Using Grounding to Protect your PCB

Safe handling practices of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) are not as safe as they may seem to be so, it is better to have excellent handling practises. To avoid ingression of moisture and contamination, there is need for proper protection otherwise known as conformal coating. There is need to protect your PCB from other things like fungus, corrosion, dust, salt spray and others that can easily damage it. Besides these, there is also a lot of electrostatic discharge (ESD) during the stages of development.

printed circuit board - PCB

With the advancement of electronic components, ESD becomes more and more of a threat. Constant movement of equipment, carts and people can lead to a major build-up of static. Static can cause malfunctioning of components either immediately or in years to come.

When you are working on your components, it is advisable to ground yourself and protect the components too. You can do this by using an ESD ground mat especially when you are handling the insides of the PCB. This should be the case in all the stages you undertake with your product development. If you do not have a place to get any grounding protection for your products, you can easily design them yourself.

Remember you are handling a highly sensitive product and you should take every precaution to protect yourself and the product. The best-known way to protect yourself and the components is by using grounding to protect your PCB.

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Ground Plane

The best way to control ESD is from the ground. Having a surface ground plane is very important if you have to control ESD and minimise the amount of voltage produced as you build your designs. Any sudden discharge of voltage can cause electromagnetic fields that can have adverse effects on you and the product.

Another good reason to use ground planes is to help reduce the area occupied by circuit loops. Reducing the area of circuit loops increases the EMI of the loop area. Doing dis prevents current from unnecessarily flowing into components.

Sometimes when you are working on your product, some components can easily slip out and fall falling can misalign the products and cause a lot of damage. For this reason, you need a good grounding plane where they can safely land. Moreover, you also need to protect yourself well to avoid little things from slipping off your fingers rather too fast.

If there is a discharge of an ESD pulse, a ground plane can be a cause of harm too. It acts as the direct path to all the components. It is for this reason that using vs. circuits is crucial. The clamping of vs. holds any differential in voltage experienced by the components during induced currents.

To take care of any transient currents, use bypass capacitors. A bypass capacitor is capable of storing charge supplied to the IC with low series resistance and inductance. They reduce differences in voltage and charge injection between the ground plane and power. Keep your TVS and capacitors always close to all the components that need protection.


When you incorporate grounding that goes well into whatever design you are working on, it can prevent damages from destroying your design and save you a lot of time and costs. Using Altium 3d clearance checking tool can manage any complexities brought about by grounding.


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