Flex circuits are made from non-conductive materials such as polyimide where conductive pathways are etched from copper sheets and then laminated together to form the final product. Although flex circuits were originally designed to replace bulky wiring harnesses, they also provide an alternative to the rigid board where weight and thickness reduction are of utmost importance. Flexible circuit boards offer more compact packaging which in turn resolves space and weight issues. Smaller and neater assemblies are more aesthetically pleasing to potential customers.
Flexible circuit boards provide mechanical support as well as electrical connections. The flexibility and durability of the material allows for dynamic flexing without risking the integrity of the traces.
Flex allows engineers the ability to miniaturize circuits and increase functional capacity providing better impedance control. Flexible circuits also offer thermal management for high temperature applications by dispersing heat at a faster rate than other dielectric materials.
Flexible circuit boards reduce cost and labor of assembly as they can eliminate connectors and solder joints installation and maintenance for flexible circuits are also more convenient and cost effective.
As flexible circuits can simplify the overall design, there is a reduced risk of wiring errors. Flex ranges widely in complexity and therefore can be used for virtually any product.