Flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs) can provide a variety of advantages to industrial applications. Flex circuit boards are well-known for reducing the size and weight of the PCBs. They provide a higher level of signal quality. When compared with rigid circuit boards, flexible PCBs have the capabilities to operate under wider range of application temperatures.
These few examples may give you an idea of the benefits that you can accrue with flexible PCBs. Additional benefits are given and further elaborated below.
Flexible printed circuit boards can be used in applications in various industrial sectors. These include automotive, military, computing and storage, instrumentation, and telecom, to name a few. Understanding the general application requirements will help you to appreciate the benefits of flexible PCBs. The general requirements include:
- The PCB should meet the application characteristics such as resistance and impedance.
- It should maintain its robustness, while being dynamic in terms of flexibility.
- The installation of the PCB should minimize the weight of the application equipment.
- It should be easily installed and provide good performance in compact assemblies with complex designs.
- The circuit’s design should minimize the number of electrical connections between the PCB and the application equipment.
- The device should be cost-effective in terms of assembly and component placement.
Benefits of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards
The benefits of flex circuit boards are numerous to say the least. Here are a few important beneficial aspects:
- Easy Routing Path Duplication: Compared to products like ribbon cables, flexible circuits allow the freedom to duplication the routing path within an assembly. This enhances the dependability of the PCB, while reducing the number of maintenance cycles.
- Increased Capabilities: The design of the flex PCB makes it capable of meet tough application requirements, including:
- Harsh Environments: Flex PCB conductors are covered with polyimide. This provides a stronger protective layer when compared with solder masks.
- Long Duty Cycles: A flex circuit board has the capability to withstand the pressures undergone from numerous cycles performed regularly in an application. It can also maintain signal and power quality while doing so.
- High Vibration: Many applications suffer from external vibrations, which can damage electrical of the application equipment. Flexible PCBs can be designed to withstand vibrations, and ensure the continual functioning of the equipment.
- Reduction in Package Weight: Flex PCBs can reduce the weight of the application equipment significantly, up to 76%. This is because flex circuits eliminate the need for supplementary interconnects in equipment. The circuits can also be wrapped around the internal components of a product. For these reasons, flexible printed circuit boards are extremely popular in electronic and aerospace applications.
- Reductions in Time and Costs: The flexible design of the PCB reduces the amount of assembly as well as installation time. As the number of connections are reduced, the cost to manufacture a flexible PCB is lesser than that of a rigid circuit board.
These are the various reasons why flexible printed circuit boards are chosen to support compact, delicate components in application equipment. Choose a flex circuit board for your application equipment, and see the difference for yourself.