What Is A Flex PCB?
How to select the right one from various types of PCBs for your creative projects? Is it flex PCBs? Wanted to find the answer, we need to know what is flex PCBs.
Flex PCBs also known as flexible PCBs, are made of a thin insulating polymer film where will be affixed conductive circuit patterns, and typically, the PCB manufacturer coats a thin polymer over it to protect the conductor circuits.
Flexible circuit boards are always designed to fit the device or product, therefore it doesn’t need comply to meet the size of the basic circuit board in component assembly. Usually, the flex PCBs are thin, lightweight, and have a well-performance in any small space and contoured shapes.
There are several selections for flexible circuit boards available. You can select the single-sided, double-sided, and multilayer flex PCBs from specialized flexible PCB manufacturers and find the right PCBs is very important for your creative business.
Flex PCB has its own place in various industries from LCD to the automotive field. It is usually used as connectors in different industries. The flexible PCB board is flexibility and space-saving, so it can be used at narrow space where limit the capability of rigid PCB.
- Electronic assemblies: Flex PCB boards can be used as passive wiring structures to interconnect electronic components, such as capacitors, resistors, integrated circuits, and so on.
- Automotive field: Flexible PCBs can be used in under-hood controls, apparatus panels, or ABS systems.
- Computer peripherals: The flexible printed circuit boards are also used as connectors on the moving print head of printers to submit the signals to move arms to finish the final printing.
- Manufacturing and medical devices: Flex circuit boards established the interconnections in the compacted package. Because of its flexibility, they are well-performance in these devices.
Might there are some misunderstandings for Chinese PCB manufacturers, thinking that they provide cheap but inferior products. Actually, no matter what country it is, the high price always means high quality, because not only durable PCB materials and sophisticated PCB designs but also excellent equipment of PCB manufacturing and assembly. If the PCB company has its own R&D basic, it might price relatively high for its products.
But the reason for the lower product price of Chinese manufacturers is not the unreliable product quality or inferior PCB fabrication and assembly equipment, but the local market and policy.
Reasons why the price of flex PCB in China is cheap than in other countries:
A crowded market stimulate advanced technology
Chinese PCB market has established more than 15 years having completed system of PCB services. Fierce market competition is the addiction to the development of the Chinese PCB market, while the competition creates a competitive PCB market environment where need Chinese PCB manufacturers need to persistently improve their PCB manufacturing technology to provide competitive products. But because of the market environment, the price is relatively lower than European.
Lower cost labor with efficient production
There also has a competitive employment market in China resulting in lots of efficient labor with lower labor costs. China nowadays can achieve mass PCB manufacturing and assembly in a high-efficient that lowers the time cost and provide an affordable price with the same quality as developed countries.
High-quality PCB service
As the PCB market mature, Chinese PCB manufacturers have the capability to provide satisfying full-service from PCB manufacturing to deliver only with your requirements online. The Internet provides a chance for every PCB company to buy PCB online.
Flex PCBs are usually made of materials according to their applications. Various materials can be used to produce flexible printed circuit boards, such as Teflon, polyimide, FR4 epoxy, or other laminates that use a combination of glass with resin coatings.
Using PCB materials to design the flex PCBs has some considerations.
Here are them:
- Mitigated loss factors
- Flame retardance
- Higher temperatures for glass transition
- Thermal performance
- Dimensional stability
Flex PCB thickness and flex PCB bend radius are the two important for PCB design and dominate the quality of flex PCB design.
Usually, the flexible printed circuit board thickness is 0.05mm to 0.8 mm, and the bend radius of a flex printed circuit board should be 10 tuns of the material thickness, at least 500 um away from the plated through hole that includes the reliefs for slits in the circuit of incorporate tear stops.