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Majority of the assembly factories are asking for SMT jobs. My gut tells me through hole would be a better option for a high voltage application.

Before the high voltage project is started, we need to make a call on SMT or Through hole parts.

Is there a study on this?

High Voltage application I mean : 3Phase 480v systems. The electronics will be in place to monitor loads and drive a bunch of 24v relays.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I see a lot of boards that are mostly SMT with a few through-hole components. I don't think it is all-or-nothing. I would advise you to approach this by looking at the components you plan to use and checking the cost and availablility of SMT and through-hole. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith May 21 '16 at 19:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have just done a moderate voltage design (350V switching piezo elements), and all the circuitry except the external connectors are surface mount. Yes, pad clearances are important so choosing appropriate parts can take some time, but one advantage is that surface mount parts do not have exposed leads where charge can accumulate. physics.stackexchange.com/questions/95584/… \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Smith May 22 '16 at 14:53
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Most SMT components have small clearance between the pads. Which is why for higher voltage thay not fit. Google "trace clearance calculator", it will help. In addition, resistors will have to be rated to higher power, capacitors will be bigger, so SMT will not fit mechanically.

On the other hand, some components may still be SMT. MOSFETs, IGBT, fuses- plenty of them come in big enough packages.

Bottom line, try using SMT to reduce cost, but check each pad, each clearance for voltage rating.

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First: 400V is not technically "high voltage". High voltage is generally defined as starting at 1000V.

That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong in general with using surface-mount parts in a device running at these voltages, so long as the parts you are using are rated for voltages you are using them at. Keep in mind as well that you do not need to make a single decision between SMT and through-hole parts. You can mix and match both within a single design.

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