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FPC Electronics-Proven History And Value Application

The earliest description of what could be a printed flex circuit was unearthed by Gilleo. He described it as a construction of a flat metal conductor on a piece of paper coated with paraffin. Also, in one of his books, Thomas Edison had indicated that he was planning to apply pattern cellulose gum and graphite powder on a linen paper to create something that could have been a flexible circuit. Roger Curtis and Cleo Brunetti discussed how to build circuits on flexible insulating materials in the 1950s. Victor Dahlgren and Royden Sanders made strides in developing etching and printing conductors on a base material to replace harnesses. In the 1950s, photo Circuits Corporation placed an advertisement in New York, demonstrating their interest in FPC electronics. It is from this that flexible circuits came up.

Consequently, modern FPC electronics trace their roots to this early work and are used in many products. Japanese engineers were credited for finding countless applications of flexible circuit technology. It involves the integration of both passive and active functions in their processes.

It is also known as a flex circuit which may be printed on the silver course or a polyester. Flexible printed circuit electronics are manufactured using the same components used in a printed circuit board, which allows the board to conform to the desired shape depending on the use. Fpc may be made on photolithographic technology and could be coated or laminated.

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1.The structure

The flexible circuit could be single-sided with a conductor layer made of conductive polymer, a flexible dielectric film, or a metal. It should have termination features that can be accessed from one side only. It could also be fabricated with a protective coating to enhance its performance.  

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2.Areas in which fpc are applied

  • In places where 3 axes electrical connections are required for instance in camera.
  • In places where flexibility is required such as in cell phones that require folding.
  • Electrical connection in cars, satellites, and rockets
  • In electrical connections where space is a major constraint.

3.Advantages and Disadvantages of FPC electronics


  • They are an ideal replacement for rigid boards and connectors
  • Flexibles single-sided circuits or highly flexible applications
  • Are capable of various configurations.


  • Can be damaged if handled carelessly.
  • They are difficult to assemble
  • It is difficult to repair and rework
  • They can result in increased cost

4.Application of FPC electronics

They are used in space-saving areas and those that have serviceability constraints, such as computer keyboards. Also, they are used to interconnect components like integrated circuits, capacitors, and resistors, which are used in electronic assemblies.

The FPC electronics are applied in the instrument panels, circuits used in the cabin headliner, and under-hood controls in the automotive industry. They are also widely involved in moving printers and arms carrying as well as in disk drives. In computers, flexible circuits are found in cameras, exercise monitors, calculators, personal entertainment devices.

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The FPC is lightweight and is easy to deploy. This makes them suitable for various applications such as outerwear and backpacks. They are also used in medical devices that require many interconnections as well as cellular telephones.

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Emma Lu
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