Skip to content

PCB Pad – an important part of PCB design and PCBA


PCB pad is the basic building block of PCB surface mount assembly. The components are fixed on the PCB with SMT solder paste through the lead holes on the PCB, and printed wires connect the pads to realize the electrical connection of the components in the PCB.This article will be a comprehensive introduction to the definition of pads, types, composition, size, repair, and its impact on PCBA, etc.

What is a PCB pad?

A pad on a printed circuit board is an exposed metal area that enables component leads to be attached to the boards. To create a circuit, traces on the board are joined to these pads. A PCB pad footprint is visible on the board when no components are soldered to it.

How many types of PCB pads are there?

There are typically two types of PCB pads utilized. Here are several examples:
PCB pads known as Through-hole pads are used for the attachment to through-hole components. They are divided into two sorts further.

Plated Through-hole pads (PTH)

They are mainly defined as pads with a through-hole. With the application of solder or some other protective plating, copper is used to coating the entire wall. The plating around the hole is created using the electrolysis method. The metal coating enables the electrical connection between the various board levels.

Non-plated Through-hole pads (NPTH)

These pads refer to a PCB pad with the addition of an unplated metal hole. This pad is used for single-sided circuit boards. Alternatively, these holes are used to access the PCB in an enclosure and to attach chicanes.

Surface Mount pads

Surface mount pads are those used to attach to surfaces or components. The following are qualities of these pads:
● These are copper-based pads.
● They may be square, elliptical, rectangular, or circular.
● Solder mask layer
● Solder paste
● Pad Number (quantity of pads shown for the part).

Why is a PCB pad necessary?

The quality of a circuit board is determined by various aspects, which include the interface between the components and the board. A pad is a crucial component of PCB design and development due to the allocated surface area for electrical contact between the board and the components.

What are PCB pads made of?

A small copper area on a PCB that permits the component to be soldered to the board is called a pad. Therefore, we can envision a pad as a copper piece where the component’s pins are mechanically supported and soldered.

How do you solder PCB pads?

A PCB pad can be soldered using different tools such as the Soldering iron, Solder wire, and PCB flux. Furthermore, two different techniques can be used that are hard soldering and soft soldering. The steps for soldering include preparation of the equipment, ensuring that the copper pad is clean, and then finally soldering the PCB pad, and then lastly, cleaning off any excess flux that has been spread onto the PCB.

What’s the impact of PCB pad on PCBA processing

Whats-the-impact-of-PCB-pads-on-PCBA-processing● After the chip components are welded on the same bonding pad, if the pin plug-in components or wiring are welded again, there is a hidden danger of false soldering during secondary welding.
● It limits the number of repairs during subsequent commissioning, testing and after-sales maintenance.
● When repairing, a component is soldered, and components around the same PCB pad are soldered.
● The stress on the PCB pad is too large, which causes the pad to peel off during welding.
● The components share the same bonding pad. The amount of tin is too much, and the surface tension after melting is asymmetric. The components are pulled to one side, resulting in displacement or monument.
● Similar to the non-standard use of other PCB pads, the main reason is that only circuit characteristics and area or space constraints are considered, resulting in a lot of component installation and solder joint defects during assembly and welding, which ultimately have a great impact on the reliability of circuit work.

What is pad size in PCB?

According to the PCB Pad Design Standards, all pads must have a minimum unilateral thickness of 0.25mm and a maximum total pad diameter not more than three times the part’s aperture. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure that the gap between the two pads is larger than 0.4mm.

How do I know what size PCB pad I need?

The sizes and forms of the PCB pads and component footprints you will be dealing with can be obtained via a variety of resources. Following are a few of those:

Industry standards:
Over the years, the PCB design industry has created standards for each element of circuit board layout, including the suggested pad and land pattern widths.

Corporate standards:
Many businesses have their requirements for the pad and land patterns that their circuit boards should adhere to.

Third-party library providers:
There are also online PCB library providers with built-in pad and land patterns available for use.

Consideration of PCB pad design

Today, there are various choices available to PCB designers for generating appropriate pad designs with all the required considerations. Additionally, designers have access to the following tools:
Libraries from PCB design CAD vendors:
You can often download and use libraries of pre-made pads and land patterns from CAD tool manufacturers. Users with contracts of tool maintenance can usually get free access to these.

Third-party CAD library vendors:
Designers can also purchase Pad designs from third-party PCB library part providers. In some cases, the required pad patterns may also be available directly and designers can access them from the component vendor, which indicates that they were designed for that specific part.

Pad and land pattern generators:
Today’s PCB design software tools can automatically construct the size and form of pad you require for your components following the specifications of IPC. These tools save you the extra labor.

FAQ about PCB pad

How do you fix a ripped PCB pad?

There are two widely used techniques for solder pad repair. The first one sticks in the replacement pad using dry heat and high-pressure curable adhesive. The alternative method makes use of two parts of epoxy to ensure that the new pad has firmly adhered to the laminate. Furthermore, you need the appropriate tools to complete the job to fix the solder pad properly.

How do I fix a lost PCB pad?

Following are the steps that must be followed for the repair of a PCB pad:
1.Clean the damaged pad.
2.Take out the broken pad.
3.Cleaning the region around/below the broken pad.
4.Get rid of the solder mask.
5.Re-clean the area once more.
6.Tin the conductor.
7.Choose the proper circuit frame.
8.Tin the new pad.
9.Solder the new pad to the conductor.
10.Clamp the new pad and cure it.

What is the difference between the pad and via in PCB?

The three types of vias found in PCBs are through holes, blind holes, and buried holes. It mostly serves to connect cables from various tiers of the same network. In contrast, the PCB board’s pad can be separated into a surface pad and a pin pad. There is a solder hole on the pin pad, which is mostly used to solder the pin component. The surface pad is mostly used for soldering and has no solder holes.

The through serves primarily as an electrical connection, while the pad serves not only as an electrical but also as a mechanical fastening.While the pad’s aperture is large enough to pass through the component’s pins, vias typically have modest apertures.


PCB pad design is a very critical part of PCB design. It determines the welding position of components on PCB, and plays a significant role in the reliability of solder joints, possible welding defects during welding, clarity, testability and maintainability.

If the PCB pad design is correct, a small amount of skew during mounting can be corrected due to the self correction effect of the surface tension of molten solder during reflow soldering. On the contrary, if the PCB pad design is incorrect, even if the mounting position is very accurate, there will be component displacement, monument and other welding defects after reflow soldering. Therefore, pad design is one of the key factors to determine the manufacturability of surface mount components.

IBE is a manufacturer that can provide one-stop PCBA services, including professional PCB design, component procurement, SMT assembly, packaging and transportation. For detailed information, please visit our website or contact us



Product Categories

Most Popular

Contact Us

IBE News

Related Posts


INDUSTRIES WE SERVE Click on each industry to learn more about how we make custom printed circuit board solutions for each market.Our industries served include

Read More »