The Universal Stiffener™
Compufab has developed The Universal Stiffener™, an aluminum bar which can function as a mechanical printed circuit board stiffener, a heat transfer device or electrical bus bar. The Universal Stiffener™ fastens to a PCB with machine screws anywhere along the length of the bar. Compufab's PCB stiffener is a lower cost alternative to machined fiberglass or machined metal PCB stiffeners.
Large PCB's require a mechanical stiffener to eliminate warp and bow which is often present. This is a must for good guidance of a PCB into an edge connector, and for reliable operation afterwards.
The obvious construction for a PCB stiffener is a rectangular bar with drilled and tapped holes. Most PCB stiffeners are just that, but drilling and tapping holes in a bar is expensive.
Compufab has reduced this expense with the design of an ingenious bar shape as a PCB stiffener that will accept a screw anywhere along its length. Experience has shown that most existing PCB designs board stiffeners or bus bars can adopt this unique PCB stiffener with no changes. Check other advantages listed below which also may improve your design.
- Same bar will mount on PCB's with different hole locations.
- Eliminate close tolerances between mounting holes.
- In most cases, this PCB stiffener will occupy less board precious real estate.
- Easy to install, no special tools required.
- Can be mounted over insulated spacers to clear copper traces or wire adds.
- Can be anodized different colors for coding.
- Ideal PCB label area, when used on rear edge of the PCB.
- Strong and light-weight.
- Clean, professional appearance.
- Can also be used as a heat sink, power busbar or ground busbar (use metal spacers and washers).
The Universal Printed Circuit Board Stiffener system has been operated and tested under severe vibration conditions with no mounting screws loosening. This quality is due to the natural locking action developed as a mounting screw partially cold forms its way into the unique shape of the threads in the PCB stiffener.
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