Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers

Everything You Need to Know About Flexible Circuit Boards

Jul 05, 2016

Flexible circuit boards, abbreviated as FPC, or alternately known as flex circuits, feature a patterned arrangement of electronic components, and printed circuitry mounted on a flexible base material. A flexible circuit board features a variety of elements, including: a dielectric substrate film (base material), a protective finish, electric conductors, and adhesives to bond various materials. Do you want to know more? This post gives you elaborate information on flexible circuit boards, their types, and application.

Benefits of Flexible Circuit Boards

Flexible boards offer advantages from easy packaging to excellent thermal management. Some of the important advantages include:

  • Weight and Package Size Reduction: These circuit boards are lightweight and thin, which contributes to the package size reduction. Flexible circuit boards can be creased, folded, or positioned in smaller areas while building miniature devices. Furthermore, the space reduction can be done through 3D packaging geometry. Also, flexible circuits are ideal alternatives to wires and wire harnesses. They help minimize errors that are common in hand wired assemblies.
  • Excellent Thermal Management: These circuits have high heat dissipation than other dielectric materials. Flexible circuits can withstand extreme temperatures (up to 200oC), radiations, and UV rays. Also, these PCBs can resist gases, acids, and oils.
  • Reduces Circuit Complexity: Flex circuits have a simple design with less solder joints and connectors, which reduces circuit complexity.
  • Reduces Assembly Costs: Flex circuits can be easily tested prior to component assemblies. No solder joints and connectors are required, which further reduces assembly costs.
  • Dynamic Flexing: The thinness of flexible PCB makes them ideal for applications comprising up to millions of flexures.
  • Aesthetics: Flexible circuits can improve the overall aesthetics of an electronic circuit with their simple and lasting designs. This can have a profound effect on decision-making of customers.

Types of Flexible Circuit Boards

The following are some of the popular types of flexible circuit boards available for purchase.

  • Single Sided Circuit Boards: These boards have a single layer of metal traces on one side of a dielectric layer.
  • Double Sided Circuit Boards: These boards feature metal layers on both sides of a single dielectric layer. The metal layers are interconnected through metallized thru-holes.
  • Multiple Layer Circuit Boards: These boards consist of dielectric layers, which separate, and encapsulate several copper layers. These copper layers are interconnected through metallized thru-holes.
  • Rigid-Flex Circuits: This is a combination circuit that features layers of hardboard and flexible components.

Applications of Flexible Circuit Boards

Following are some of the popular applications of flexible circuit boards.

  • Automotive: Copper –conductor based and polyester substrate flexible circuit boards are used to make interconnections and instrument cluster wiring in automotive applications.
  • Telecommunications: Flex circuits are used for better inter-connectivity in a variety of telecommunications equipment, from telephone sets to low-cost fax machines.
  • Aviation: FPC applications in the aviation sector exclusively utilize polyamide film with copper conductors.

Flexible circuits can provide multiple benefits to anyone considering them for their next project, or trying to re-design their current project. The circuit boards can be sourced from any reliable PCB manufacturer. Also, you can seek help of an electronic expert to understand, which flexible PCB suits your needs.

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Creative Hi-Tech has been a long time partner with our Vertex project and has maintained a very good Quality & Delivery performance over the years here at Honeywell. In these turbulent times they have been a stablizing force in supporting our needs.”

- J.K. – Honeywell

Creative Hi-Tech is a great business partner. Creative is very responsive to any request and very flexible. They have helped us through several tough situations and we greatly appreciate their ability to get the job done.”

- Chad K. – LED Lighting Manufacturer

Creative Hi-Tech is easy to work with, very customer oriented, and always willing to push to make on time deliveries.”

- Michelle H – Telecom Manufacturer

Creative Hi-Tech has been a  long time partner with our  Vertex project and has maintained a very good  Quality & Delivery performance  over the years here at  Honeywell.  In these  turbulent  times, they have  been a  stabilising force  in  supporting  our  needs.”

- Richard S. – LED Lighting Manufacturer

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