Authentic VS. Graded Material in Second Languages

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As you all know, the main difference between authentic vs. graded materials is that in the latter, the materials almost always revolve around a particular structure that is presented to the student. For example, if the tense being presented is, say, "The Past Tense," every single speaker in the dialogs or even the texts given to the students are in that tense.
It seems as if there were no other tense in the whole world. In reality, when talking about the past, for example, native speakers may use a wider variety of tenses, sometimes even the present tense:

"Last night something very funny happened to me. I was walking down the street and suddenly a man comes and looks at me in the face and says: boy, you ARE ugly."

This is not uncommon in real life, but when it comes to graded materials, you will never find these types of situations that resemble real-life conversations. In spite of this, graded materials are very useful if you want to raise the students' awareness on a certain structures or patterns that may be important for them to learn. Every single context they see will contain many instances of the same structure which will enable them to make inferences on how they are used.

Authentic materials, on the other hand, are real in the sense that they are not created for students as the target audience but for native speakers. The obvious advantage, of course, is that by using authentic materials you present students with actual everyday language, just as it appears in real life. The main disadvantage of these materials of course, is that sometimes they are not teacher-friendly, and you may need to spend several hours reading or watching videos until you finally find what you need in order to use in your class. In addition, on many occasions in a whole context or situation you may find just one instance of what you need to present your students with. This could be overcome if you provide students with several situations in which the patterns appears, but again, you need to have the time to research and gather the appropriate materials.

If time is no object to you, you may well spend some time doing this research and you will soon find out that there's myriads of information out there that is terrific for your classroom! However, if you have time constraints, as most teachers unfortunately do, a balanced approach maybe the solution for you. You can use your graded materials to present the topic and later on you may find samples of that structure in authentic materials. Mind you, this will not be difficult due to the fact that whenever native speakers talk about something or write about something, they make use of nearly all tenses and structures of the language. You can even tell your class to go over some authentic texts, videos etc. and find similar constructions. Sometimes a combination of both approaches yields the best of both worlds. It is up to you to decide what could be the best for your classroom.

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Source by Julio Foppoli

Treadmill Belts – What's The Difference

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Walking belts are known by many different names, but there is not a difference in the basic accepted design even though different people may not use the same term to name a walking belt. Other names are: treadmill belt, striding belt, running belt, jogging belt, bands (with the same descriptive variations), runner, and mat.

For simplicity, we call it a walking belt but our terminology does not limit the type of exercise that you can do. There are different grades of walking belts and they can vary widely in terms of quality and price depending upon the type of construction. Most walking belts are made with two different types of materials that are formed together to form the finished product you see. Most people assume the belt's top coat is rubber but most today have a PVC top coat. PVC tends to hold up better under a wide range of shoes and applications and due to its strength, many people are fooled into thinking that their belt is OK when the backing is completely worn out.

The backing of the belt is the most important area. The most popular backing materials are monofilament, polyester, cotton, and urethane. Of these backings, the softer the material the less noise the belt will make. So a cotton backed belt will be much quieter than a urethane belt. The trade off is that the softer the material and the less noisy the belt the quicker the belt tends to wear out. Many companies over the last 20 years that once used cotton have now switched over to a polyester blend. The main advantage is that the belt is still rather quiet but it is more heat resistant and is tougher over the long run in its ability to withstand wear.

A backing that is growing in popularity is monofilament. This uses a single type of fiber. Since it uses synthetic materials, it tends to be more heat resistant and can be formed more easily to a rougher backing that will have less surface contact with the deck. The reason this is important is that less contact area will result in less friction which puts far less strain on the motor and controller. The drawback to a monofilament belt is that it noisier than either cotton or polyester backing. Another drawback is that since it is a single fiber, it tends to have less tensile strength than woven or urethane fibers.

The most expensive backing is urethane. It also tends to be the noisiest but if you maintain a urethane backing properly, we've seen them last over 10 years in a light commercial setting. It is a very durable material that has the best ability to withstand the rigors of heavy use and the heat buildup that is normally associated with club use.

