FPC (flexible circuit board) is a kind of PCB, also known as "soft board". FPC is made of flexible substrates such as polyimide or polyester film. It has the advantages of high wiring density, light weight, thin thickness, bendability and high flexibility. It can withstand millions of times of dynamic bending without damaging the wires. It can move and expand freely according to the spatial layout requirements to achieve three-dimensional assembly, achieve the effect of integrating component assembly and wire connection, and has advantages that other types of circuit boards cannot match.
FPC is widely used in mechanical sensitive equipment because flexibility allows the circuit board to resist vibration. Flexible PCB is more durable than traditional PCB, but its manufacturing process is sensitive and complex.
Due to the light weight of the design, the circuit board can be shaped according to the shell, and can be loaded into a small volume. The overall size of the final product can be reduced. Flex PCBs eliminate excessive use of harnesses and connectors in PCBs.
Flexible PCB application
Rigid plates add some restrictions in product design because they cannot be installed in a limited space. The circuit board needs to be vibration resistant in products that are often subjected to mechanical impact.
Flexible PCBs are more suitable for this situation because they can be bent and wrapped if necessary. They can survive in harsh temperatures ranging from - 200 to 400 degrees Celsius. Compared with traditional circuit boards, these functions make flexible circuit boards more reliable and durable.
Computer and accessories
Flexible PCB is very powerful in terms of signal and atmospheric conditions. The hard drive in the computer contains a Flex PCB. Because these PCBs provide high data transfer rates on physically small circuit boards. Other electronic devices, such as printers, calculators and notebook LCDs, are usually designed with flexible PCBs for similar reasons.
Aircraft's electronic systems are often stuffed with cables and light in weight. A typical Airbus contains nearly 100 km of cable, while a helicopter contains about 12 km of cable. The reliability and performance of aircraft systems cannot be compromised. Flexible PCB reduces weight and can be significantly improved even under mechanical impact, making it an ideal choice for aircraft.
As time goes on, automobile products become more and more compact. Flexible PCBs add compactness to their design because they can be placed in a limited space and still work efficiently, regardless of their shape. Flex PCB enables designers to produce lightweight products while maintaining product performance.
Flexible PCB is usually used for engine management computer, airbag controller and other electronic components of automobile products. Because cars are often exposed to high temperatures, this is tolerable for flexible PCB, so these circuit boards have modern automotive products.
The mobile phone is small, but it has many functions. Have you ever thought about how to design dense circuits in such a compact enclosure? Flexible PCB can realize the synchronization of multiple components with minimum space requirements.
It is unfavorable to use the connecting harness or rigid plate to synchronize the components, because the size and shape of the mobile phone are limited. In addition, mobile phones will heat up, and traditional circuit boards cannot withstand high temperatures. In addition, Flex PCBs have been designed with waterproof features.
Nowadays, mobile phones and digital books are developing flexible PCB, which is a major technological breakthrough. Imagine packaging mobile phones or bending digital book pages? It is impossible to use rigid PCBs. With the progress of technology, flexible PCBs are also developing. It is hoped that in the near future, we can bend mobile phones like pages.
Medical electronic products need to be highly accurate and durable. Currently, the wearable devices under development are usually developed using Flexible PCBs, and their flexibility makes them suitable for host use.
Today, wearable devices are used to track health, and these gadgets are very compact and sophisticated. Flex PCB can implant sensors on patient skin and monitor results on smart watches or mobile phones. The revolution of wearable medical devices is brought about by flexible PCB.
It is usually necessary to place medical devices inside the human body. For example, cardiac pacemakers or pill cameras are often exposed to extreme atmospheric conditions and flexible PCBs are most suitable for this situation.
Rigid PCBs are bulky and cannot use shape change and low performance in high signal transmission, which makes them unfavorable to medical electronic products.
Recent research on Flex PCB enables scientists to develop Flex PCB more suitable for medical devices. These PCBs were developed using organic materials to provide more appropriate quality for prosthetic components. Compared with flexible traditional PCB, these circuit boards are more flexible, which is exciting for the development of high-performance prosthetics.
The flexible PCB can withstand extreme weather conditions and perform well even in harsh environments. RF devices usually use Flex PCB designs because the robustness of these PCBs keeps the signal strength unaffected. In addition, Flex PCB is used for industrial machines and power distribution control system.
Flex PCBs have revolutionized sensors. Modern sensors are manufactured on flexible PCBs, which reduces their size. These sensors can be placed in a limited and irregular space, suitable for design or more compact products.
Most modern military equipment uses Flex PCBs such as radar systems in military vehicles. The robustness of high signal and conductive path is required in the control system of military level equipment. Because the device must be used at extreme temperatures, it is often difficult to withstand rigid PCBs in weather conditions. In addition, military equipment is often affected by vibration and mechanical stress, which is easy to endure for flexible PCB. For these reasons, Flex PCB is best suited for military equipment.