Flexible printed circuit board is a kind of PCB designed to suit the needs of flexible electronic circuits. Flexible printed circuits were initially designed as an alternative to traditional wire harnesses. From their first application during the Second World War to the present, flex circuit boards have improved exponentially.
A flexible printed circuit is produced using a flexible laminate. The flexible laminate holds the conducting foil as well as the dielectric substrates. Flex circuit boards can be three-dimensionally wired and appositely shaped to fit the available space.
Types of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards
Following four types of flexible PCB’s are designed to suit various electronic applications:
- Single Sided Flex
- Double Sided Flex
- Multi-Layer Flex
- Rigid Flex
An electronic device can use a combination of two or more aforementioned flex circuit board types depending on its design requirements.
Benefits of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards
The primary benefits of flex circuit boards compared to traditional cabling and rigid PCBs include:
- Reduced Assembly Errors: Flex circuit boards require less manual labor during assembly, which aids in reducing production errors.
- Design Freedom: Flex circuits are not restricted to two dimensions like rigid boards. They can be designed to interconnect three dimensionally in complex applications.
- Flexible Installation: These circuits are as flexible as wires or ribbon cables, allowing interconnection between two or more planes during installation.. Also, they can be bent or twisted during installation and execution without any failure.
- Reliability and Durability: A flexible circuit can be flexed and moved unlimited times without electronic failure, in applications that have moving parts. Earlier, most failures used to occur at the circuit interconnection points. Thus, flex circuit boards can be designed to have limited interconnections, which eventually increasing the reliability of a circuit.
- Reduced Package Size and Weight: Flex circuits are produced using thinner dielectric substrates. As a result, they solve various problems related to space and weight traditionally experienced with rigid boards.
With the ever increasing demands of the electronics industry, the elasticity, flexibility, and adaptability makes flex circuit boards very useful. If you have flexible printed circuit board needs, contact a manufacturer to know how they can help you.