There is much confusion about layers of a walking belt. Most companies advertise a 2 ply belt but some claim as many as 4 plies. The confusion arises because more layers is not necessarily a better thing. As HealthRider found out several years ago, a very thick belt can be a disaster. HealthRider took a standard 2 ply belt and then glued a layer of carpeted neoprene to the top of a standard belt. The result was a 3 ply (or 4 ply depending upon how you interpret the final addition to the belt) which now had a nice insulation layer of neoprene that did an incredible job of holding in heat and emphasized the potential problem of using a multi- layered belt. Even in a residential setting, the HealthRider belts simply fell apart from the wide variance in heat they experienced. Fortunately for the consuming public HealthRider stopped using these belts a few years ago.

Other companies will advertise an orthopedic belt that has either additional layers or a thicker top layer that helps cushion the foot fall. Once again, our big problem with these belts is heat problems and the fact that many of these belts can weigh as much as 3 to 4 times as much as a regular 2 ply belt. The heavier the belt, the harder the drive system has to work to keep moving the belt around. Combine that with the heat problems inherent in a thicker belt – remember, its' better insulated – and you can quickly see why we are not big fans of the orthopedic belts.

If you are choosing a new treadmill pay attention to the walking belt. It is the heart of a treadmill despite popular opinion naming another part. If you already have a treadmill, maintain your belt and keep it clean and your treadmill will thank you for it in the long run.

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Source by Brady Freeman

Designer Handbags – Which Material is Best?

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With the huge number of different types of designer handbags available to choose from, how do you know which material you want it to be made from?

To a certain degree, it depends on what you want the handbag to do.

Do you want it to compliment an outfit? Do you want it to liven things up a little bit (or a lot) or do you just want it to be durable and long lasting?

The most common material for designer handbags these days is leather.

Strong, highly durable and incredibly tough, leather is a perfect choice for a material.

Bearing in mind that leather also comes in a variety of different types such as cowhide, goatskin, natural, man made etc, there will always be one out there that "feels" right in your hands.

Strong and thick leather will weather well, able to shrug off raindrops and small marks and spills (dependent on the protective coatings and coloring) and will not rip or shred after repeated putting down and picking up off rough floors.

Suede also runs a close second to the leather lines, having many of the same strength and durability properties of leather. Less designer handbags are made from suede as it is a harder material to design a color or style for – although Coach specifically do a great range of colors and styles in suede handbags!

But what if you want to glam up an outfit or go for something beyond the traditional materials of leather, suede, canvas and nylon mix?

Well – you're still spoilt for choice.

How about a seat belt bag, made from recycled seat belts in a criss cross pattern? Strong, colorful and very different.

Or the new Licence Plate handbags – made from cleaned and recycled licence plates, handbags that are literally bent into shape with hinged flaps.

Then there are evening bags, made from velvet.

Ugg handbags, made from treated sheepskin – some of which also double up as a handbag and muff!

Beijo handbags are made purely from polyvinyl – tough and incredibly easy to wipe clean.

Some of the Louis Vuitton high end bags are made from a mix of cowhide leather or canvas with ostrich leather for trim and decoration!

You can even still pick up some handbags made from crocodile skin – albeit from the pre owned market!

The choice of materials is quite mind boggling. Just about anything you can think of as a suitable material to use for building a handbag has already been done.

The only real question is – What do you want your handbag to say about you?

If your solid, traditional and dependable – go for leather.

If your funky and chic – try the seat belt bag.

If your different and a bit of a trend setter, not a trend follower, either go with the Licence Plate handbags or design and make your own.

What's lying about round your house that you could use as a material?

Copyright: Rufus Steele

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Source by Rufus Steele

Know the Fabrics to Make Smart Outdoor Clothing Choices

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Dressing to survive in the outdoors starts with knowing what fabrics to wear. Different fabrics have radically different properties. Choosing the wrong type, or mixing clothing of different materials, can be disastrous!

You may not be able to tell what a garment is made of by looking. A nice, fuzzy, thick 100-percent cotton flannel shirt will be warm and cozy until it gets wet. Then that wet shirt may suck the heat out of your torso and cause hypothermia!

On the other side of the equation is wool. My hands-down favorite in the winter, wool, is generally a bad choice for a desert hike in August. Wool traps heat, and while it provides some UV protection, the material will prevent your body from cooling.
So, the buyer needs to beware.

