FPC cables and FFC cables are vital components in many industrial processes and applications. You should keep reading to learn more about how they differ in terms of features and functionality.
With a base layer of polyester and one or more layers of copper traces, flexible and foldable printed circuits (FPCs) are made.
A picture of an FPC and FFC can resemble one another very closely for someone just getting started in electronics and the field of printed circuits.
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What is An FPC?
Comparatively speaking, a flexible flat cable is simpler than a flexible printed circuit. They refer to circuits that can contain components and are constructed on a flexible material. Polyamide and etched copper conductors are the main components of FPC. They are also offered in 0.3mm thicknesses and can tolerate stricter tolerances than FFCs.
For particularly tightly assembled electronic packages or to give electronics more flexibility, flexible printed circuits can be used instead of rigid printed circuit boards. Flex circuits come in a variety of forms, including single-layer, double-sided, and multilayer ones.
On top of a flexible dielectric film, single-sided flexible circuits have a conductor layer made of either conductive polymer or metal. Flex circuits with two conductor layers are known as double-sided flex circuits.
The number of conductor layers in multilayer flex circuits is three or more. The layers are frequently joined together using plating through holes. This is not necessary, though, as openings can be provided to access lower circuit level features.
What Can FPC Be Used For?
Another type of flexible electronics is a flexible printed circuit, which consists of a flexible polymer base on which a conductive circuit can be printed before being covered in a layer of protective polymer.
The FPC is a circuit board that offers increased flexibility over a conventional rigid circuit board and is more than just a connector.
In high-flex electronic products or in applications where weight and/or space are constraints, such as consumer electronics, hearing aids, and flexible solar cells in satellites, its flexibility increases its durability and reliability and makes it ideal to use in place of a rigid circuit.
What is An FFC?
As a miniature version of ribbon cable, FFC is an electrical cable that is both flat and flexible. High-density electronics, such as laptops and smartphones, frequently employ FFC in consumer products.
These flat cables, which have multiple metallic conductors bonded to one surface, have a flat and flexible plastic film base that significantly improves cable management. They typically take up less space than round cable equivalents while providing better EMI/RFI suppression and removing wire coupling problems.
At Hitaltech, we produce a wide range of FFC that range from two to 32 pins and come with a range of insulation materials to enable them to be used in a variety of applications. Some of our flexible flat cables, like the high temperature jumper system, are built to function in chilly conditions. This cable system is made to function in environments with temperatures of +150°C, such as those found in cars or white goods.
They can also be pre-terminated with a connector, enabling semi-permanent connections. The cables can also be soldered if they are provided bare, as an alternative.
What Can FFC Be Used For?
Due to their broad, flat structure, flexible flat cables, also known as FFCs, are a type of ribbon cable. Typically, they are just straight connector with no other parts. The “pitch” refers to the distance between each connector in FFC cables, which typically consist of a plastic film to which numerous metallic connectors are adhered.
Due to their design, FFC cables are more compact, flexible, and frequently provide better EMI/RFI suppression while also removing wire coupling issues. They also typically take up less space than round cables and offer greater flexibility.
They frequently find application in high-density electronic systems, particularly when high flexibility is required, as in connections to moving printer heads, folding smartphones, or other situations involving weight or space restrictions.
Leotronics offers a selection of FFC cables with 0.5mm, 0.8mm, 1mm, 1.25mm and 2.54mm pitch options suitable for soldering or plug-in connections.
Our knowledgeable team will give you a quote for a specially designed FFC cable after you provide us with your precise requirements, including the quantity of connectors, pitch, length, and terminal type.
FFC Vs FPC
An FPC is a flexible printed circuit, whereas an FFC is any type of flexible, flat electrical cable. This is the main distinction between the two terms. Because of how they are made, FFC cables can be more flexible than round cables while also occupying a lot less room.
In contrast, an FPC is more than just a connector. Compared to a conventional circuit board, which has a rigid structure, it is a lighter, thinner circuit board that offers greater flexibility. It is ideal for use in highly flexible electronic products or in situations where weight and space are constraints because its flexibility increases its durability and reliability. FPCs are a common component in a variety of products, including consumer electronics, hearing aids, and flexible solar cells used in satellites.
Can You Bend FPC Cable?
Bend Radius (r), or Bending Radius, is the minimum degree one can bend a flexible printed circuit (FPC) without damaging it or shortening its life. The flexibility of FPC increases with decreasing bending radius (curvature increases as radius of curvature decreases).
Can Flexible Cable Be Buried?
Good news – yes! Thanks to their flexibility and mechanical resistance flexible conduits can be installed underground to protect utilities against damage, tampering and weathering. Flexible conduits come in very handy and offer a variety of safety features, such as corrosion, flame, and water resistance.
Final Words on FPC Vs FFC
Since they both look very similar, are flat, and transfer data, FFCs and FPCs are frequently mistaken for one another. They are, however, very dissimilar.
- FFCs typically need straight-through conductors and pinouts of either 1 to 1 or 1-n.
- FPCs, on the other hand, can be multi-layered with conductors that cross over one another, so they can have a variety of pinouts. For data cables like LVDS, FPCs are a better option because they can be impedance controlled. Instead of being strictly rectangular, FPCs can be made to have bends and angles.
Read More: When Might You Use An RJ11 Connector?