All Flex has several resources on its website posted with the intention of educating visitors on design, fabrication and applications for flexible circuits and flexible heaters. Perhaps the three more common resources are:
These three resources tend to address common questions pertaining to flexible circuits. One of the most common topics searched for on the internet relates to the fabrication of flexible circuits. Between our video library and our blog posts, there is extensive information available on this topic.
The following are specific topics in flex circuit manufacturing and the corresponding resources available on our site:
- Hole/Via Generation: Whether it is defining internal features or creating plated vias, there are a couple of posts that provide some good information in this area.
- Imaging: Imaging is used for both the creation of the circuit pattern and for printing solder mask. Every circuit fabricated undergoes at least one imaging process to define the individual “personality” of the custom part. The following blog posts provide imaging process information:
- Etching: Etching removes the un-needed copper. This creates the “spacing” or insulation between adjacent conductive regions.
- Plating: Copper plating is an integral part of creating double sided and multilayer circuits as drilled holes are electrically connected between insulated regions with electroplated copper. Other plated metals including tin/lead solder, lead-free-solder, gold, nickel, silver and tin are also plated onto circuit surfaces. Selective plating surfaces are used to enable component solder assembly, create contact switch locations, and serve as connector contacts.
- Dielectric Creation: Most flexible circuits require a dielectric protective layer. This dielectric layer is usually referred to as covercoat or coverlay. Printed solder mask and polyimide film are the two most common:
- Creating the Cutline: One of the final steps in circuit fabrication is to create the cutline allowing removal of the circuit from the larger processing panel.
- Testing/inspection/ verification: Making sure that a product conforms to specification and will functionally perform is a major part of quality performance.
- Assembly: Handling of flexible circuits during component assembly can present unique challenges. All Flex provides assembly/finishing services and has comprehensive capabilities in this area.
All Flex will continue to post articles and videos to support our customer’s quests to understand and successfully adopt this interconnection technology. If there is a topic that you would like to see more information on, you are welcome to submit a suggestion using our contact us form.