What quality control
measures are in place for this service?

We are quality approved to ISO9001.

Flexible PCB Materials

Flexible circuits are constructed by building up component layers, eg. base, copper, coverlay, stiffener. Bonding between each component layer is provided by an adhesive layer (epoxy or acrylic).

The materials selected must be appropriate for either static (eg. one time bend into a camera) or dynamic applications (eg. hard disk drive).

If components are to be attached, the base material must be selected to withstand solder temperatures, and a stiffener may be added.

Flexible base materials are relatively dimensionally unstable and have to be processed on small step & repeated blanks, typically of a size only 20% of that used for rigid pcbs. Flexible PCBs are significantly more expensive than rigid pcbs.

Final profiling and test for flexible PCBs will often be carried out as single circuits.

Mechanical tooling must be selected according to the volume and accuracy required. Tooling may be either CNC soft tooling (low cost but high unit costs), steel rule (volumes up to a few thousand pieces, medium cost, low dimensional stability), or hard steel punch & die sets (durable, accurate, & high cost).

FAQ's

Single Sided

  • Samples 10-15 w/days
  • Production 3-4 weeks

Double Sided

  • Samples 10-15 w/days
  • Production 3-4 weeks

Multi-layers

  • Samples 10-20 w/days
  • Production 4-5 weeks

Rigid-flex

  • Samples 10-25 w/days
  • Production 5-6 weeks

Computer & peripherals: Notebook computers, LCD monitors, Hard disk drives, Printers, CD Roms.
Consumer products: Cameras, Camcorders, Monitors.
Telecommunications: Cellular phones, Wireless phones.
Office equipment: Faxes, Copiers, PDA.
Automobiles: Instrument panels, ABS systems.
Aerospace & military: Satellites, Radar, Missiles, Smart weapons.
Medical instruments: Hearing aids, Heart pacemakers.
Industrial: Motors
Others: Smart cards, Toys.

Copper foil : RA copper 17.5, 35, 70 microns
Copper foil : ED copper 17.5, 35, 70 microns
Base film : Polyimide 17.5, 25, 50 microns
Base film : Polyester 25, 50, 75 microns
Coverlay : Polyimide 25, 50, 75 microns
Coverlay : Polyester 17.5, 35, 70 microns
Coverlay : Solder mask 25, 50 microns
Adhesive : Epoxy 20 – 35 microns
Adhesive : Acrylic 20 – 35 microns
Stiffener : Polymide 25 – 175 microns
Stiffener : Polyester 25 – 300 microns
Stiffener : Glass-epoxy 0.1 – 1.6 mm

The principle manufacturing operations for a double sided flexible circuit are set out below.

  • Cut blanks
  • Drill << CNC drill tool
  • Plate copper (electroless & and electrolytic copper)
  • Laminate and UV print << Photographic tooling
  • Develop
  • Etch
  • Clean
  • Attach coverlays << punched coverlays (2 sides)
  • Hot Lamination
  • Visual inspection << 100% inspection
  • Finished treatment (HASL or Au/Ni)
  • Legend Print
  • Apply stiffener << punched/routed stiffener
  • Punch & die profile << punch tool
  • Electrical test << test fixture
  • Component assembly
  • Electrical test of assembly << test fixture
  • Visual inspect << 100% inspection
  • Pack
  • Minimum track & gap 0.075mm
  • Minimum hole diameter 0.3mm
  • Min total thickness, single sided 80 microns (inc CVL)
  • Min total thickness, double sided 210 microns (inc CVL)
  • Hole diameter tolerance, before plating +/-0.05mm
  • Hole diameter tolerance, after plating +/-0.10mm
  • Outline tolerance (Hard punch tool) +/-0.05mm
  • Pitch Tolerance +/-0.05mm
  • Conductor width tolerance +/-20% of width
  • Maximum economic length of flex circuit 500 mm

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