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FLEXIBLE PRINTED CIRCUITS - FPC and FFC

Design and Manufacturing

FPC

Produced on copper coated polyamide our custom Flexible Circuits (printed) are used in a range of appliances where a circuit that can be moved frequently is required, such as on a hinged lid. As the copper is bonded to the polyamide the flexible circuit can withstand flexing and movement without any adverse effects. Components such as LEDs and switches can be soldered to the circuits and locally applied stiffeners allow bulkier components such as IDC connectors to be applied.

There are many variations to flexible circuits, such as FPC, Rigid-flex and Printed ink circuits with each have their own unique properties.

Being produced on a flexible material the circuits can be cut to any shape or size, meaning a circuit can incorporate multiple flexible tails removing the need for extra ribbon cables between PCBs. With the copper being chemically etched to form the track-work, an intricate and complex multi-layer flexible circuit can be created that can be finished in a variety of processes such as gold plating.

Flexible Circuits

FPC, FFC and Rigid-flex

FPC flexible circuits

Advantages of Flexible Circuit Design

  • Reduce messy, time consuming wire harnesses
  • Space and weight reduction coupled to robust connections and fast assembly
  • Excellent performance in high vibration applications- flexibility reduces stress on solder joints
  • Polyamide covering protects circuits in harsh environments
  • Excellent performance in high speed signal transmission applications
  • Uniform spacings between conductors and ground helps to control impedance and reduce crosstalk

Common questions regarding Flexible Circuit design?

 "What is the minimum bend radius that I can work with?"

A good rule of thumb to go by is a minimum of 6x the circuit thickness with single layer flex circuit the best choice for flexible areas. Typically, a layer is 0.15mm thick

  • Single-layer: 6 × circuit thickness (minimum)
  • Double-layer: 12 × circuit thickness (minimum)
  • Multilayer: 24 × circuit thickness (minimum)
Flexible circuits for cable replacement

FPC flexible circuits

Flexible circuit for cabling
Flexible circuit construction

FPC layers

Flexible circuit layers

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