As the name suggests, Flexible printed circuit boards are physically flexible. These PCBs are widely used in mechanically sensitive equipment as the flexibility allows the board to resist vibrations. Flexible PCBs are more durable as compared to conventional boards though Flexible PCB manufacturing process is sensitive and more complex.
Since the design is light in weight and the circuit board can adopt shape according to housing, it can fit into a small volume, and the overall size of the final product can be reduced. Flex PCBs have eliminated excessive use of harness and connectors in PCBs.
Flexible PCB Applications
Rigid boards add certain limitations in product designing since they cannot be fitted into limited space. Circuit board needs to be vibration resistant in products that are often exposed to mechanical shocks.
Flexible PCBs are more suitable in such situations and as they can be bent and wrapped if needed. They can survive in harsh temperature ranging between -200 to 400 Celsius. These functionalities make Flexible circuit boards more reliable and durable as compared to conventional boards.
Computers and accessories
Flexible PCBs are robust when it comes to signaling and atmospheric conditions. The hard drives in computers incorporate Flex PCBs. As these PCBs offer high data transmission rate on physically small boards. Other electronic devices such as printers, calculators and laptop LCD are often designed with Flexible PCBs for similar reasons.
The Aircraft’s electronic systems are often stuffed with cables, and they need to be light in weight. A typical Airbus contains nearly 100kms of cables while a helicopter contains approximately 12kms of cable. When it comes to reliability and performance of aircraft’s systems, no compromise can be made. Flexible PCBs lessen the weight and perform remarkably even if exposed to mechanical shocks which makes them a perfect choice for aircraft.
Automotive products are becoming compact with the passage of time. The Flexible PCBs adds compactness to their design since these PCBs can rest in limited space no matter the shape and still performs efficiently. Flex PCBs have enabled designers in producing lightweight products while preserving product performance.
Flexible PCBs are often used in Engine Management Computers, Air Bag Controllers and other electronics parts of automotive products. Since the cars are often exposed to a high temperature which is bearable for Flex PCBs, these boards have modernized automotive products.
Cellphones are small in size and yet carry so many functionalities. Ever wondered how they are designed with intensive circuitry in such a compact housing? Flexible PCBs enable syncing of multiple components with minimal demands of space.
Connecting harness or rigid boards for syncing components is unfavorable as the cellphones are limited in size and shape. Besides, the cellphones can heat up, and conventional boards cannot bear high temperature. Furthermore, Flex PCBs also add water resistive functionalities in design.
Nowadays, cell phones, digital books are being developed with Flexible PCB which is a major breakthrough in technology. Imagine wrapping your cell phone or bending your digital book’s pages? It was not possible with Rigid PCBs and with the advancement in technology, Flexible PCBs are also evolving, and hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to bend our phones like a page.
Medical electronics need to be highly precise and durable. The wearable gadgets being developed these days are usually developed using Flexible PCBs, and their flexible nature makes them comfortable for the host.
Today, wearable gadgets are being used for tracking physical health and these gadgets are incredibly compact and delicate. Flex PCBs enable implanting sensors on patients skin and the results can be monitored on a smartwatch or a cell phone. This revolution in wearable medical equipment has been brought by Flexible PCBs.
Often medical instruments need to be placed inside the human body such as a pacemaker or a pill camera are often exposed to extreme atmospheric conditions and Flex PCBs are most suitable in such situations.
Rigid PCBs are bulky, cannot adopt a change in shape and low performing when it comes to high signaling, which makes them unfavorable for medical electronics.
Recent research in Flex PCBs has enabled scientists in developing more suitable Flex PCBs for medical equipment. These PCBs are developed using an organic material that offers more suitable qualities for prosthetic parts. These boards are way more flexible as compared to Flexible conventional PCBs which is exciting for the development of high performing prosthetics.
Industrial Applications of Flex-Rigid PCBs
Flexible PCBs can stand extreme weather conditions which enables them in performing even in the harsh atmosphere. RF equipment is often designed using Flex PCBs since the signal strength is unaffected due to the robust nature of these PCBs.
Furthermore, industrial machines and distribution control systems also incorporate Flex PCBs.
Flex PCBs have revolutionized sensors, the modern generation of sensors is fabricated on Flexible PCBs which has reduced their size. These sensors can be placed in limited and irregular spaces which is suitable for the design or more compact products.
Most of the modern military equipment uses Flex PCBs such as Radar Systems in military vehicles. The control system in military-grade devices demands high signaling and robust nature of the conductive path. The weather conditions are often unbearable for rigid PCBs since the equipment has to be used in extreme temperatures. Furthermore, the military equipment is often exposed to vibrations and mechanical stress which is easily bearable for Flex PCBs. For such reasons, Flex PCBs are most suitable for military equipment.
Looking for a Flex PCB manufacturer?
RAYMING offers Flex PCB manufacturing on state of the art systems. We are assisting clients from diverse backgrounds, enabling them in developing smart products with our premium facilities.
Our experience has enabled us in specializing the art of Flex PCBs development. We are dedicated to quality Flex PCB manufacturing.