We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Flexible Circuit?

By Jeri Sullivan
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A flexible circuit refers to one of the processes used to manufacture electronics. In electronic manufacturing, there are two primary types of electronic assemblies: the printed circuit boards and flexible circuit boards. Printed circuit boards are several layers of copper sheets laminated together to form a rigid platform for component wiring. A flexible circuit board is made of a layer of plastics like polymide film that can be run with electronic flexible circuits.

The primary difference is that printed circuit boards cannot be bent where flexible printed circuit boards can be flexed during use and not cause harm to the componentry. The most common uses for flexible printed circuits are in consumer applications such as cameras and cell phones.

Cameras are being built in smaller and smaller packages. The consumer wants a camera that is lightweight and easy to carry in a purse or pocket. By using printed flexible circuits, the manufacturer is able to achieve a very small package that continues to have more features, such as additional memory and video capability.

Cell phones also use a flexible circuit to accomplish a smaller package to meet consumer demand. Known as dynamic application, the flexible printed circuit board in a cell phone is actually folded with every use in the flip phone variety. The circuit runs the entire length of the phone and when in use is open so the person can dial and talk. When the call ends and the phone is not in use, the flexible circuit is folded close inside the phone's case.

Printed flexible circuit boards also have uses in industrial applications. Since a flexible circuit does not require the many layers like a printed circuit board, it can be used in places where there is not sufficient clearance to fit a printed circuit board. Some of the most common uses for the narrow flexible circuits is in solar cells for satellites.

Solar cells are used to capture sunlight and convert it to energy. This type of energy conversion, known as photovoltaics, requires lightweight materials that can be used for power in satellites. The flexible circuits are ideal for this application because they can be formed to whatever shape is needed and folded and stored when not in use. This is especially helpful on manned spaceflights where space is at a premium but a significant amount of energy is needed to support the crew's activities.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.