Before buying any clothing item, read the labels and find out what the material is. Ignore fashion or what's trendy (I know that's hard – I have a 14-year-old daughter!), And make your purchase based on the activity and the clothing protection that will be needed.

Here are some common fabric choices:

* Cotton: Depending on where you live, cotton clothing can kill you. Cotton is hydrophilic, meaning it is no good at wicking wetness away from the skin, and can become damp just by being exposed to humidity.

Both of these 100% cotton garments would keep you warm until they got wet. Then, this clothing could become dangerous to wear!

Once wet, cotton feels cold and can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating properties. Wet cotton can wick heat from your body 25 times faster than when it's dry.

Since I've spent a lot of time in the Deep South, my favorite hot weather shirt is a medium-weight, white, 100 percent cotton Navy surplus shirt. The shirt has a collar that can be pulled up to shade my neck, and pockets with flaps and buttons. Cotton also has a reasonable amount of UV protection.

On really hot days in a canoe, a cotton shirt can be soaked with water, and worn to cool you down. On a desert hike, help prevent heat stroke by using a few ounces of water to wet the shirt down. (The water can come from anywhere, including that algae-edged stock tank. The evaporation is what cools you!)

The same properties that make cotton a good choice for hot weather make it a killer in rain, snow and cold.

Typical urban casual garb is probably all cotton: sweat-socks, Hanes or Fruit of the Loom underwear, jeans, tee shirt, flannel shirt and sweatshirt. This outfit may keep you warm in town, but do not wear it into the back country! Once the cotton gets wet, you could end up in trouble.

Do not be mislead by the looks and camouflage patterns of 100 percent cotton hunting clothes. These garments my be just what you need for a hot, September dove hunt in Mississippi, but they become cold and clammy when damp or wet, just like anything else made of cotton.

* Polypropylene: This material does not absorb water, so it is a hydrophobic. This makes it a great base layer, since it wicks moisture away from your body. The bad news is that polypropylene melts, so a spark from the campfire may melt holes in your clothing.

* Wool: Where I live in Central Oregon, wool is the standard for six months of the year. A good pair of wool pants and wool socks are the first clothing items we recommend to new Boy Scouts in our troop. For our winter scout excursions, any sort of cotton clothing is strongly discouraged. Jeans are banned.

Wool absorbs moisture, but stays warmer than many other fabrics. Wool is also inherently flame retardant.

* Polyester: This is essentially fabric made from plastic, and it's good stuff. The material has good insulation and wind-stopping value, and can be made into many different thicknesses.

* Nylon: The fabric is pretty tough and can be used on your outer layer. It does not absorb much moisture, and what does evaporates quickly. It is best used as some sort of windbreaker, to keep your clothing from being compromised by the wind.

* Down: This material is not a fabric, but rather, fluffy feathers stuffed inside a garment or sleeping bag. When dry, down is one of my favorite insulated materials.

But I do not use a down sleeping bag, and would hesitate wearing a down vest into the back country because of potential moisture problems. When wet, down becomes hydrophilic, and loses virtually all its insulated value. It can be worse than cotton as far as sucking heat away from your body.

In addition, a down sleeping bag or garment is virtually impossible to dry out in the back country, even with a roaring campfire.

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Source by Leon Pantenburg

The Best Material For Men's Shirts

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According to studies undertaken, the average man will spend up to twelve hours a day in his dress shirt. While that may seem like a lot of hours it may well be so for many men when you add up hours spent traveling to and from work, hours at the office and after-hour meetings. For this reason it is very important when selecting men's shirts, that they are as comfortable as possible. An important factor in determining how comfortable a shirt will be to wear is the material the shirt is made from.

There is a wide variety of material to choose from, ranging from polyester or cotton-polyester blends, to silk and linen. If a shirt is worn every day to the office it is important that it is made from a fabric that is easy to wash and care for, and also one that does not readily show perspiration stains. The best choice is one that is wrinkle resistant, which would be a cotton / polyester blend shirt. These are usually either 80/20 or 60/40 blends. They are machine washable and can be dried in the clothes dryer. If you are unsure, washing and drying instructions should be included on the label.

