The Advantages of Flexible PCB

With the increasing production ratio of flexible PCBs and the application and promotion of flex-rigid PCBs, it is now common to use flexible PCBs, rigid PCBs, or rigid-flex PCBs. In general, a PCB made of a soft insulating substrate is called a soft PCB or a flexible PCB. A rigid-flexible composite PCB is called a rigid-flex PCB. It meets the needs of today's electronic products to the development of high density and high reliability, miniaturization, and lightweight. It also meets the strict economic requirements and the needs of market and technology competition.

 

Advantages


1. Flexibility

A significant advantage of using a flexible PCB is that it can be more easily routed and attached in 3D space, and it can also be rolled or folded for use. As long as the curl is within the allowable radius of curvature, it can withstand thousands to tens of thousands of uses without being damaged.


2. Small Size

In the assembly and connection of components, the conductors of the flexible PCB are thinner and flatter than the conductor cables. This reduces the size of the conductors and can be formed along the housing, which makes the structure of the equipment more compact and reasonable, and reduces the size of the equipment and volume.  Compared with rigid PCB, space can save 60~90%.


3. Light Weight

In the same volume, the soft PCB compared with the wire and cable, at the same current carrying capacity, its weight can be reduced by about 70%, compared with the rigid PCB, the weight is reduced by about 90%.


4. Consistency of the Connection

Mounting with a flexible PCB eliminates errors when wiring with wire cables. As long as the processing drawings pass through the proofreading, all subsequent winding circuits produced are the same. No misconnection occurs when the cable is attached.


5. Reliability

When the flexible PCB is used, the wiring can be arranged on the three planes of X, Y, and Z, and the interconnection are reduced, so that the reliability of the entire system is increased, and the fault inspection is facilitated.


6. Controllability of Electrical Parameter Design

According to the application requirements, the designer can control the capacitance, inductance, characteristic impedance, delay and attenuation when performing the soft PCB design. It can be designed to have the characteristics of the transmission line. Because these parameters are related to wire width, thickness, spacing, insulation thickness, dielectric constant, loss tangent, etc., it is difficult to achieve when using wire and cable.


7. Integral Solderability of the End

Soft PCBs, like rigid PCBs, have terminal pads that eliminate wire stripping and tinning, which saves costs. The terminal pads are connected to the component plugs, and dip soldering or wave soldering can be used instead of manual soldering of each wire.


8. Material Use Optional

Flexible PCB can be manufactured with different base materials according to different requirements. For example, polyester films can be used in applications requiring low cost. In demanding applications, excellent performance is required and polyimide films can be used.


9. Low Cost

Mounting with a flexible PCB can reduce the overall cost. This is because:

1) Due to the consistency of the various parameters of the wires of the flexible PCB; the implementation of the overall termination eliminates the errors and rework that often occur when the cable conductors are connected, and the replacement of the flexible PCB is more convenient.

2) The application of a flexible PCB simplifies the design of the structure. It can be directly adhered to the components, reducing the clips and their fixtures.

3) For the need for shielded wires, the use of soft PCBs is less expensive.


10. Continuity of processing

Since flexible foils can be supplied continuously in rolls, continuous production of flexible PCBs can be achieved. This also helps reduce costs.


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