All industrialized countries today strive to maintain their own capabilities, especially in the field of aerospace and defense electronics manufacturing. In the USA, this specific industry acts as a huge growth driver for local circuit board manufacturing, design & development organizations, and engineers. Commercialization of space will continue to push growth of domestic electronics such as PCB suppliers USA, as this industry will likely expand eight times in the next 30 years.
Electronics systems for the aerospace and defense industry carry strict reliability and lifetime requirements that are far more stringent compared to those applicable to consumer electronics. Both military design standards and manufacturing aspects bring about the ruggedness and reliability necessary for the electronics suitable to this industry.
When it comes to circuit board manufacturing, the aerospace and defense industries demand ever-increasing technical performance at affordable costs. PCB Power Market, an eminent PCB supplier in the USA, has invested in terms of both manufacturing equipment and expertise focusing on the high reliability, performance, and tolerance for extreme environments these industries require.
PCB Power Market manufactures highly technical circuit boards for the aerospace and defense industries. Our circuit boards can stand up to the extreme environmental conditions necessary while performing complex functions reliably. Using a compliant design and manufacturing firm such as PCB Power Market ensures that the circuit boards we manufacture will always meet customer performance specifications while being cost-effective.
Aerospace and Defense PCB Design Standards
Circuit board manufacturing and design for aerospace and defense industries, including components that these PCBs will use, must meet strict lifetime and reliability standards. While the regular industry follows the IPC standards, the aerospace and defense industries follow MIL standards that go beyond. However, there is one exception, the IPC-6012 Class 3A.
IPC-6012 Class 3A:
These IPC standards specify the high performance and reliability of electronic products and printed circuit boards for aerospace and defense systems. This standard defines the classification and qualifications necessary for rigid PCBs.
MIL SPEC standards for aerospace and defense electronic systems specify mainly the performance and testing requirements. Other MIL standards they follow are:
Performance and Reliability Standards
This is a set of MIL standards applicable to PCBs for aerospace and defense systems
MIL-PRF-123, MIL-PRF-55342, and MIL-PRF-55681:
These MIL standards specify general requirements for passive components such as resistor and capacitors.
MIL-PRF-19500, and MIL-PRF-38535:
These MIL standards specify performance requirements of ICs and other micro-circuits that aerospace and defense electronic systems use.
Apart from the performance and reliability standards above, there are testing standards for evaluating reliability. These are:
Testing Standards for Reliability
These MIL standards are for testing micro-circuits.
These MIL standards are for testing general semiconductor devices.
These MIL standards are for testing regular electronic and electrical components.
The MIL-SPEC standards cover a broad area going beyond only printed circuit boards. Once the designer has identified the standard relevant to the specific design, they must drill down to know the impact on the particular system.
With MIL-PRF standards being performance oriented, there are no specific limits on design choices. Therefore, once the design meets the performance requirements, it can be put into service.
Circuit Board Manufacturing and Design for Aerospace and Defense
PCB suppliers in the USA must ensure the mechanical and electrical reliability of their products conform to MIL-PRF standards. For circuit board manufacturing and design, the most important MIL standard is the MIL-PRF-31032. Fortunately, designing a board to this standard also aligns its design to IPC-6012 Class 3A, being the highest IPC reliability standard. According to the two standards above, we stick to the following:
- Minimum annular ring (PTH) in outermost layers: 2 mil (50 µm)
- Minimum annular ring (PTH) in inner layers: 1 mil (25 µm)
- Maximum aspect ratio (board thickness/minimum hole dia), with average copper plating thickness of 1 mil (25 µm): 10
- Maximum aspect ratio (board thickness/minimum hole dia), with average copper plating thickness of 1.5 mil (37 µm): 8
Other important aspects that PCB Power Market follows for ensuring signal integrity are:
- Isolating all high and low frequency components and circuit blocks.
- Using best practices for preventing crosstalk.
- Using thermal compounds for better heat dissipation from hot components.
- Using sprays with acrylic base for conformal coatings. This prevents contamination and accidental shorts.
Why Use a Compliant
Design and Manufacturing Firm
As it is not possible to list all the requirements of aerospace and defense electronic systems here, we have only listed a summary of the most important aspects. To know more about standards applicable to a specific design, refer to the Defense Standardization Program or contact PCB Power Market.
PCB Power Market is a compliant design and manufacturing firm. Our designs, manufacturing, and assembly for aerospace and defense, all fall under the purview of several regulations, primarily:
- DFARS or Defence Federal Acquisition Regulations
- ITAR or International Traffic and Arms Regulations
- EAR or Export Administration Regulations
We have many customers who regularly supply DoD contractors, and some are not registered defense contractors. But they need to confirm to ITAR regulations for designing and manufacturing certain electronic items. As a contract design firm, we assist our customers in negotiating ITAR registrations with DDTC.
Some of our customers are also prime vendors for the US military. Others might need to design export-controlled equipment. As a manufacturing company, we do not guide our customers on what standards to follow. We adhere to the standards that the customer has defined. Not all of our customers may be compliant with ITAR regulations for PCBs and assembly related to aerospace and defense.
When you need to design or manufacture your next PCB for aerospace and defense requirements, be sure to approach a compliant design and manufacturing firm like PCB Power Market. We help you stay compliant with the aerospace and defense regulations.
Our experienced PCB design, layout, and manufacturing team has a track record of working with the aerospace and defense electronic industries. We are PCB suppliers in the USA for high-speed backplanes, advanced RF systems, IoT devices, power systems, and many more. We partner with EDA companies directly, including multiple ITAR-compliant manufacturers. We help our customers with complex PCB manufacturing.
Get in touch with PCB Power Market today for enquiry.