The Basics of Flexible PCBs
What exactly are flexible printed circuit boards anyway, and what are they used for?
Flexible PCBs, as they’re often called, are important because they can provide circuitry options with enough flexibility to fit any shape or design needed. Flexible PCBs are sometimes considered hybrids between conventional printed circuit boards and round wire circuitry, although in reality, flex PCBs can be customized quite a bit. These circuit boards allow for placement within virtually any geometric pattern without jeopardizing the security, safety, and reliability of printed circuits. Flex PCBs are typically assembled with the same components as rigid circuit boards but they are created in a way that allows for greater flexibility when applied.
Flexible PCBs are present in many of the electronics that you use on a daily basis — you just never knew it! They’re often used for portable electronic devices, like cellphones and tablets, in computer hard drives, and even in printers.
Flexible PCBs are beneficial compared to conventional rigid circuit boards because they often prevent the risk of wiring errors and they proactively eliminate problems associated with connectivity. You’ll be able to get a higher circuit density overall, a stronger signal quality, and greater reliability. In many cases, flexible PCBs also reduce the weight and bulkiness of items, too.
Flexible PCBs aren’t always the best option for every single case, however, and rigid flex circuit boards or semi flex PCBs may be better options. Flex PCBs tend to cost more upfront and they may cost more for repairs, but they can provide a solid return on investment.