Flexible PCBs (FPC) are the PCBs that can be bent or twisted without damaging the circuits, which means the boards can be bent freely to conform to the desired shape during applications. The material the substrate used is flexible, such as Polyamide, PEEK, or a conductive polyester film.
The differences between FPC with rigid PCBs
The dielectric layers in FPCs are typically homologous sheets of flexible polyimide material. While The dielectric materials in rigid PCBs are usually the composite of epoxy and glass fiber woven cloth.
There is a layer of solder mask on both sides of a rigid PCB. The solder mask has gaps, and the SMT pads or PTH holes are exposed to allow components to assemble. FPC usually use a cover coat instead of a solder mask. The cover coat is a thin polyimide material that can be drilled or laser-cut to access the components.
Most of the manufacturing steps of FPCs and rigid PCBs are similar. But FPCs need some tools to hold them in a fixed position because of its flexibility.
From the perspective of the price alone, FPCs are more expensive than rigid PCBs. But FPCs have plenty of benefits to improve the cost performance, like space-saving, weight-reducing, and high reliability, etc.
The unique advantages and applications of FPC
|● Excellent flexibility
FPCs are often used as the connectors in various applications. Its excellent flexibility can extend the service life of the circuits and save much space. FPCs are always applied in smartphones and medical equipment where require many interconnections in a compact package.
● Lightweight and small volume
●Better resistance and movement performance
●High reliability and excellent heat dissipation
Flexible PCBs have so many unique advantages in various applications, while they still cannot replace the rigid PCBs. Finest PCB is an experienced PCB manufacturer that provides turnkey service for PCB assembly prototype and small-batch PCB fabrication. Please contact us if you need more details or other help.