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Everything You Need to Know About Flexible Circuit Boards

Everything You Need to Know About Flexible Circuit Boards

Jul 05,2016

Flexible circuit boards, abbreviatedas FPC, or alternately known as flex circuits, feature a patterned arrangement of electronic components, and printed circuitry mounted on aflexible base material. A flexible circuit board features a variety ofelements, including: a dielectric substrate film (base material), aprotective finish, electric conductors, and adhesives to bond variousmaterials. Do you want to know more? This post gives you elaborateinformation 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 circuitboards are lightweight and thin, which contributes to the package sizereduction. Flexible circuit boards can be creased, folded, or positionedin smaller areas while building miniature devices. Furthermore, thespace 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 havehigh heat dissipation than other dielectric materials. Flexiblecircuits 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 beeasily tested prior to component assemblies. No solder joints andconnectors 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 theoverall aesthetics of an electronic circuit with their simple andlasting designs. This can have a profound effect on decision-making ofcustomers.

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 featuremetal layers on both sides of a single dielectric layer. The metallayers are interconnected through metallized thru-holes.
  • Multiple Layer Circuit Boards: These boardsconsist of dielectric layers, which separate, and encapsulate severalcopper layers. These copper layers are interconnected through metallizedthru-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 polyestersubstrate flexible circuit boards are used to make interconnections andinstrument cluster wiring in automotive applications.
  • Telecommunications: Flex circuits are used forbetter 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 multiplebenefits to anyone considering them for their next project, or trying tore-design their current project. The circuit boards can be sourced fromany reliable PCB manufacturer. Also, you can seek help of an electronicexpert to understand, which flexible PCB suits your needs.

Related Blog Post:

  • Benefits of Flexible PCBs over Rigid PCBs Read More
  • Clearing the Debate about Rigid vs. Flexible Circuits Read More      
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