Which kind of FPC can be replaced by FFC?

FFC (flexible flat cables) are a type of ribbon cable, so named due to their wide flat structure. They are usually a straight connector, without any additional components. The lines are straight and the spacing is fixed.

Standard FFC BFS17386-B

FPC is made of polyimide material and etched copper conductors. FPC can accept more severe tolerance than FFC and is also available in 0.3mm thick versions. There are many different kinds of FPC, including single layer, double-sided, multilayer flex circuits.

Standard Fpc BFD21076

The cost of FFC will be much lower than FFC, and the flexibility and connectivity are almost same. Normally the FFC are used in plug connectors, there are golden fingers on both side, golden finers can be in different directions; all traces are straight and the spacing is fixed, like below picture. If your FPC project is similar to this design, no component needed, then you can design it as a FFC.

FPC with EMI shield BFD17016

The black film on above FPC, it’s EMI shield, if you want FFC to have a shielding effect as well, we can add the aluminum foil on FFC, like below picture.

FFC with aluminum foil BFS20233

If you have similar design or want to know more details about flexible flat cables, please feel free to contact us at sales@bestfpc.com

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How to choose the FPC stiffener?

 Flexible PCB -Flexible Printed Circuits are made of thin dielectric substrate & high ductility metal foil, flexible pcb can be bent or folded and used in static and dynamic applications. 

Do you know why the fpc need to add the stiffener?

Flexible-only PCBs can withstand fewer components than rigid-flex. The rigid part of rigid-flex can also be as complex as a traditional rigid Circuit Board. Stiffeners are occasionally laminated the same time as the coverlay.

When we need to add the Stiffeners ?

Components are near or in an active, or dynamic, flex zone
Component size and weight will import stress onto the flex
A large number of SMT pads make planarity critical
Connectors that require repeated insertions or assemblies require a stiffener, or something to help alleviate the stress of pads.

When we don’t suggest to to add the Stiffeners ?

 Small “static” components do not exert a large amount of strain on the flexible of the PCB.There are no components in the flex region.

How to choose the FPC stiffener?
 As we all know, the Stiffeners are typically made of FR4, PI(Kapton), stainless and alumimum stiffener.Then how we we too choose the right stiffener?

PI is often used when the end of the flex must be thickened and inserted into a ZIF connector. However, the use of Kapton(PI) requires a separate lamination cycle. For golden area, we will be need to add the PI stiffener to meet the total thickness 0.2mm, 0.3mm or 0.5mm.   

PI stiffener

FR4 stiffener can be done within the same lamination cycle. FR4 stiffener usually added for the USB connector area.

FR4 stiffener1

Stainless stiffener is not easy to transformation. And it has the good hardness. And it can play a conductive and inductive role.

Stainless stiffener

Aluminum stiffener has the best heat disspation effect, because it usually need to openning a tooling to cut the alumunum stiffener outline, then the cost is the highest.

Alumininum stiffener

Are you got it? If you have any comments, please kindly feel free to let me know. Please contact Best Technology at sales@bestfpc.com.

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