Flexible PCBs have some very amazing benefits including:
Reduced space and weight: Most of the advantages associated with flexible PCBs come from their small volume and weight. In fact, the use of flexible PCBs can reduce space by more than 50% and reduce weight by more than 95% while maintaining the function and reliability of the circuit.
Durability: The flexibility of the PCB, the reduced weight and the reduced number of interconnections enable them to handle changing external forces and improve their ability to resist shock and vibration.
Signal integrity: Flexible PCBs can work in a variety of environments and their signals will always run smoothly regardless of external conditions, which proves the signal reliability of the PCB.
Higher density: thin layers and smaller components mean flexible PCBs can support higher circuit density.
Minimize error: Flexible PCB reduces wiring errors due to the elimination of mechanical connectors and small options in assembly methods.
Low cost: Because flexible PCBs manufacturing involves fewer assembly steps, they tend to be relatively inexpensive.
Heat dissipation: The thinner material of the flexible PCB allows for a larger surface area and volumetric ratio, thus improving heat dissipation.
Flexible board classification
Flexible board is usually classified according to the number and structure of conductors as follows:
Single-sided Flexible Board
A single-sided flexible board has only one layer of conductor, the surface with or without a covering layer. The insulating substrates used vary with the application of the products. Generally used insulation materials are polyester, polyimide, PTFE, flexible epoxy-glass cloth, etc.
One-sided flexible board can be further divided into the following four categories:
1) Flexible PCB without covering layer
The conductors of this flexible PCB are on the insulating base material, and there is no covering layer on the conductor surface. Like the usual one-sided rigid PCB. This kind of product is the cheapest one, usually used in non-critical and environmentally friendly applications. Its interconnection is realized by soldering, fusion welding or pressure welding. It was often used in early telephones.
2) Flexible PCB with covering layer
Compared with the former type, this kind of board only has an additional layer of cover on the conductor surface. When covering, the pad should be exposed. It is one of the most widely used in a single-sided flexible PCB and widely used in automotive and electronic instruments.
Double-sided flexible PCB
Double-sided flexible PCB has two conductors. This kind of double-sided flexible PCB has the same application and advantages as single-sided flexible PCB. Its main advantage is to increase the wiring density per unit area. It can be divided into:
a. without PTH hole and no covering layer;
b. without PTH and with covering layer;
c. with PTH and no covering layer;
d. with PTH and covering layer.
Double-sided Flexible PCB without Covering Layer is Less Used
Multilayer Flexible PCB
Flexible multilayer PCB, like rigid multilayer PCB, can be made into multilayer flexible PCB by using multilayer lamination technology. The simplest multi-layer flexible PCB is a three-layer flexible PCB formed by two copper shielding layers on both sides of a single PCB. The three-layer flexible PCB is equivalent to coaxial or shielded conductors in electrical characteristics. The most commonly used multi-layer flexible PCB structure is a four-layer structure, which implements interlayer interconnection with PTH holes. The middle two layers are generally the power layer and the ground layer.
Multilayer flexible PCB has the advantage of light weight and excellent electrical properties, such as low dielectric constant. Multilayer flexible PCB board made of polyimide film is about 1/3 lighter than rigid epoxy glass cloth multilayer PCB board, but it loses the excellent flexibility of one-sided and two-sided flexible PCB. Most of these products do not require flexibility.
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