PCB design process, the color of the solder mask is chosen. Contrary to popular opinion, the popular color of solder mask is clear. Other than this, red, blue, and yellow are some colors commonly used as well.
Why Use Other Colors?
Colored solder mask is used to convey a message internally. Color-coding PCBs can help in streamlining internal processes. Colorful solder mask can also be used for aesthetic purposes. When a board is going to be displayed in an application, extreme attention will be given to the color of the solder mask.
A popular example of this is the use of the right color shades for the PCBs used in Apple iMac computers. Since the computers were extremely trendy and displayed translucent bodies, the internal components like PCBs needed to be colored accordingly.
Green is still an extremely popular choice for solder mask because the color has a calming effect on the eyes, and can be viewed clearly by most people. The color selected by your organization should be such that it conveys a clear message to all the people involved in the process of PCB design and assembly.
For example, a specific color can be used for all prototypes, another color can be used for PCBs under testing, etc. This system ensures that the right message is being passed through minimal communication. Additionally, it reduces chances of any chances of miscommunication. In conclusion, any color that works for you and your clients should be used for the solder mask.
Creative Hi-Tech has been a long time partner with our Vertex project and has maintained a very good Quality & Delivery performance over the years here at Honeywell. In these turbulent times they have been a stablizing force in supporting our needs.”
- J.K. – Honeywell
Creative Hi-Tech is a great business partner. Creative is very responsive to any request and very flexible. They have helped us through several tough situations and we greatly appreciate their ability to get the job done.”
- Chad K. – LED Lighting Manufacturer
Creative Hi-Tech is easy to work with, very customer oriented, and always willing to push to make on time deliveries.”
- Michelle H – Telecom Manufacturer
Creative Hi-Tech has been a long time partner with our Vertex project and has maintained a very good Quality & Delivery performance over the years here at Honeywell. In these turbulent times, they have been a stabilising force in supporting our needs.”
- Richard S. – LED Lighting Manufacturer