Flex PCB | Flexible PCB
All about Flex PCB or Flexible Printed Circuit Board.
Flex PCB or Flexible PCB or Flex FPC or Flex circuit or Flex Print or Flexi Circuits are terms used for a Flexible Printed Circuit Board. As the name suggests, these Flex PCB are flexible and can be folded and are not hard as Rigid PCB.
The substrate of a flexible board is made of flexible plastic (thin insulating polymer film), polyimide or a similar polymer or Kapton. Conductive copper circuit is printed on this substrate and a protection coating of thin polymer is applied to protect the circuits.
Flex PCB Manufacturing Process
- The process starts with designing Layout of the PCB using any PCB designing software / CAD Tool (Proteus, Eagle, OrCAD).
- The substrate of a flexible board is made of thin insulating polymer film, polyimide or a similar polymer or Kapton.
- Next Steps in Manufacturing Process of a Double Sided Flex PCB are: Cutting insulating polymer film » Drilling » PTH » Electroless Plating » Pretreating » Dry Film Lamination » Positioning » Exposure » Develop » Pattern Plating » Remove Dry Film » Pretreating » Dry Film Lamination » Position and Exposure » Develop » Etching » Remove Dry Film » Surface Finish » Coverlay Lamination » Lamination » Curing » Immersion Gold » Silkscreen » V-cutting/scoring » Electrical Test » Punching » FQC
Benefits to Flexible PCB
Flex PWB cost more than rigid PCBs but they offer several advantages over Rigid PCB. Following are few benefits of a Flexible Printed Circuit Board:
- Lower thickness
- Space saving
- Reduced weight and size
- Foldable and bendable
- Ideal for 3D interconnection assembly
- Increased freedom in designing
- Low number of device interconnects
- Shock and vibration resistant
- Easy Transportation
Uses of Flex PCB
Because of its flexibility, space saving and light weight; many electronic companies in the world use these boards in several electronic devices and gadgets. Following are some of the uses of a flexible PCB:
- Thin lightweight products
- Wiring need where rigid PCBs cannot be used
- Miniature versions of existing products
- 3D Electronic products
- Mobile Phone
- Oil and gas industry
- Products where better heat dissipation is required
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