What are flexible circuits?Flexible circuits are thin, light-weight electrical circuits that conform to small spaces and contoured shapes.

They consist of conductive strips of metal, usually copper, encapsulated with an insulating dielectric material made of polyimide or a solder mask. Polyimide is an excellent insulator that allows the circuit to bend, resist contamination and withstand high temperatures.

Prime function of a flexible circuit

  • Electronic interconnection device – carries electronic signals and power
  • Similar to a printed circuit board, yet flexible
  • Conforms to small spaces and contoured shapes
  • Eliminates or enables the use of smaller, less expensive connectors
  • Provides mechanical flexing
  • Shields radiated noise for EMI

Benefits of a flexible circuit

Flexible printed circuit board technology offers a multitude of possibilities for different types of products and designs. Flex is a design solution that delivers the best attributes of wire, cable, connectors and printed circuit boards – all in one interconnect solution.

  • Reduces size and weight – a flex circuit can be up to 70% lighter than a printed circuit board
  • Improves electronic packaging – gives designers the ability to solve packaging and interconnect issues based on the ability to form, bend and move
  • Interconnect solution – reduces the number of interconnects (wire, cables, connectors, PCBs)
  • Conformability – the thinness of the material allows for advanced 3-D packaging
  • Electrical integration – tailored solutions can be created based on the myriad of material choices, plating and designs
  • Heat dissipation/power – Polyimide dielectrics can withstand high temperatures required for a high power application
  • Mechanical and electrical repeatability
  • Cost savings – typically 30% to hand wiring
  • Space savings – typically 60%
  • Assembly savings
  • Reliability improvements
  • Wiring errors eliminated