How to Handle a Circuit Board

By Anthony Diaz de la Vega

Printed circuit boards are fragile and require light handling.
i Jupiterimages/ Images

Circuit boards are made up of very sensitive components, and handling them in a careless manner is an almost surefire way of ensuring the board is damaged. Putting pressure on one of the small components can cause serious damage, while even a small amount of static electricity can completely destroy the board. The best way to prevent damage to a circuit board is by keeping the possible generation of static electricity to a minimum, discharging any static electricity that has built up and handling the circuit with care.

Put on rubber soled shoes to ground yourself prior to handling a circuit board. This helps prevent a buildup of static electricity that could severely harm the board. Touch a piece of metal for two seconds before handling the circuit to discharge any residual electricity stored in your body.

Maintain high humidity in your workstation as static electricity builds up much more in dry air. Remove anything made of plastic from the immediate vicinity of the circuit board, as plastic materials tend to build up a static charge.

Put on gloves. Carefully remove the circuit board from the anti-static bag, keeping at least one edge touching the bag. Lay the circuit board directly on the anti-static bag and leave it there until you are ready to install the component.

Install the circuit board into the correct module of the computer using only as much pressure is needed to snap it into place. Never force the board into a position, and avoid bending it.