What is a Flexible Circuit?
A typical single-sided flexible circuit is produced by taking a copper clad dielectric film, generally of polyimide or polyester, then drilling, imaging, etching, bonding a coverlay and finally profiling in order to create the finished circuit. The coverlay, which is usually of the same dielectric material as the base stock, will have been drilled or pierced as necessary, in order to facilitate component attachment, before being bonded to the etched circuit. The exposed copper features of flexible circuits are usually protected by one of the conventional surface finishes, e.g., Tin, Nickel Gold, etc. They usually have printed notation and frequently have local stiffeners or rigidisers.
Where would I use a Flexible Circuit?
Flexible circuits are used as an innovative interconnect solution offering point to point connection. Flexible and flex-rigid circuits have long been used in numerous industry sectors including defence, electronic data processing, aerospace, communications, medical, automotive/motor sport, industrial and consumer. Applications are wide ranging, from dishwashers to fighter jet instrumentation.
What are the benefits of a Flexible Circuit?
Flexible circuit benefits are associated with packaging high densities, increased reliability, lower overall total package cost and reduced weight. In recent years it is the three dimensional capability of flexible circuits that permit the design to be as bold as the designer chooses. Each technology Lyncolec offers has its own respective benefits, see our data sheets to find out more.
How long does a Flexible Circuit last?
It is difficult to answer this question without knowing the exact application. A dynamic flexible circuit, which moves within an application, should last approximately 1,000,000 cycles, but because work hardening occurs with the repeated bending of the copper within the circuit, the circuit is more susceptible to crack propagation towards the end of its’ lifetime. For static applications there is no definitive answer to the lifetime of a circuit, but for example, the defence industry requires circuits to work for a minimum service term of 30 years.
How long does a quote take?
Quick turn quotes for new jobs will be issued within 4 hours, for all repeat jobs it will be 2 hours. A standard quote will take between 1-2 days, where the assembly of components and/or connectors are involved it may take longer.
What is the standard lead time?
The standard lead time is 25 working days, this is dependant on the availability of material and components.
What materials can I use?
There are two predominant flexible circuit materials in the market place – polyester or the more commonly used polyimide. Please see the list below of the base materials, conductor materials and Adhesive systems offered as standard by Lyncolec. Other materials can be reviewed if required:
How much does a Flexible Circuit cost?
Again cost depends on a myriad of factors including batch size, total annual demand, circuit complexity, assembly of components and material selection, etc. Call our team for a quote.