Some men prefer 100% cotton mens shirts. These often wrinkle easily and are not always the easiest shirt to iron. However, they do have the advantage of being very cool to wear as they allow the skin to breathe well.

The fabric itself also comes in a wide variety of weaves, independent of whether it is a 100% cotton or cotton blend shirt. Popular weaves are Oxford, Poplin, Cotton Twill and Broadcloth. Oxford and Poplin are normally used for more casual dress shirts, while Cotton Twill and Broadcloth weaves are best used for formal dress shirts. Frequently the name of the weave will be included on the shirt label. A shirt worn for a very formal occasion should be made from white cotton fabric.

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Source by Matthew Proctor

Choosing Which Windbreaker Fabric Is Best For You

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Back in the 90's, most windbreakers were made of nylon material. These days, however, there are many different types of fabrics to choose from when purchasing a windbreaker or warm up suit. Depending on various factors, picking the right windbreaker fabric can be a very important decision, especially if you are going to have your windbreaker personalized. The different common windbreaker fabric types are nylon, micro polyester, polyester, and tricot.

Nylon is the old classic material which is very water and wind resistant. It also has a harder shell and makes a "swishy" noise when you walk in it. Now, while nylon became popular due to its great water and wind resistance, the noise it creates when people walk in it has drawn many consumers to choose other fabric types that are quieter.

Micro polyester is a softer, quieter fabric. It does not make that "swishy" noise when you walk around in it. It's a lightweight, soft fabric, and windbreakers that are made out of it generally come with either a cotton or mesh lining. Micro polyester is also does a great job at being wind and water resistant, and is ideal for people that live in hotter geographical areas due to their light weight.

Polyester is similar to micro polyester in that it is a quieter fabric than nylon, but it is slightly heavier in weight. These warm ups also generally come with either a cotton or mesh lining, the cotton lining being the warmer of the two. This fabric is one that could be worn in most all weather types, being that it has a little bit of weight to it, and you can choose between different linings to determine how warm you want them to keep you.

Tricot is a heavyweight, brushed polyester material. It is very soft to the touch and even has a little bit of a shine to it. Being that it is the heaviest of the fabrics, warm ups that are made of tricot generally do not have lining included with them. These windbreakers are not very water resistant and tend to be less wind resistant than the other materials. These windbreakers would be best suited for those in colder climates, given the heavy weight of the material. They are very comfortable though because of their softness.

So, depending on certain factors, one warm up fabric will most likely be more suitable than another. With this information, it should make it much easier to determine which windbreaker fabric is right for you.

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Source by Eric Alexander Bates

Treadmill Deck Info: Treadmill Decks Materials and Warranty

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Treadmill deck is the material that forms the hard surface on which you run. In other words it's the supportive surface. This article distinguishes the decking from the tread belt which is the belt that moves across the decking.

Important

Treadmill manufacturers do not provide a great deal of information about the actual construction materials of their decks. These days most treadmills, especially if priced above $ 1,000 are constructed with decently strong tread decks (usually medium density fibreboard with a duo phenolic coating – all discussed in detail below).

However, strength is not the be all and end all. If strength were most important, more treadmill manufacturers would use metal. Metal is used, but not extensively.

What are decking construction objectives?

Like I said above, if strength was the only objective, metal or steel decks would rule the day. But strength is not the only objective. Quality decking should:

  • Be strong
  • Be durable
  • Have some elasticity (ie slightly flexible, but not bouncy)
  • Minimize noise (ie muffle noise if possible)
  • Have a smooth surface to minimize tread belt friction

What materials are used?

Often you'll see reference to solid wood, medium density fibreboard (MDF), and metal as materials used for treadmill decks. For coating you'll usually read about phenolic coating. The article explains these different materials.

Materials

1. Medium density fibreboard (MDF)

MDF is created by breaking down wood into fibres (sawdust) and then forming the fibres into a solid treadmill deck with wax and resin. The usual thickness is 3/4 "to 1". You can read more about MDF here.

MDF is the predominant material used for treadmill decks.

2. Solid wood

The deck is made out of 3/4 "to 1" solid wood. The trouble with solid wood is it's hard to find a piece of wood that is perfect. MDF, although not perfect either, ensures a consistency that's hard to find with solid wood.

