Applications of flexible circuits

GC Aero Flexible Circuitry manufactures flexible circuits which are often used as connectors in various applications where flexibility, space savings, or production constraints limit the serviceability of rigid circuit boards or hand wiring.

In LCD fabrication, glass is used as a substrate. If thin flexible plastic or metal foil is used as the substrate instead, the entire system can be flexible, as the film deposited on top of the substrate is usually very thin, on the order of a few micrometres.

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are normally used instead of a back-light for flexible displays, making a flexible organic light-emitting diode display.

Most flexible circuits are passive wiring structures that are used to interconnect electronic components such as integrated circuits, resistor, capacitors and the like, however some are used only for making interconnections between other electronic assemblies either directly or by means of connectors.

In the automotive field, flexible circuits are used in instrument panels, under-hood controls, circuits to be concealed within the headliner of the cabin, and in ABS systems. In computer peripherals flexible circuits are used on the moving print head of printers, and to connect signals to the moving arm carrying the read/write heads of disk drives. Consumer electronics devices make use of flexible circuits in cameras, personal entertainment devices, calculators, or exercise monitors.

Flexible circuits are found in industrial and medical devices where many interconnections are required in a compact package. Cellular telephones are another widespread example of flexible circuits.

Flexible solar cells have been developed for powering satellites. These cells are lightweight, can be rolled up for launch, and are easily deployable, making them a good match for the application. They can also be sewn into backpacks or outerwear.