Flex PCB

/Flex PCB
Flex PCB 2018-03-24T23:52:46+10:00

Rush PCB, offers flexible printed circuit boards as a technology growing at tremendous speed in the realm of electrical connectivity. As a flex PCB manufacturer, we deliver enhanced quality and performance to meet the demands of our customers and help them compete successfully for their products in the twenty-first century.

We offer flexible circuits as their compact nature and high electrical-connection density helps considerably in reducing weight, space, and cost over that available from conventional rigid printed circuit boards, wires, and wire harnesses.

Our flex PCB design technology offers our customers the potential of reducing cable and wiring use by over 75% for appropriate applications. In fact, most of our customers have replaced manually built wire harnesses in their applications with our flex circuits.

With our flex printed circuits technology, we offer product developers and designers enhanced freedom in design, enabling them to meet the ever-increasing circuit-density demands of future electronic systems.

Flexible Printed Circuit Boards

Today, almost all equipment use flexible printed circuit boards—portable phones, cameras, camcorders, automobiles, and even sophisticated military and avionics systems. For instance, it would be impossible to manufacture flip-lid mobile phones and foldable notebook computers without the flex PCB technology that allows connecting electronic components in a dynamic, three-dimensional manner.

Fabricators build up flexible circuits from flexible films with thin layers of conductive circuit traces. These constitute the typical base of the flexible circuit laminate, which designers utilize to interconnect electronic devices, such as the keyboard and LCD screen of a laptop. Being a reliable wiring replacement, the flex circuit allows attaching electronic components to it using conductive adhesives or soldering, and this forms a pliable circuit board.

Benefits of Flex PCB

Benefits and capabilities of the flex PCB are its biggest drivers. For instance, major advantages of using a flexible printed circuit board are:

  • Cost Reduction
    • Simplifies assembly
    • Eliminates wiring errors associated with manual wiring harnesses
    • Reduces component numbers—wires and connectors
    • Reduces assembly time and efforts
    • Increases reliability
  • Improved Performance
    • Offers dynamic flexing
    • Possibility of 3-D packaging
    • Superior control over transmission impedance
    • Lower inductance compared to conventional wiring
    • Improves heat dissipation
    • Improves capabilities of airflow
    • Compliant substrate offers minimum thermal mismatch
  • Additional Benefits
    • Reduces weight
    • Reduces assembly size
    • Increases package density
    • Improves product aesthetics/appearance
    • Allows more integrated designs

There are several advantages of using flexible printed circuit boards. Apart from their ability to reduce packaging size and weight, they also reduce pcb assembly costs. As flex circuits replace wiring, wiring harnesses, and connector pairs, they reduce the number of assembly operations and increase the capability of testing the circuit prior to committing it to assembly.

Rush PCB offers expertly designed flexible circuits as an excellent means of reducing the number of levels of interconnections that an electronic package requires. Customers can use flexible printed circuits to eliminate wiring errors associated with hand-built wire harnesses, as flexible circuit routing during assembly has to follow the designated pattern.

Applications of Flex Printed Circuits

Flex printed circuits are useful in two broad categories of applications—flex-to-install and dynamic operation. Flex-to-install applications represent the majority of use, and require the circuit to be formable during the assembly, and fit into the product with maximum ease.

Dynamic applications make the most use of the dynamic capabilities of flexible circuits. These applications often require the flexible circuit to make several million flexing operations throughout the circuit’s lifetime. For instance, printers require a flexible connection between the printing head and its control system.

Instrument-cluster wiring and interconnections, common in the automotive and aerospace industry, benefit from Polyester substrates and copper-conductors in flexible circuits. These are capable of delivering power and connectivity to instruments on the dashboard, including touch buttons, sensor connection, and lighting.

The dynamic and flexible nature of flex circuits has made it possible to achieve the explosive growth of mobile gadgets, specifically smartphones. Thanks to flex circuits, manufacturers now offer thinner, more compact, and increasingly featured smartphones at lower prices.

Types of Flex PCBs

Rush PCB offers a wide variation of flexible circuit construction because of a huge variability in the materials we use. To cover the vast proportion of flexible packaging and interconnection applications, we offer six basic designs:

  1. Single-Sided Flexible Circuits — single conductor layer on a flexible dielectric film
  2. Double Access Flexible Circuits — component soldering on both sides
  3. Double-Sided Flexible Circuits — greater routing ability
  4. Sculptured Flex Circuits — conductor layers with varying thickness
  5. Multilayer Flex Circuits — with three or more layers of conductors
  6. Rigid-Flex Circuits — hybrid construction with rigid and flexible substrates laminated together

As flex PCB manufacturers, Rush PCB offers all types of flex PCB designs with plated through holes, and laser-drilled through, blind, and buried vias.

Standard Flex Materials

Rush PCB uses Polyimide (Kapton) as base material with thickness 0.5 – 5 mils (0.012 – 0.127 mm) and Adhesive less Copper Clad base material of thickness 1 – 5 mils.

We use flame retardant laminates, base materials, and coverlay to meet UL standards, along with high performance epoxy and polyimide prepregs and laminates.

We supply UL and RoHS compliant material on request with high Tg Polyimide (260+) and FR4 (170+).

We supply base copper of  thickness ½ oz., 1 oz., and 2 oz., with thickness of 0.0007 in. (0.018 mm), 0.0014 in. (0.036 mm), and 0.0028 in. (0.071 mm) respectively.

As solder mask, we offer coverlays for Polyimide and Kapton with LDI and LDI flexible soldermasks.