Flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs) are thin, lightweight boards that can bend and adjust to suit small spaces. This type of PCBs can offer a lot of design opportunities for engineers because of their ability to combine the capabilities of wires, connectors, and cables into a compact solution. Apart from its design potential, a flex pcb is beneficial as it minimizes costs and eradicate the limitations in terms of space and weight of conventional rigid boards.
Kinds of Flex PCBs
Flexible PCBs has many kinds based on their applications. These include:
- Flexible. From the name itself, these PCBs are flexible and can resist vibrations. Their other features are accompanied with high density, repeatability, and dependability that rigid PCBs offer. They are usually used as a wire harness replacement.
- Rigid-Flex PCBs. These are a combination of flex and rigid. As they add some unique abilities which either rigid and flex can own, they offer the best of these constructions. This allows designers to improve their design of the circuit by incorporating rigid parts as an addition to the flex parts.
- High-density-Interconnect (HDI) Flexible PCBs. If a typical flexible circuit that doesn’t offer adequate options, HDI PCBs incorporate fine features such as better layout, micro-vias, design, and construction. HDI technology provides enhanced electrical performance, better dependability, and access to advanced IC package use.
Benefits of Flexible Circuits
Flex circuits offer Customized repeatable routing which trails through the assembly. Their dependability minimizes service calls. The circuit is being protected by a dielectric layer called Polyimide. This layer is used by flex boards for covering their circuits’ conduction. Manufacturers also use other base and cover materials to handle a range of harsh surroundings and conditions.
A flexible PCB can weather flexing long duty cycles despite their thinness. It can be strengthened through the use of appropriate design materials to guarantee no interruptions while they carry power and signal. In case of a high vibration or acceleration, their low mass and high ductility benefit them.
What are they For?
Designers shape flex circuits to fit into areas that other kinds of PCBs cannot. Although flex circuits show individual benefits, these may be a hybrid combination of ordinary PCB and round wire. Somebody can retain the density, repeatability, and precision of regular circuit boards and flex circuits help in achieving the freedom to package geometry.
Often, flex circuits replace the wiring harness, allowing a circuit to displace many hardboards, cables and connectors. They wrap them in bundles and eliminate the need for wires to be color-coded, making assembly faster than usual. Also, this allows for a lower chance of rejects and during in-service assembly and failures. In fact, this can increase the production levels and decreases the installation cost.
The repeatability of wire routing increases if wire harnesses replace flex circuits. This eradicates errors when wire routing, thus, minimizing rework, rejections and test times. The ability of round wires do not to dissipate heat better than flat foil conductors and inability to carry more current allows for stronger connections.