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PCB Hardware – A quick buyer's guide

clock 7.5 minutes | 04 Mar 2020

PCB Hardware Buyer's Guide

From managing space to conductivity in your application, there are lots of factors to take into consideration when building electrical solutions.

When it comes to circuit board hardware, material and mounting type are key. We strongly recommend that you try before you buy – request free samples so that your team can ensure they have the perfect solution for the application. They can also download free CADs.

This guide is designed to give buyers an introduction. For expert advice, we’re always happy to help. We can also help with our vast range of PCB standoffs and spacers, PCB support pillars, PCB card guides and LED mounts and holders.

PCB hardware components

Here’s a look at the printed circuit board components your team will need:

Supports

Perfect for: white goods

When your application is in constant use you require reliable components. Maintain functionality and end-user safety with our range of heat-stabilised and easy-to-apply PCB support posts.

Features:

  • Support types include Adhesive Base, Edge Locking, Reverse Locking, Screw Locking and Snap Lock
  • Fixing methods are diverse, covering Fir Tree Mount, Locking Arrowhead, Locking Bayonet, Quarter-Turn and Flat Rest

Material:

  • Available in Acetal, Nylon, EPDM, allowing operation in temperatures between -40˚C (-40˚F) and 85˚C (185˚F)
Self-Adhesive PCB Support Pillars - Non-Locking

Self-Adhesive PCB Support Pillars - Non-Locking

  • Adhesive backed PCB support
  • Release tab for quick release
PCB Support Pillars - Arrowhead Snap-Lock/Bayonet Nose Snap-Fit

PCB Support Pillars - Arrowhead Snap-Lock/Bayonet Nose Snap-Fit

  • Snap locking PCB support
  • Quick assembly in stacking applications
  • Snap-lock and snap-fit features add a secure hold
PCB Support Pillars - Flat Rest Mount

PCB Support Pillars - Flat Rest Mount

  • Self-adhesive PCB support
  • Release tab for quick release
  • Flat rest mount provides secure support option
PCB Support Pillars - Hexagonal/Threaded Male/Mini

PCB Support Pillars - Hexagonal/Threaded Male/Mini

  • Male end mounts securely using hex nut
  • Releasable snap-fit fastener with low profile
PCB Support Pillars - Two Prong Snap Lock/Two Prong Snap Lock/Spring

PCB Support Pillars - Two Prong Snap Lock/Two Prong Snap Lock/Spring

  • Snap locking PCB support
  • Supports act as a spring when the pin is inserted into the spacer
  • Part flexes and can provide continuous support to the PCB

Spacers & Standoffs

Perfect for: data cabinets and consumer electronics

Applications often have limited space whilst needing to house lots of components. Our range of solutions provide versatility and space, giving your customers ease of access and peace of mind.

Features:

  • Choose from varied internal diameter and length options to ensure the right position for your application. PCB standoffs available in Male-Male, Female-Male and Female-Female variants
  • Bodies available: hexagonal standoff, round standoff – also, Round with Crossed Body, allowing for different tightening possibilities
  • Also available: metric threaded standoff, standoff insulator, self-tapping standoff, and more

Material:

  • Ceramic spacers, PCB plastic spacers (Heat-Stabilised Nylon, Impact Modified Nylon, Acetal, PVC and Polystyrene). Also, Nylon PCB standoffs, plus Glass-Filled Nylon and Nylon with Brass Inserts
Ceramic non-threaded spacer

Ceramic non-threaded spacer

  • Non threaded spacer requires no assembly equipment – apply by hand
  • Suitable for range of applications
PCB Spacer - Non-Threaded/Round/Through

PCB Spacer - Non-Threaded/Round/Through

  • Non threaded spacer
  • No assembly equipment required – apply by hand
  • Round spacers available in a range of materials
PCB Spacer - Snap-Fit

PCB Spacer - Snap-Fit

  • Nylon PCB spacer supports heavily loaded printed circuit board design
  • No through hole needed on board
  • Flanged base to keep board steady
PCB Standoffs - Round/Metric Threaded/Insulator/Nylon & Brass

PCB Standoffs - Round/Metric Threaded/Insulator/Nylon & Brass

  • Female to female threaded round standoffs
  • Metric nylon standoffs with brass inserts
  • No assembly equipment required – apply by hand
  • Ideal for when high mechanical strength is required
  • Provides sturdy, insulated spacing for high-power electronic applications
  • Also available as male to male round standoff spacers and male to female
PCB Standoffs - Hexagonal Bottom/Insulator/Nylon & Brass

PCB Standoffs - Hexagonal Bottom/Insulator/Nylon & Brass

  • Male hexagonal standoffs
  • No assembly equipment required – apply by hand
  • Ideal for when high mechanical strength is required
  • Provides sturdy, insulated spacing for high-power electronic applications
PCB Standoffs - Hexagonal/Threaded/Self-Tapping

PCB Standoffs - Hexagonal/Threaded/Self-Tapping

  • Female through standoffs
  • Self-tapping screw threads the plastic for a strong hold
  • Hexagonal body
Female To Female Standoff - Hexagonal Bottom, Metric-Threaded, Insulator, Nylon/Brass

Female To Female Standoff - Hexagonal Bottom, Metric-Threaded, Insulator, Nylon/Brass

  • Round Nylon standoff with hexagonal bottom
  • No assembly equipment required – apply by hand

Which is the right mounting type?

