Since Samtec has more ways to connect two or more printed circuit boards (PCBs) than anybody else in the industry.(1) We are frequently asked if sell standoffs and spacers? The answer is yes to standoffs, and no to spacers.
Is There A Difference Between A PCB Spacer And A Standoff?
Both PCB spacers and standoffs are used to separate printed circuit boards, and/or they are used to create space between the chassis and a PCB. If you’re using one or the other, most designs have at least four spacers, or four standoffs, separating the PCBs.
I’m not sure if there is a definitive definition of a spacer, so here’s my best attempt. A spacer is a hollow (usually) plastic tube that (usually) allows a screw or bolt to pass through. While hollow spacers with hardware are probably the most common type of spacer, another popular style incorporates locking “arrowhead” compression locks, instead of screws and nuts. Of course, these are almost always made of nylon.
PCB standoffs are threaded, while spacers are not. Standoffs are almost always metal.
Let’s Focus On Precision Standoffs
Since this is a Samtec blog, we will focus on standoffs, because the spacing on our line of precision metal standoffs matches those of our most popular high-speed, high-density connector systems.
Our precision standoffs are part of our SUREWARE™ line of ultra-rugged hardware.
SureWare guide post standoffs – the GPSO Series — allow for 0.035” of radial misalignment and assist with “blind mate” for ultra-micro fine pitch mezzanine connectors such as NVAM/NVAF (high-density arrays), APM6/APF6 (high performance, micro pitch), ADM6/ADF6 (ultra-high-density connector), and UMPT/UMPS (micro power strips).
These standoffs are constructed of 303 stainless steel with an MIL-C-13924 black oxide finish for corrosion protection.
Our GPSO stand-offs were designed to pair with our existing JSO jack-screw stand-offs for reliable unmating of high pin count arrays.
Speaking of the JSO product — Jack Screw Precision Board Stacking Standoff — JSO works as a more traditional standoff. It assists with unmating of high-density array sets like the SEAM/SEAF, SEAM8/SEAF8, LPAM/LPAF, ADM6/ADF6, and the LSHM high-density, hermaphroditic connector. Press-fit and threaded bases are available.
And while we’re at it, there’s the JSOM precision standoff for VITA and PC/104 standard products.
(1) – Samtec has more ways to connect two or more boards than anybody else in the connector industry, and we make it easy to find the mated connector set that meets your board spacing requirements. This blog tells you more about the Flex Stacking Solutionator®. Here’s a direct link to the Flex Stacking Solutionator Tool, and here’s a link to the High-Speed Board-to-Board Solutionator.