PCB spacers are small metal or plastic pieces that are designed to maintain space between components on a PCB (printed circuit board) and to help ensure the correct alignment of the components for optimal operation. They can be threaded or unthreaded and are similar to standoffs, which are threaded. Nylon and plastic spacers offer significant electrical insulation, chemical resistance and low moisture absorption. They are also lightweight. Metal spacers, usually made from brass, steel or stainless steel, are strong and impact resistant. They maintain electrical conductivity within a circuit.
What are PCB spacers used for?
Spacers are integral components for a wide variety of applications and industries such as automotive, aviation and electronics, and are commonly used in PCBs.
What kind of PCB spacers are there?
- Round spacers (also often known as clearance spacers) are considered the standard shape, though there are also hexagonal spacers.
- Hex spacers hold two components away from each other or one component above another on a circuit board. They're commonly used in electronic equipment or PCBs to keep two electrical parts from touching each other, thereby preventing electrical shorts, are hexagonal in shape, and tend to be used with larger bolts and set screws.
- Threaded hex spacers are used when mounting circuit boards or other components onto a chassis, to provide heat or electrical insulation or to calibrate the height of a switch or sensor. Threaded hex spacers are available in male/female, male/male and female/female orientations with different body lengths for various applications. They come in a variety of materials including brass, aluminium, stainless steel and nylon.
- Stud covers are protective covers that push fit into weld studs or insert studs to provide insulation between a PCB and the chassis. They are typically made of non-conductive materials such as nylon, which is corrosion free, lightweight and offers good insulation.
- Self-retaining spacers are similar to round or hex spacers but with special inside diameters that are designed to grip the screw's outside shank. They have snap-in mounting mechanisms that ensure the required space is maintained even when a screw is removed.
- Expansion grommets are used to securely fasten and space panels or components in many industries. They are found in domestic appliances, motor vehicles and electrical circuit boards.