Choosing the right spacing component as part of your PCB hardware design can be a challenge. Many considerations such as board substrate, application and material are key elements in the decision-making process. However, one of the most important choices you can make is mounting type. Here are some examples:

Threaded

  1. Standard: Held in position with the use of a nut to give a very secure fixing that can be released and re-tightened.
  2. Undercut: Provides a more secure connection by being fixed into the thread.
  3. Self-tapping: No closing washers or nuts necessary due to self-tapping thread.
PCB Mounting Type: Threaded

Snap fit

Quickly pushes into a panel or chassis hole, giving a strong but efficient mounting that saves you time when undergoing installation.

Different types available: edge lock, bayonet and fir tree.

PCB Mounting Type: Snap fit

Snap lock

Pushes into a panel or chassis hole, giving a secure but easily releasable fix.

PCB Mounting Type: Snap lock

Press fit/blind hole

Fins hold securely to a range of binding holes with a painted style that drives easily into applications with space restrictions.

PCB Mounting Type: ​Press fit/blind hole

Adhesive base

Adhesive tape eliminates the need for a mounting hole, providing time and space efficiencies.

PCB Mounting Type: Adhesive base

What else should you know?

To learn about PCB substrate materials, click here.

To learn how to efficiently design your PCB, click here.

Card guides

Perfect for electrical cabinets

Access is essential in electrical cable enclosures and electrical cabinets. Ensure your circuitry is fully accessible with our range of easy-to-install- and -remove PCB card guides and circuit card pullers.

Features:

  • Available in different mounting directions. Mounting methods range from Screw, Snap In, Adhesive and Push Fit, offering a semi-permanent or removable locking function

Material:

  • Material options include Acetal, Stainless Steel, Polystyrene, Nylon, Polycarbonate, PVC, and ABS giving operating temperatures ranging between -40˚C (-40˚F) and 140˚C (284˚F)
PCB Card Guides - Vertical/Threaded/Plastic Pin

PCB Card Guides - Vertical/Threaded/Plastic Pin

  • PCB vertical card guide
  • Locking Threaded Plastic Pin to hold PCB boards
  • Pins easily engaged and disengaged with a finger press
  • Tension guides support boards vertically
  • Double channel permits side-by-side mounting
PCB Card Guides – Vertical/Snap-In/Locking/Latched

PCB Card Guides – Vertical/Snap-In/Locking/Latched

  • Vertical mount PCB card guide
  • Locking tab holds board securely in place
  • Tension guides mount into square hole to prevent rotation
  • Fast, easy installation
PCB Card Guides - Horizontal/Adhesive/No Mount

PCB Card Guides - Horizontal/Adhesive/No Mount

  • For mounting a PCB board assembly in tight spaces
  • Supports horizontal mounting
  • Adhesive-based mounts provide an added stability
PCB Card Guides – Horizontal/Adhesive/No Mount/Slide In/One Sided

PCB Card Guides – Horizontal/Adhesive/No Mount/Slide In/One Sided

  • Innovative horizontal mounting method
  • Firm retention for any board width
  • Easy installation and removal for PCB placement
PCB Card Guides - Horizontal/Snap-In/Deep Channel

PCB Card Guides - Horizontal/Snap-In/Deep Channel

  • Card guides nylon 6.6
  • Slot depth allows for maximum PCB retention
  • Ideal for high vibration and shock

LED Hardware

Perfect for: appliances, white goods, grey goods, black goods

Ensure product quality and prevent malfunctions with a range of easy-to-install solutions that provide an impactful and attractive finish. This LED light guide shows you how: LED Light Guide for Product and Panel Building.

Features:

  • Range built to get the most from LEDs, including these categories: LED Lens Holder, LED Light Pipe, LED Light Mount and LED Spacer
  • LED Mounts provide an easy snap-in application and give users the opportunity to mount LEDs in an upright or 90° angle

Adaptability:

  • LED Spacers give height control and wire retention with a number of LED types, designed to fit your PCB
LED Lens Holder

LED Lens Holder

  • LED lens holder designed to hold a standard 5mm LED while transmitting light at a 10˚ angle
  • Available with or without a sealing O-ring
LED Light Pipe

LED Light Pipe

  • Available with either a flat or domed front shape
  • Provides LED ESD protection (electrostatic discharge)
LED Mount – 90˚angle

LED Mount – 90˚ angle

  • Mounts LEDs at a 90˚ angle
  • Mounts easily by hand
LED Spacers - Round, Metric Spacers

LED Spacers - Round, Metric Spacers

  • Three different styles to accommodate both 3mm and 5mm LEDs
  • Provides height control
  • Lead wire retention and stability
LED Spacers - Square

LED Spacers - Square

  • Minimises shifting and height variation
  • Ensures product uniformity and production ease
  • Square design ideal for angled applications
LED Spacers - Round, Imperial Spacers, Moulded, 5mm

LED Spacers - Round, Imperial Spacers, Moulded, 5mm

  • Internal tapered dividers guide lead wires and prevent the leads from shorting
  • Minimises shifting and height variation
  • Ensures product uniformity and production ease

Download free CADs and try before you buy

Free CADs are available for most solutions, which you can download for free. You can also request free samples to ensure the solutions you’ve chosen are exactly what you need. If you’re not quite sure which product will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.

Request your free samples or download free CADs now.

Questions?

Email us at sales@essentracomponents.co.uk or speak to one of our experts for further information on the ideal solution for your application 0845 758 5070.

PCB Hardware Buyer's Guide PDF Download