Flex PCB Is a Better Choice to Replace Cables

- Jun 29, 2019-


Flex PCB could provide numerous noticeable benefits over standard ribbon cables in certain applications. For example, a flex circuit can span between a board and an adapter on a bulkhead several inches away at an ideal angle in the very same plane as the board. That's not feasible with a ribbon cable.


Flex links have mechanical advantages over standard ribbon cables in various applications however in many cases, they also have better chemistry.


A flex circuit can be developed in complex shapes in three dimensions with branches to multiple adapters, which would certainly be difficult to achieve with a bow cable. In addition, flex circuits can be interfaced with rigid boards without the fairly high and bulky connectors level cable televisions call for, or in the case of rigid flex PCB construction, they can be important with the boards and remove exterior ports completely. Moreover, the conductor thickness of flex PCB could much go beyond that of ribbon cables.


<h2>Flex PCB's Advantages</h2>

There are some refined advantages of flex PCB versus conventional bow cables beyond the many clear distinctions. One of the materials typically utilized for flex circuits, Kapton, has very low outgassing in ultra-high-vacuum atmospheres, such as space. Though Kapton-insulated bow cables are readily available, they have a limited number of conductors and could not be directed at angles in limited boundaries.


Bow cables insulated with Teflon and other plastic materials outgas fluorine or responsive compounds when based on high vacuums, which could attack electronic devices in sealed containers if care is not taken to totally duct the gases.


<h2>A Kapton Flex PCB</h2>

Sinclair Interplanetary integrates a Kapton Course 3 flex PCB made by iFastPCB in optical navigation tools the company manufactures for use in small satellites. The nine-conductor flex PCB web links a D-type port, which secures to the device room, with pins on the rigid gadget board that bring telemetry information, commands, and power.


The flex PCB in this instance is swaged to the pins on the six-layer rigid PCB board, which has to do with the dimension of a bank card. It brushes up the conductors upwards and at an appropriate angle from the pins on route to the connector and guarantees the port is mechanically separated from the board.


Sinclair is one of several iFastPCB clients that make parts for little satellites or build the complete satellites. Tiny satellites-- several of them bit larger than a shoebox-- can do really complex objectives rivaling those completed by spacecraft costing loads of times much more.