Particle board: Particle board is no the same as MDF. Particle board is not fibre-based. It's a solid wood composite product. The result is that particle board is much weaker than MDF. MDF is denser and stronger.

Avoid treadmills with decks using particle board. You'll be lucky to get a year out of it.

3. Metal

Metal decks are not nearly as prevalent as solid wood or MDF decks. It's heavier and does not create as "soft" of a surface as wood or MDF. Running on metal or steel simply is not as enjoyable as on solid wood or MDF.

What material do I recommend?

MDF deck that is duo or triple coated with phenolic resin coating.

The coating

Some treadmills are coated on both sides (duo-coating, sometimes also referred to as triple-coating), while lower-quality treadmills coat only 1 side of a treadmill deck. The better deck is coated on both sides which helps reduce warping. It's also better for reducing friction with the tread deck along the entire surface area on which the tread belt moves.

Best material used for coating:

Phenolic: This is the best coating material. You'll pay more for phenolic coating, but it's worth it.

What is phenolic resin coating?

Phenolic resin coating is a plastic resin. When a treadmill deck is coated with phenolic resin, wax the wood deck is unnecessary.

Can you build your own if your original deck breaks?

Yes, but it's not advisable unless you really know what you're doing. Simply slamming in a sheet of plywood or MDF is not going to do it. There's properly coating the deck and ensuring it securely attaches to the treadmill.

The last thing you want is your deck to break apart when running or walking.

This is why having a lifetime warranty on your treadmill deck is important. Decks often break or crack (especially with lower-priced treadmills).

Decking Considerations

Replacement frequency

The range in the number of hours of use treadmill decks are good for is astounding. Some lower-end treadmill decks are designed for 500 hours, while other warranty their decks for life. Naturally the intensity of use and weight of users will impact the duration of a treadmill deck.

Is it reversible?

Some treadmill manufacturers make reversible tread decks so that you can get more mileage out of them.

Is reversible good?

It depends. Some manufacturers make treadmill decks that are warrantied for a lifetime without having to reverse them. Others do not come with a lifetime warranty and can not be reversed. These may have the shortest lifespan. Then there are treadmills with reversible decks which in theory doubles the lifespan of the treadmill deck.

The warranty

Ideally, the treadmill you buy will have a lifetime warranty on the deck. This is indicative the manufacturer stands behind the deck and in the event the deck fails, you get a replacement.

Cushioning technology

Cushioning technology is pretty cool these days. Treadmill cushioning technology includes the amount of, type of, and quality of the treadmill cushioning.

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Source by Steven J. Bancroft

Different Materials Used to Build Gates and Fences

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When you are thinking about building a gate or fence, there are many different materials to consider. Whether you choose iron, wood, bamboo, or some other material, each has its own unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.

When it comes to a need for a sturdy and strong gate, iron is a common choice. There are a number of reasons why wrought iron is one of the most popular materials for gates and fences. First and most important, you will not find any material stronger for the purpose at hand.

Another benefit is that your new iron fence will provide substantial strength (and, therefore, security) than other gate materials. Another important benefit to choosing iron for your new fence is that it is a very long-lasting material. There is virtually nothing that can damage it, and it will stay in top-notch condition for many years or even decades.

The fact that your wrought iron fence will look beautiful is also significant. Instead of a fence made from an unsightly, lesser-quality material, it will be a stylish addition to your home and property.

Wooden gates and fences are also popular. The reasons for their appeal include wood being a much lighter weight material, and also that it can be painted to coordinate with your home or outdoor surroundings.

Many people also prefer wood gates and fences because they are much easier to remove if they wish to do so. They are easy to keep clean and, if they are painted on a regular basis, they always have a nice, fresh appearance. When you choose a fine quality wood for your gates and fence, your little structure will be long-lasting as well as looking good.

For those who prefer a very natural look to their landscape, a bamboo fence is a unique touch. It will be a delightful surprise to all who enter your home. In addition to serving its purpose as a lightweight fence around your property, it is a very attractive addition to your natural surroundings.

As bamboo is amazingly strong despite its weight, it does not require much care in order to remain in perfect condition. It is a different approach which you are sure to love.

