Designing a board with strict and inconvienient requirements. Currently the boards are breaking frequently - the aim is simply to reduce this frequency as much as possible.. The board is a 100mm square but only supported with standoffs in each corner.
On the board are 20 throughhole 4 pin sensors. Effectively they are analogous to DIP switches.
The PCB experiences a lot of vibration as well as intermittent force (perhaps up to 100N point load) randomly, suddenly applied on a random sensor. Board is FR4 1.6mm. The environment is also humid and moderately corrosive.
I would love to redesign/support the board etc etc to be supported better, not loaded heavily, with a backing plate etc - but this is not an option.
Unsurprisingly, the board traces breaks frequently under this flexing. This generally causes unreliable performance. Electronically the board is simple slow digital signals so noise etc is not a concern.
I'm unsure as to how best to prevent/mitigate the traces breaking. I could either route multiple narrow traces for the same signal, thus my thinking being that stress is more likely to break one and the crack not propagate through to the others, or one wide trace.
I'm also thinking curved traces might be worth a thought and I'm interested in how best to connect the trace to throughhole connection to minimise risk of fracture. Also interested in if using extensive ground planes may help and if the most critical traces should be routed on top or bottom of PCB - so that they are either predominantly in compression (top) or tension (bottom). I have read around flexible PCB design but not got much conclusive information and am unsure if a rigid PCB that flexes is a significantly different case.