What you need to know before you choose flexible printed circuit boards

flexible printed circuit boards

Flexible printed circuit boards (FPCs) are one of the fastest growing segments of the interconnection product market.

They enable product developers to finally break free of traditional restrictions on product design such as the shape, size and weight of the circuit board.

This level of flexibility is the reason why flexible printed circuit boards are finding their way into products in many industries, including aerospace and the military. They’re being used increasingly in mobile communications, laptop manufacture, and digital cameras too.

But, is the flexible circuit board really the answer to everything?

Flexible circuit board appeal

For the first time, designers of electronic products can allow product design, shape and size to be led by aesthetics or performance. Printed circuit boards can be rolled or folded, which means they can fit into a product of almost any shape or size.

Flexible printed circuit boards can also pave the way for additional product features, they can be used for high density device connection too.

With good thermal diffusivity and solderability, FPCs can work well and, if manufactured correctly, offer high reliability levels too.

Sounds almost too good to be true. Especially as the actual manufacturing process can be more straightforward.

However, during the manufacturing process, the circuit boards themselves are more fragile because of their mobility. This means it’s essential to use specialist FPC technicians [Link to GO] for tin plating and rework in order to minimise the potential for poor connections and ultimately circuit failure.

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