Introduction: Repairing a Damaged Pad on a PCB

About: I am principal of BEST Inc. Had 18+ years in running small businesses. By trade I am an electrical engineer and holds patents in various fields including industrial controls, surface science and PCB rework/rep…

Pads are typically damaged when devices are removed from PCBs. I am going to show you a way to repair damaged SMT land/trace combinations. The traces you cut from the circuit frame library are joined to existing printed circuit board traces.This process is part of the IPC 7721 which are the recommended procedures for repairing printed circuit boards. This one is found in 4.2.1 (Trace) and 4.7.1 (Pad). A complete kit can be purchased with all of the materials or you can get complete training on this and other processes or you can follow along with this "how to".

The materials you will need include:

Small c-clamps


Cleaning solvent


Circuit Frame

Dental picks


Kapton™ tape

Soldering Iron



ESD-safe cutting surface

Popsicle sticks

Orange sticks

Step 1: Cleaning

Clean the damaged are with isopropyl alcohol and blow dry with canned or compressed air or damp dry with a lint free cloth.

Step 2: Remove the Damaged Pad

Carefully cut away with an Exacto knife the damaged pad.

Step 3: Clean Up the Area in Around the Pad

Remove any burned laminate from the area

Step 4: Remove Mask

Carefully remove solder mask from conductor using a dental pick

Step 5: Clean

Clean the area using isopropyl alcohol and dry via compressed or canned air or a lint free cloth.

Step 6: Tin the Conductor

Using the correct type of solder alloy tin the conductor area in place where the new conductor will be attached

Step 7: Sise Up and Select the Right Circuit Frame

Select the new conductor from the circuit frame. Cut out with sharp small knife.

Step 8: Tin the Replacement Pad/Conductor

Using the right alloy of solder, tin new conductor area that will be overlapping old trace (about 2-3 conductor widths). Mix epoxy. I generally like to mix only a little at a time as the pot life is only 45 minutes or so. Bond to the PCB. Cure in open air or in an oven to accelerate the process per the manufacturers directions.

Step 9: Solder the Replacement Pad/Trace to the Existing Conductor

Hold the replacement conductor in placewith Kapton™ tape. Create the lap joint using the right solder alloy.

Step 10: Clamp and Cure

Hold the replacement pad/trace in place until cured. Remove the clamp. Clean with isopropyl alcohol and inspect. I also like to perform a quick electrical continuity check at this point. In some cases I even envelope the edges of the replacement pad/trace with solder mask or epoxy and cure so that it has extra mechanical strength.