The FPC Thickness refers to the Thickness of the Flexible PCB used in electronic devices. It measures the separation between the Flexible PCB’s two topmost sections. It might change depending on the particular needs of the gadget and the program.
The FPC’s width significantly influences the electronic board’s adaptability, robustness, and overall efficiency. However, they may need to be more pliable and challenging to curve or fold. Typically, Thicker FPCs are more robust and can endure higher amounts of tension. Although Thinner FPCs can fit into devices with smaller areas and are more bendable, they may also be more delicate and prone to harm.
Overall, to satisfy the application’s particular requirements and keep the intended degree of performance and longevity, the width of the FPC must be carefully examined when building an electrical device. Thus, we will comprehensively tackle the essential aspects of FPC Thickness in this article.
What is Flexible PCB?
An electrical circuit board, or a Flexible PCB, can be bent, twisted, and folded into various forms and designs because it is composed of elastic substances like plastic or polyimide fabric.
Usually, electronic devices that necessitate elasticity and have a small footprint, such as cellphones, portable tech, medical devices, and aircraft uses, incorporate Flexible PCBs. They are also used in military and automotive services, requiring high tremor levels and impact protection.
Similar production techniques, such as coating, welding, and engraving, are used to create Flexible and conventional Rigid PCBs. Instead of using harsh substances like fiberglass or urethane, the circuit is cast onto a pliable substance like a polyimide sheet. The board can adapt to the structure of the device thanks to the plastic base, which can reduce the device’s total size and improve functionality.
Furthermore, Single-Sided, Double-Sided, and Multilayered Flexible PCBs are among the layer numbers and designs that can be used in their construction. They may also contain various parts, including Microcontrollers, Through-Hole Components, and Surface-Mount Devices (SMDs).
Ultimately, Flexible PCBs are superior to Rigid Conventional PCBs because they are more pliable, lighter, smaller, durable, and reliable.
Standard FPC Thickness per Layer Count
The standard FPC Thickness per layer count can change depending on the product’s and the maker’s particular needs. Regarding 2-Layer and 4-Layer Flexible PCBs, some basic recommendations for the average FPC thickness per layer count are provided in the following sections.
- The polyimide sheet used as the foundation substance typically ranges in Thickness from 25 µm to 50 µm.
- Regarding interior levels, the copper layer thickness is usually between 9 µm and 18 µm and up to 35 µm for exterior tiers.
- Based on the application’s particular needs, a 2-layer FPC’s total width can vary from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm.
- Usually, the foundation substance known as polyimide sheet ranges in Thickness from 25 µm to 50 µm.
- For interior layers, the copper layer thickness usually ranges from 9 µm to 18 µm. In contrast, for exterior coatings, it can reach 35 µm.
- A shielding layer is usually between the two interior copper layers 25 and 50 micrometers thick.
- Depending on the application’s particular needs, a 4-Layer FPC’s total width can vary from 0.2 mm to 0.7 mm.
The actual width of an FPC can differ depending on the application’s needs, the manufacturer’s capacities, and other factors. It is critical to remember that these are merely fundamental advice.
Several Facets that Influence the Standard FPC Thickness
Like other aspects, the standard measurement of FPC Thickness may vary depending on the application, purpose, and facets. This section has the five (5) principal factors contributing to the FPC Thickness.
Thickness of Copper
An FPC’s Copper Layer Thickness can affect the board’s width. While smaller copper layers can aid in reducing total board thickness, thicker copper layers can increase the thickness of the entire surface.
Thickness of Trace
The Conducting Route or Trace Thickness on an FPC can affect the board’s total width. The entire width of the board can be increased by thicker lines, while more negligible traces can decrease it.
The FPC’s Architecture may also affect its length. The number of sections, the dimensions and form of the board, and the arrangement of the components can all affect the width of the board as a whole.
The FPC’s diameter may be impacted by the Quality of the Components used. Essentially, lower-quality materials may have a broader range of thicknesses, while higher-quality materials may have more consistency.
The FPC’s diameter may be affected by the manufacturing method used to make it. The precision of the manufacturing machinery, the pressure and temperature conditions used throughout fabrication, and the production staff’s expertise can all have a consequence on the FPC Thickness.
In general, a mixture of these variables affects an FPC’s Thickness, and the precise Thickness of an FPC will rely on the application’s needs and the producer’s capacities.
Selecting the Ideal Thickness for a Flexible PCB Prototype
Several application-specific considerations must be considered when choosing the optimal FPC Thickness for a Flexible PCB Prototype.
Below, you’ll find a list of the factors to consider when deciding on the optimal width for a Flexible PCB Prototype.
The board’s width can affect its weight, which is something to consider for uses where weight is essential.
