The flexible board is a printed circuit interconnection structure built on a bendable ultra-thin substrate material. They can be bent into a three-dimensional (3D) structure, which cannot be achieved by a rigid board. Due to this flexibility, the flexible board has more advantages than other connection methods and is more suitable for electronic devices that realize high-density interconnection in a small space. Most of the flexible boards used in electronic equipment are mostly used for connection rather than assembly wiring.
Advantages and disadvantages of FPC
Advantages of Flexible Boards:
- Thin, light, bendable
- Flexible and resilient
- 3D wiring
- Avoiding connectors and soldering
- Cost reduction
Disadvantages of Flexible Boards:
- Easy to crack
- Unstable size
- Easy to deform
- Low reliability
- Easy to fatigue
- Complex manufacturing
- Low assembly yield
- Difficult to rework
The basic advantages of the flexible board are thinness, bendability, and additional advantages that are not available in other circuit interconnection structures. For example, the design of a flexible printed circuit is difficult to realize 3D wiring, assembly, and long-lasting toughness with a small radius in a small space. Dynamic bending during complex periods is a typical scenario that other circuits interconnect structures cannot replace.
However, this unstable thin structure also brings many disadvantages to the flexible printed circuit. Therefore, when applying in the actual packaging system, the advantages and disadvantages should be weighed, and the disadvantages should be avoided. Improper use of flexible boards may reduce the yield and production efficiency of the product, and soar costs.
Economics of Flexible Board
Compared with the rigid board or flat cable of the same size, the biggest disadvantage of the flexible board is that its price is much higher. Generally, in order to realize a three-dimensional interconnection structure, the size of the flexible board is larger than the size of the rigid board. Although the cost of the printed circuit board (PCB) has risen, it is usually more economical to use a flexible board than to use a multilayer rigid board with corresponding connectors. Therefore, when we compare the costs of the two, we must consider The actual application situation is to include all the costs in the PCB application process for comparison, including connectors, connecting cables, and additional assembly costs.
Since the manufacturing cost of a flexible printed circuit is higher than that of a single rigid board that achieves the same electrical function, pay attention when using a flexible board. Unless the characteristics of 3D wiring must be realized, the design should fully evaluate whether to use a flexible board. Especially in consumer electronic products where wiring costs need to be controlled.
Flexible boards are mostly used on occasions where it is necessary (such as bending wiring in a small space, lightweight products, or occasions that need to achieve long-term bending). Therefore, the most critical consideration is whether the value of product performance improvement brought by the use of flexible printed circuits in the product can exceed its cost increase.
Applications of FPC
The miniaturization of electronic products requires extremely flexible wiring in a small space. Therefore, flexible printed circuits have many applications. The application of flexible printed circuits in digital cameras. Flexible printed circuits are the best technical solution for this type of product and keep costs at a low level. The entire circuit structure is composed of a multilayer rigid board and a dozen flexible boards. The overall layout is optimized and the cost of the overall circuit structure is controlled.
RCY PCB is a professional PCB manufacturer with more than 20 years of professional experience leading process capability in the field of Rigid PCB, Flex PCB, Rigid-flex PCB, etc. If you have any PCB/PCBA demands, feel free to contact us. Email: Sales@szrcypcb.com