FlashLineElectronics offers printed circuit boards that can flex. These are flexible PCBs or flex PCBs. For electrical connectivity, this technology is now gaining significant recognition. As a manufacturer of flex PCBs, the enhanced performance and quality of our products exceeds the demands of our customers. Our PCBs help our customers realize their products and compete successfully in their business.
Our flexible circuits are compact and help achieve high connection densities. This helps to significantly reduce space, weight, and cost in comparison to that available from conventional rigid PCBs, connected via wires, and wire harnesses.
Our flex PCB design technology helps our customers achieve over 75% reduction over cable and wiring use. That is why most of our customers have removed all wire harness assemblies in their applications and replaced them with our flex circuits.
Our flex circuit technology offers product designers and developers significant design freedom. It helps them achieve the circuit-density demands that electronic systems are progressively making.
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Flexible Printed Circuit Boards
Today, one can find at least one flexible circuit board in every electronic equipment. They are present in automobiles, camcorders, cameras, portable phones, and in advanced avionics and military systems. In fact, flex PCBs are the basis of foldable notebook computers and flip-lid mobile phones, which manufacturers cannot make without flexible circuits. Flex PCB technology allows connecting various components in a three-dimensional but dynamic manner.
FlashLineElectronics builds up flexible circuits using flexible films and thin layers of copper circuit traces. These form the base of the flexible circuit laminate. Designers use this laminate to interconnect different devices, such as the LCD screen and keyboard of a laptop. As a reliable replacement for wiring, designers use conductive adhesive or soldering to attach electronic components on a flex PCB, which then becomes a pliable circuit board.
Benefits of Flex PCB
The biggest drivers of flex PCB are its benefits and capabilities. Using flexible printed circuit boards offers several major advantages such as:
- Cost Reduction
- Simplifies assembly considerably
- Eliminates errors in manual wiring and wiring harness
- Reduces the number of components—connectors and wires
- Reduces efforts in an assembly line
- Improves assembly reliability
- Performance Improvement
- Dynamic flexing possible
- 3-Dimensional packaging possible
- Better control over impedance
- Lower inductance in comparison to conventional wiring
- improvement in heat dissipation
- improvement in airflow
- Minimizes CTE mismatch
- Additional Benefits
- Product weight reduction
- Product assembly size reduction
- Improvement in package density
- Improvement in product appearance/aesthetics
- Improvements in integrated designs
Using flexible circuits offers several advantages. They not only help reduce packaging weight and size; they also reduce the costs involved in PCB assembly. By replacing wiring, wiring harnesses, and related connector pairs, flex circuits significantly reduce assembly operations, while increasing the testing capabilities of the circuit before committing it to assembly.
With our expert design of flexible circuits, FlashLineElectronics provides an excellent method of reducing the total number of interconnections in an electronic package. By using flexible printed circuits, our customers are eliminating wiring errors typically associated with manually constructed wire harnesses. While routing during assembly, our flexible circuit follows the designated pattern the wire harnesses would have taken.
Applications of Flexible Printed Circuits
Two broad categories of applications use flex printed circuits. These are dynamic operations and flex-to-install applications. Majority of applications use the flex-to-install, which require a flexibility in the circuit to enable it to fit into the product contours with minimum difficulty.
Dynamic capabilities of the flex circuits are put to maximum use in dynamic applications. In these applications, the flex circuit must make several million operations involving flexing through its lifetime. For instance, the printing head of a 3-D printer requires a flexible connection to the control system to operate smoothly.
The aerospace and automotive industries commonly use wiring and interconnections for their instrument clusters. Our flexible circuits with Polyester substrates and copper traces offer a huge benefit to these industries as they successfully deliver power and connectivity to dashboard instruments that include lighting, sensor connections, and touch buttons.
The tremendous success of mobile gadgets, specifically, the smartphones, owes a lot to the flexible and dynamic nature of our flexible circuits. With the help of our flex circuits, manufacturers are now able to offer more compact, thinner, smartphones at lower prices, but with enhanced features.
FlashLineElectronics offers a huge variety of flexible circuits depending on the different types of material available for their construction. We have six basic designs which cover almost the entire range of applications of flexible interconnections:
- Single-Sided Flex Circuits — Single conductor layer on a single flexible dielectric substrate.
- Double-Access Flex Circuits — Two conductor layers on a single flexible dielectric substrate, with both side component soldering.
- Double-Sided Flex Circuits — Two conductor layers on a single flexible dielectric substrate, with vias for greater routing density.
- Sculptured Flex Circuits — Copper layers can have different conductor thicknesses.
- Multi-Layered Flex Circuits — Three or more layers of flexible substrates, dielectrics, and conductor layers.
- Rigid-Flex Circuits — Hybrid construction with flexible and rigid substrates laminated together.
As manufacturers of flex PCBs, FlashLineElectronics offers all varieties of our designs with plated through holes, blind, buried, and laser-drilled vias.
Standard Flex Materials
FlashLineElectronics uses Kapton or Polyimide as the base material with thickness ranging from 0.012 to 0.127 mm(0.5 to 5 mils). We also have base material with adhesive-less copper clad in thickness ranging from 0.024 to 0.127 mm (1 to 5 mils).
We also use laminates that are flame resistant. Our base materials and coverlay conform to UL standards, and so do our Polyimide laminates and prepregs, and the high-performance epoxy we use.
On request, we also supply RoHS and UL compliant material along with high Tg Polyimide (260 °C+) and FR-4 (170 °C+).
Our base supply of copper is available in ½ Oz. (0.0007 in / 0.018 mm), 1 Oz. (0.0014 in / 0.036 mm), and 2 Oz. (0.0028 in / 0.071 mm).
We also offer coverlays (solder masks) for Kapton and Polyimide with LDI flexible solder masks.