Burn-in Testing in Printed Circuit Boards

The Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are performance-driving components in most electronic devices. Any failure or non-performance may result in losses for OEMs and users. Thus, to avoid the risk of failure, these PCBs are tested at every stage of assembly. Burn-in testing is a type of testing performed to analyze the functionality of PCBs under load. This testing technique helps identify any faults and rectify them before shipping the PCB. This post discusses burn-in testing in detail.

What is Burn-in-Testing?

During this process, the printed circuit boards are electrically or thermally tested. In the first case, the PCB may be tested over the period of 40-160 hours, which is the highest expected operating period for any electronic device. Alternately, the PCBs may be exposed to temperatures up to 125 degrees Celsius for 160 hours or more to analyze their performance at elevated temperatures. The printed circuit boards may also be subjected to environmental stress screening in many cases.

How Burn-in-testing Works?

During the process of testing, the ICs are placed on the board and subjected to stress. The board used for the burn-in testing is made of flame retardant FR4 material and can withstand temperatures as high as 125 degrees Celsius. If the board is subjected to higher temperatures than 125 degrees Celsius, then boards made of ceramic and polyamide are used. The boards are tested within the burn-in oven by applying a necessary voltage. The board is taken out and checked for defects when the stress test is done. The boards are provided with sockets to hold the ICs on them.

Types of Burn-in-Testing

Most printed circuit boards are subjected to the following types of tests.

  • Dynamic Testing: In dynamic testing, the burn-in board is exposed to high temperatures, and input signals are applied to all components on the board. This offers a comprehensive view of components and helps in detecting the exact point where printed circuit board failure may occur. Dynamic testing is pretty expensive but is used to test complex PCB designs for aerospace, military and defense, and other industries.
  • Static Testing: Static testing is a type of printed circuit board testing that applies high voltage and temperature, eliminating the input signals. In this type of testing, the chamber’s temperature is increased, and the board is managed at a certain voltage. This type of testing is usually employed to test the resilience of the board when stored at high temperatures for a long time. Static testing is low-cost testing and is quite simple and often performed on boards to be operated in ambient environments.

The burn-in testing helps ensure the reliability and quality of products at high temperatures. If you plan to purchase PCBs for your applications, ensure to source them from trusted PCB assembly services like Rigiflex Technology Inc. The company has been serving clients in the aerospace, military, medical, networking, and communication industries for several years now. It employs best engineering practices and incorporates burn-in testing and other types of testing and inspection at every stage of PCB assembly to produce defect-free boards.