The board’s width may affect how well it can disperse heat. Thus, thicker boards may offer superior heat dissipation for high-power uses.
Choosing the optimal width for a Flexible PCB Prototype can be influenced by price since thicker boards can be more costly. On the contrary, thinner FPC Thickness costs less.
The board’s capacity to withstand high power levels can be impacted by its diameter. Basically, higher power settings might not cause burning in thicker circuits.
The board’s width may have an effect. Essentially, thicker planks might be more resilient and less inclined to break from shaking or bending.
Making a Floating Board with a Flexible Substrate
The board’s width must be narrow enough to permit the necessary elasticity if the situation calls for a floating panel with a Flexible Substrate.
PCB Footprint Size
This depends on the board’s width. In situations with restricted areas, thicker boards might require more room, which might be a factor.
A board’s width may affect how well it conducts electricity. The efficacy of the circuit may be impacted by thicker boards’ potential for greater capacitance and inductance.
The board’s versatility may be impacted by its diameter. When elasticity is essential, thinner panels might be more pliable and simpler to stretch.
In all, carefully evaluating these elements and the particular needs of the intended use will be necessary to choose the optimal FPC Thickness for Prototype Board. To find the best alternative, it might be essential to compromise between conflicting objectives.
Benefits of Flexible PCB
Flexible PCBs offer several benefits over traditional Rigid and Rigid-Flex PCBs, including the following stated below.
- Flexibility: Flexible PCBs can be bent or shaped to fit into tight spaces or to accommodate complex 3D designs, making them ideal for applications where space is limited or irregularly shaped.
- Lightweight: Flexible PCBs are generally lighter than Rigid PCBs, which can be a significant advantage in weight-sensitive applications.
- High Reliability: Flexible PCBs are less prone to mechanical strain, vibration, and shock than Rigid PCBs, making them more reliable and less likely to fail due to stress-related issues.
- Reduced Assembly Time: Flexible PCBs can be assembled more quickly and efficiently than Rigid PCBs, as they require fewer components and can be bent or folded to fit into tight spaces.
- Cost-Effective: Although the initial cost of producing a Flexible PCB may be higher than a Rigid PCB, the reduced assembly time, increased reliability, and reduced need for additional components can result in cost savings over the long term.
- High-Density Interconnects (HDI): Flexible PCBs can accommodate High-Density Interconnects, allowing for more complex and sophisticated designs than traditional Rigid PCBs.
- Improved Thermal Management: Flexible PCBs can be designed to have improved thermal management, allowing for more efficient heat dissipation and a lower risk of overheating.
Generally, Flexible PCBs are desirable for various uses, including industrial devices, automotive, aircraft, military, and defense. Furthermore, their flexibility, reliability, and efficiency make them ideal for applications where space, weight, and performance are critical factors.
Applications of Flexible PCB
Flexible PCBs are used in various applications across various industries due to their flexibility, lightweight, and high reliability.
Below are some examples of applications of Flexible PCBs:
- Consumer Electronics: Flexible PCBs are commonly used in smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, and other consumer electronics, where they can be bent or shaped to fit into tight spaces and provide High-Density Interconnects.
- Aerospace and Defense: Flexible PCBs are used in aerospace and defense applications due to their ability to withstand vibration, shock, and temperature extremes. They are used in avionics, satellites, and missile systems.
- Medical Devices: Flexible PCBs are used in medical devices, such as pacemakers, implantable devices, and wearable health monitors, where their flexibility and small size are essential.
- Automotive: Flexible PCBs are used in automotive applications, such as in-vehicle infotainment systems, sensors, and control units, where they can withstand high temperatures and vibration.
- Industrial: Flexible PCBs are used in industrial applications, such as control systems, robotics, and automation, where they can provide High-Density Interconnects and withstand harsh operating environments.
- LED Lighting: Flexible PCBs are used in LED lighting applications, which can be bent or shaped to fit into various shapes and provide High-Density Interconnects.
- Audio And Video: Flexible PCBs are used in audio and video equipment, such as cameras and microphones, where their flexibility and small size are essential.
Summary of the Article
In summary, FPC Thickness has many considerations that may affect its measurement. Furthermore, FPC Thickness may vary depending on the desired purpose, requirement, and application. Hence, it would be vital to carefully examine each facet before choosing the appropriate FPC Thickness for your applications.
If you need more confidence to dictate the Thickness of the Flexible PCB, there’s no need to worry since MV Flex Circuit is highly capable of performing this service for your applications. We have been serving our consumers worldwide for almost two decades. Thus, you can guarantee that our works are of top-tier quality.
Kindly send us your desired specifications; we’ll thoroughly consider them for your FPC Thickness. We are accessible 24/7; therefore, you don’t need to wait for such a long period. We will respond right away to your concerns; contact us today!