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Electronic Printing for Flexible Circuitry


- Definition of Flexible Circuitry

- Uses of Flexible CIrcuitry

Literature review

- Describe the Flexible-Circuit Constituents
o Dielectric substrate film (base material) – common dielectric materials include
polyester and polyimide. Polyester are highly flexible and are the material of
choice for dynamic flexing applications. Polyamide is the material of choice
for more demanding flexible-circuit applications. They have excellent high-
temperature characteristics and low thermal expansion which has led to their
use being effectively standard practice within the demanding and defence
sector where complex multilayer circuits are required.
o Electrical conductors (circuit traces) – Copper being of the material of choice.
Electro-deposited (ED) copper and rolled-annealed (RA) copper. ED cooper
foils offer the industry low-cost circuitry, whilst RA copper foils processed
between rollers and bonded onto the base laminate offer high resistance to
continuous flexing required of circuits in dynamic applications. Aside from
copper, conductive metal such as foil, sprayed, sputtered or electrodeposited,
such as gold, aluminium, nickel or silver.
o Protective finish (cover lay or cover coat) and adhesives to bond the various
materials together. Common practise is to utilise an adhesive system that
offers maximum compatibility with the chosen base material. Hence polymide
and polyester adhesives are common. Or universal adhesives such as acrylics,
epoxies and adhesives.
o In addition: stiffening materials such as aluminium, steel and moulder
polymers are integrated into the circuitry to provide unique solutions to
electrical interconnect problems.
- Describe the six basic designs of flexible-circuit construction
o Single-sided flexible circuits: Most common. Single conductor layer on a
flexible dielectric film with access to circuit-termination features accessible
from one side only. Conductors used can be conventional metal foil, or
polymer thick-film ink. This is simply printable conductive ink, loaded with
carbon or silver particles, which is directly applied to the flexible substrate in
the circuit pattern required by a variety of printing and stencilling techniques.
Lowest cost and relative ease of production because of their thin and
lightweight construction: Best suited to dynamic-flexing or wiring-
replacement applications such as computer printers and disk drives.
o Double access flexible circuits: Place components on both side of the flexible
dielectric film. Often involves punching through-holes in the dielectric film
prior to its lamination with the conductor. Other methods involve after-
lamination machining – laser or chemical milling – to provide rear access to
the conductive layer.
o Double-sided flex circuits – Separate conductors on both sides of the base film
and printed conductors separated by printed insulating cover lays. With doub
Various techniques have been developed to provide connectivity through



Specific case study: Describe the difficulties encountered, productivity, or efficiency attained
such as shortened time to produce the part at lower cost etc and other advantages such as
improved quality.