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FLEXIBLE Printed Circuit Boards
While standard rigid boards have characteristics which make them suited to many applications, the diversity of applications in which electronics is used today has enabled designers to also utilise flexible Printed Circuit Boards as well as hybrid Rigid-Flex Printed Circuit Boards in order to utilise the best PCB technology commercially available for each application.
Today Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are found in the majority of consumer products from computers, where a Flex PCB is used as a cable assembly for hard disk drive heads, to mobile phones, automotive electronics and home entertainment systems just as a starting point.
of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards:
Reduced size and weight: Flexible PCBs can provide an interconnection density unsurpassed by conventional wire connector technology. Tracking density down to 0.004" (4Mil) and PCB thickness as low as 0.0005 (0.5Mil), along with the ability to flex, means PCBs can be designed to fit into very small areas and provide a high level of circuit and component density.
Stable Electrical Characteristics: The technology has relatively tight tolerances on laminate thickness and dielectric properties. This enables impedance, cross talk and noise to be accurately determined theoretically and conformity achieved in mass production volumes. Thermal stability ensure conformity over a large temperature range.
Shock and vibration: Flexible Printed Circuit have a low mass and are ductile in nature. These two properties reduce mechanical damage, not only to the PCB, but also to the component solder joints, making them exhibit superior reliability and life in applications which subject the electronic assembly to shock and vibration.
Low Cost: Flexible Printed Circuits enable manufacturing costs to be reduced in a number of ways. Firstly the unit cost of the PCB itself is generally lower than a conventional PCB. Integration of cable assemblies as part of the PCB enables a reduction of parts and labour for the assembly process. This level of integration also allows for the reduction in size of the application product, indirectly reducing manufacturing costs.
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