Flexible PCB Manufacturer: Applications and Advantages2020-05-30
Flexible PCB Manufacturer: The Importance and Applications of Flexible PCB
Modern Flexible PCB manufacturer vividly depicts that anything technological advances are always better than its predecessor. So, there is no denying that Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are better in comparison to the traditional Rigid Printed Boards.
It seems that modern electronics require more than the traditional Printed Circuit Boards. Manufacturers often face the challenge of integrating a complex circuit board into an already developed application.
They would have to pay attention to numerous factors including weight, durability, environmental conditions, etc. Conventional Printed Boards might not be able to meet these demands. However, modern and more sophisticated Flexible Printed Circuit Boards have the capability to fulfill the requirements of today’s technology.
Our objective here is to focus on how flexible printed circuit boards evolved and why are they an imperative part of modern electronics today.
Introduction to Flexible Printed Circuit Board
The name “Flexible PCB” depicts that these circuits come with a high level of bendability factor. They have an extremely thin substrate. Their physical flexibility along with the tensile strength makes them an excellent choice for modern electronics.
Another reason they are popular among a diverse range of application is their ability to mold into three dimensional, complex shapes. For instance, they fit seamlessly into wearable technology, aerospace piloting’s heads-up displays, minuscule devices such as hearing aids, etc.
Even though the material of the Flexible Printed Circuit board is just a few microns thick, still it is possible to etch is without any error. Their thinness and flexibility make them preferable over the traditional Rigid Printed Circuit Boards.
Moreover, Flex PBCs remove the conventional ribbon connectors and wiring harnesses in some contexts. For instance, it is possible to rout a Flexible Printed Circuit Board within the tight confines of a satellite at a tough angle. However, if it still had to deal with ribbon connectors, this integration wouldn’t have to be possible.
It seems that Flex PCB has overcome a number of physical design challenges. Things that once were considered extremely difficult for the engineers now have become easy because of these smart circuits.
Some of the physical design challenges include
- It is possible to contort or wrap them without worrying about any breakage.
- They take up less space due to their flexible and small cables in comparison to the typical wiring system.
- It supports a lightweight and compact design. With Flex PCB, it is possible to significantly reduce product weight.
- It offers a higher level of resistance to a number of disruptions including vibrations or harsh environments.
- Flex PCB offers a 360-degree bendability.
The Manufacturing Side
The Flexible Printed Circuit Boards offer different advantages at the Flexible Manufacturing Side. They have better heat dissipation and airflow in comparison to regular Printed Circuit Boards. Their assembly cost is lower as well because of the modest counts of components and interconnections.
In addition, these PCBs are less susceptible to assembly errors, something common in the traditional PCBs due to the wiring harnesses. In addition, the standardized and streamlined manufacturing process ensures the same quality batch after batch.
The lack of problematic manual input for the harnesses further enhances the overall quality of the Printed Circuit Board. To connect the complicated internal systems of electronics, manufacturers rely on the Flexible Printed Circuit Board.
The flexibility of these circuits makes them ideal for medical, aerospace, and consumer technology. Their versatility further adds to their appeal.
Flexible PCB Manufacturer: History
At the beginning of the 20th century, consumers were becoming more inclined towards compact devices. Instead of having big products, they prefer small size devices. The demand for small devices led to the demand for circuit boards that would support these devices.
Since Rigid Printed Boards didn’t have the capability to be flexible, therefore researchers had to come up with something different. A team of researchers in the burgeoning telephone industry realized the need for alternative layers of insulators and conductors in a circuit board.
The idea came from an English patent from 1903. According to the patent, the circuits had flat metal conductors along with coating paper. At the same time, Thomas Edison’s notebook gave another idea. It suggested using cellulose gum to coat a linen paper. Next, it used the graphite powder to trace circuits.
Both these ideas gained success in the late 1940s. They brought in mass production techniques. This then resulted in photo-etching circuits’ patent on a flexible substrate. This was a way to eliminate the wire harnesses.
As the technology advanced, more erudite Printed Circuit Boards came into existence. Now, Flexible PCB manufacturers are able to add passive as well as active components to Flex boards. They call these boards “flexible silicon technology”.
With the help of thin-film transistors and similar technology, it is possible to integrate semiconductors onto the substrate of the Flexible PCB. The combination of flexible circuit construction with the traditional advantages along with the sensing capability and onboard computing resulted in development in a number of areas. For instance, they work outstandingly well with the consumer electronics field, wearable products, aerospace, medical equipment, and several other applications.
Why Choose Flexible Circuit Boards
In addition to having the mechanical advantage over the ribbon cable circuits, these boards tend to have better chemistry in certain cases as well. It is possible to create a three-dimensional flex that has branches to several connectors.
Having complex shapes and associated branches would be impossible with the Rigid Printed Circuit Boards. In addition, it is possible to integrate the flex PCBs into the rigid PCBs while eliminating the need for bulky, flat and fat cables.
Furthermore, the flex circuit’s conductor density is way better than that of the ribbon cables. The increased conductor density further adds to the appeal of the Flexible Printed Circuit Boards. In addition to the prominent advantages, there are certain subtle advantages of the Flex PCB in comparison to the traditional Printed Circuit Board.
For example, Kapton, the common material used for flex, has extremely low outgassing especially in places like space—the ultra-high vacuum environments. Yes, you do have Kapton-insulated cables. However, these cables come with limited connectors.
Plus, it is not possible to route these cables into extremely tight places such as the satellite chambers.
Flexible Circuits Applications
Flexible PCB manufacturer believes that flex Printed boards are used in a wide range of industries. They are common among the medical field, the aerospace field, and the consumer-based applications. In addition, flexible PCBs are common among cell phones, calculators, printers, LCD Televisions, and cameras.
You will also find them in the medical field including hearing aids, pacemakers, heart monitors, etc. Flex PCBs are also common in the robotic industry. They are preferred for the making of robotic arms, bar code equipment, processing machines among others.
You will find them in GPS systems as well as satellites. If we say that the applications of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are endless, we will not be wrong.
There is no denying the importance of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards. However, it is important to hire a reliable Flexible PCB manufacturer to take full advantage of Flex PCBs.
The miracle is the leading PCBs manufacturing company. Their experience, state of the art technology, and knowledgeable staff ensure high-quality Printed Circuit Boards. They would never compromise on the quality of the Printed Circuit Boards as they have implemented the highest quality industry standards.
You can reach out to them any time of the day, and get answers for all your Printed Circuit Board related queries.