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The Features,Advantages and Disadvantages of flexible printed circuit (FPC)

Flexible Printed Circuit (FPCa highly flexible and excellent flexible printed circuit board made of polyimide or polyester film. It has the characteristics of high wiring density, light weight, thin thickness and good bending property.

Flexible Printed Circuit

The Features of FPC:

  1. Short: short prototype pcb assembly time

All lines are configured, which can save the connection work of excess line;

  1. Small: smaller than PCB

It can effectively reduce the volume of the product, and more convenient to carry.

  1. Light: Lighter weight than PCB (Rigid pcb board)

It Can reduce the weight of the final product;

  1. Thin: thinner than PCB

It can improve the softness and strengthen the assembly of the three-dimensional space in the limited space.

flex pcb vs rigid flex pcb

The advantage of FPC:

FPC are printed circuits made of flexible insulating substrates that have many advantages:

  1. It can be freely bent, wound and folded, which can be arranged arbitrarily according to the space layout requirements, and can be moved and expanded in any space in three dimensions. Thereby it achieves integration of component assembly and wire connection;
  2. FPC can greatly reduce the size and weight of electronic products, which is suitable for high-density, miniaturized, high-reliability electronic products. Therefore, FPC has been widely used in aerospace, military, mobile communications, laptop computers, computer peripherals, PDAs, digital cameras and other fields.
  3. FPC also has the advantages of good heat dissipation, good solderability, easy assembly, and low overall cost etc. The design of Rigid-flex PCB also compensates for the insufficiency of the flexible substrate in terms of component carrying capacity.
flex pcb connector

The disadvantage of FPC:

  1. High initial PCB cost:

Since flexible PCBs are designed and manufactured for specific applications, the cost of starting circuit design, layout, and photographic plates is high. Unless there is a special demand to apply a soft PCB, it is best not to use it with small quantities;

  1. FPC changes and repairs are difficult:

Once the flexible PCB is made, it must be changed from the basemap or the programmed lithography program, so it is not easy to change. The surface is covered with a protective film, which must be removed before repairing, and then restored after repairing, which is a relatively difficult task;

  1. Size is limited:

FPC are usually manufactured by a batch process in the absence of a conventional process,  It cannot be made very long and wide size because of the limitation of the size of the production equipment.

  1. Easily damaged:

FPC is easily damaged by improper personnel operation. Its soldering and rework requires the operation of trained personnel.