An Introduction to Flexible Printed Circuits (FPCs)

23 Sep, 2021

By hqt


An Introduction to Flexible Printed Circuits (FPCs) and Printing Circuit Board.

Electronic circuits FPCs are the core components of most electronic products. They often combine with electronic components such as ICs, resistors, conductive traces, Leds, and capacitors. It can also be called a soft board. Single panel and double panel in FPC are popular in Flat Membrane Switch side. But there are also applications of multi-panel and rigid-flex board.

The main raw materials of FPCs: 1. Raw material base material. 2. PI covering film. 3. Reinforcing sheet 4. Gold-plated material.

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Some little knowledge about FPCs:

1. The base material of FPCs is divided into non-adhesive base material and adhesive base material

There are only two parts of the non-adhesive substrate consisting of copper foil and PI. The size and thickness are thinner, the heat resistance is better, and the chemical properties are more stable.

The choice of copper foil thickness is 1OZ, 0.5OZ and one-third OZ. In order to make products more competitive in the market, the market has even developed 1/4OZ. In the future, as the competition in the market becomes greater and the lines become thinner. Such products will be popular in the future.

Adhesive substrates are also the most common materials for FPCs: copper foil, adhesive and PI. There are three types of single-sided substrates, double-sided substrates and multi-sided substrates.

Reinforcing sheet: FR4, PI film or steel sheet.

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2. The advantages of FPCs are:

  • Compared with traditional PET lines:
  1. FPCs are more durable, and there is no silver migration phenomenon.
  2. FPCs can achieve more electrical functions in a smaller area. Because of the use of dual-panel and multi-panel.
  3. It is possible to weld more accessories.

  • Compared with PCBs circuit:
  1. The volume is smaller. Because the thickness of the FPC circuit is between 0.125-0.25mm in comparion to the thickness of the PCB above 0.4mm, the FPCs are smaller, which effectively controls the product volume. The reason why electronic products used outdoors like to use FPCs is to increase the convenience of carrying.
  2. Lighter weight: can effectively reduce the weight of electronic products
  3. It can be wound and folded arbitrarily. You can arange it as per the layout requirements. Also, you can move and expand it can be in three-dimensional space. So to achieve the integration of component assembly and wire connection;

3. How big is the industry impact of FPCs on Flat Membrane Switch?

  • Makes electronic products more waterproof.。
  • Make the resistance of electronic products lower and the products more stable.。
  • In a limited area, the backlight technology is successful。
  • Prevent the circuit from being scratched by electronic components.
  • Prevent the migration of silver.
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