When you are considering the different materials used to build gates and fences, keeping your own personal tastes in mind will help you to make the best choice. As each type of material has its own individual characteristics, it should be easy for you to select the material you will like and appreciate the most.

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Source by Billings Farnsworth

Construction Site Management – Material Storage

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A construction site has many materials at any one point. Most of these are usually in their raw state, meaning that they will undergo some process before they can be input into the building to form a part of the building. They come in different forms and can be categorized as below;

· Factory Goods: These are mostly off the shelf items, they are unique in the fact that they can easily be resold and are therefore easy targets for pilferage. They are also delicate in the fact that they have unique storage requirements. Examples here include;

o Cement: The most important attribute to consider in the storage of cement is the fact that it reacts chemically when in contact with moisture. For this reason, it should be kept under shade and on a platform, away from excessive moisture.

o Ceramics: These include water closets, wash basins, Tiles and the like. They are extremely delicate and will easily break. This attribute is also shared with glasses. They should therefore be properly packaged in padded cartons and away from areas of much activity, usually under lock and key.

o Ironmongery: These include locks, hinges, handles and the like. Owing to their small sizes, they are prone to pilfering. These should also be kept well locked and only issued under strict accountability.

· Raw materials: This category belongs to the main items like stone, ballast and sand. These are not prone to the previous problems like weather and pilferage. However, they have one attribute that is being bulky. They consume a lot of space on site and require a generous allocation of storage space. These are best stored in bays and contained using things like stones, in the case of sand.

· Workshop finished items: This category also includes semi-finished items, for example in the case of timber. Items here are usually ready for installing in the works and are mostly purpose made. Some may have been imported from overseas and in their exact measurements. This means that damage or loss of such will lead to a very expensive work of replacement. Examples here include Fixtures, timber, roofing materials et cetera.

Material storage is a very important part of site management. How materials are delivered and dispatched determines how easily things flow. In almost all cases, site space is usually restricted and as such, material storage should be very well thought out. One thing to consider is that only the important and requisite materials and items per time should be stored on site to minimize on the risks mentioned above. Records should be kept very in good accuracy of all materials required, ordered, delivered, accepted, stored, dispatched, put to the works and any deficits. Good material storage ensures the following benefits on site.

· Easy movement around site
· Reduction in waste and damages
· Reduction of loss by theft or otherwise

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Source by Kynyn Kamau

What Materials Are Used to Make Printed Circuit Boards?

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Printed Circuit Boards are also called a PCB. They are inexpensive boards that are used to connect electronic components. They are often made under high volume production through the electronics industry. Quality control of these boards are maintained through the IPC.

The materials that are used to comprise PCBs are usually made from a copper conduit layer that contains an overlay of laminate. The laminate that covers the board is usually made from an epoxy resin, which is somewhat like a hard plastic. Most of these products are green in color due to the resin that is used to cover the board, which is a green epoxy. However, there are other colors that are available through different types of laminating materials. These materials include cotton paper mixed with epoxy as well as woven glass with epoxy. The standard for creating PCBs, when it comes to materials, is using a thin layer of copper along with a green mask epoxy.

There are a process of electroplating steps that are then used in the board, depending upon how the board is going to be used. These include silk screen printing as well as photo engraving. These processes either etch out the unwanted copper or use a chemical etching process to remove the copper foil.

Some of the printed circuit boards are comprised of several thin boards put together, these are usually known as multi layer boards. Once the PCB is created, the PCBs are mounted with the various components that are needed in order to get them to work properly. These boards are used in most aspects of the electronics industry and have been around for over 100 years.

Companies that create printed circuit boards can create them specifically for the intention of the customer as well as their needs. Those who have a business in the electronics field can hire a company to create a custom board for their company with the exact specifications that they need to operate their electronic equipment. The printed circuit board will be created from both the conduit and non-conduit materials, provided with the correct electronic components and then tested to make certain that it works properly. It will then be protected in packaging for delivery to the customer.

Businesses can easy find online companies that will be able to provide them with custom printed boards online. As most printed circuit boards are all created from the same type of materials, it often pays to get the boards from an online dealer rather than through a computer or electronics stores.

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Source by Tanner Stockerd