Benefits and Usage of Thermal Pads

By Jörgen Paulsson

What are Thermal Pads in PCBs?

When soldering PCBs with large copper planes with through hole and/or SMD components, there is a risk that heat and solder will “disappear” into the surrounding copper planes if the pads are connected directly. If thermal relief pads are not used, there is a real risk of poor quality solder joints. Fineline recommends the use of thermal relief pads to improve heat distribution. A typical thermal relief pad is shown below for PTH, similar spoked design should be used for SMD also.
Thermal pads in PCB
What Are Thermal Pads

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