In the current field of electronics, the world is working towards achieving a more competent electronic environment. Therefore, there is a need to design mobile electronic devices that can withstand extreme conditions such as temperature, mechanical stress, high chemical concentrations, etc. Additionally, the suitability of rigid, rigid-flex, and flexible printed circuit boards depends on the nature of the electric system. That is, whether the electronic system is static or dynamic. Furthermore, durable flexible circuits require a highly reliable material. Using Kapton, we can quickly fabricate such flexible printed circuit boards, hence the name Kapton flexible printed circuit (FPC). The following information creates a broader understanding of Kapton and the Kapton FPC.
Developed in 1960 by DuPont, Kapton is a conductive polyimide highly applicable in PCB assembly. In addition, Kapton remains stable even in relatively high temperatures; hence, manufacturers use it for heat control in electronic devices.
Properties Of Kapton
Kapton is suitable for both high and low temperatures. Moreover, it has physical, mechanical, and electrical stability for temperatures between -452 and 752 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, Kapton is a good insulator; therefore, engineers employ it in such fields as aerospace electronics, automotive electronics, etc. In addition, Kapton has the following characteristics:
- It can withstand pretty high and low temperatures.
- Highly effective
- Resistive to chemicals and radiation
- It has a wide range of applications
- Provides reliable labeling
- It has excellent electric, mechanical and physical properties
A printed circuit board is a panel-like structure with track-like conductive pathways containing copper that provides a mechanical connection between electric components. Moreover, every electronic device consists of a PCB where the signal transfers. In addition, Kapton PCBs has
Kapton is their main composition.
Flexible printed circuits (FPCs) are bendable printed circuit boards applied to manufacture many electronic devices. The manufacture of flexible printed circuits involves interfacing components on a thin layer with a particular conductive pattern. The flexibility of PCBs depends on Kapton. Fabrication of Kapton FPCs consists in setting a Kapton polymer film with traces of conductive material on the substrate. In other words, flexible printed circuits have polyamide as a primary material. Due to its versatility, Kapton withstands extreme conditions and provides excellent PCB labeling. Flexible printed circuits can be either single or double layers. However, a base layer of polyimide Kapton is present in all PCB types.
Single Layer Kapton FPC
The most common flexible circuits are single-sided flexible circuits. The dielectric has only one layer of metal traces. The base layer has a copper foil, an adhesive supporter, and a Kapton polyimide. The opposite side of the PCB has an area of connection and a solder mask.
Double Layer Kapton FPC
In this case, each side of a single dielectric circuit contains multiple layers. Additionally, the two layers have metalized holes between them for plating purposes. Moreover, both sides of one dielectric layer contain several connection layers, including polyimide Kapton and other components.
Multi-layer Kapton FPC
Multi-layer printed circuit boards consist of numerous copper layers with dielectric layers. Additionally, the plates have drilled holes for plating purposes and interconnections. Moreover, multi-layer FPCs are pretty sophisticated with complex surface mounting layers.
Unlike flexible printed circuits, the epoxy film connects multiple PCB layers; hence, the boards have a relatively high density.
Advantages of Kapton FPC
Their flexibility makes Kapton printed circuit boards the primary requirement in many electronic devices. Employing Kapton FPC accrues the following merits:
- The design of Kapton flexible circuit boards is such that achieving higher and lower density for designs increases flexibility. Moreover, Kapton decreases the assembly process and hence increases circuit reliability. Additionally. With Kapton PCBs, it is easier to miniaturize signals flowing through electric devices.
- Due to their versatility and flexibility, moving and bending the printed circuit is very easy. Also, twisting the FPCs and subjecting them to torsion cannot damage their conductivity and overall performance.
- Current electronics require smaller sizes of printed circuits with lighter weight. Therefore, since it is easy to reduce the size of Kapton printed circuits, they suit many applications. For instance, in manufacturing such products as military equipment, computers, laptops, PDAs, digital communication devices, peripheral devices, etc.
- Kapton FPC has a low dielectric constant, facilitating the easy flow of electronic currents and signals through them.
- The circuit’s substrate has a thick polyimide layer and copper foil. In thin and light circuits, reinforcing the base material increases mechanical strength and stability.
- Kapton has good thermal conductivity; hence, the components cool faster after exposure to heat. The components are, therefore, highly efficient in extreme temperature ranges.
Kapton Polyimide films
Kapton has excellent electric properties. Additionally, its dielectric strength remains stable in a wide frequency and temperature range. Moreover, these films offer excellent chemical resistance to oil and solvents. In addition, Kapton CR films are resistant to corona discharges.
Characteristics Of Kapton polyimide films
The following are the features of Kapton films:
- No melting point
- Flame resistive (Burning can only happen at 800°C)
- High chemical resistance
- Resistive to radiation
- Highly reliable and durable
Relevance Of Kapton Polyimide Films
Kapton has a wide application range in the presence of solid vibrations, high temperatures, and other extreme environmental conditions. The following are areas where Kapton films are relevant:
- Electrical insulation
- Thermal insulation
- Adhesive labeling at higher temperatures
- Carriage of flex-base materials etc.
In the late 1960s, DuPont designed the Kapton polyimide tape. The tape is a unique polyimide film that can withstand relatively high temperatures.
Characteristics of Kapton Tape
Kapton Tape has the following features:
- Resistant to solvents, oils, and acids
- High-temperature resistance
- Excellent adhesion
- High insulating power etc.
Applications Of Kapton Tape
The following are the main applications of the Kapton tape:
- The tape is present in X-Ray machine windows in medical technology due to its high radiation resistance.
- Automotive insulation also employs the Kapton tape. It wraps diaphragms, wraps coils, seat heater switches, etc.
- In aircraft, the tape has a wide range of applications ranging from military choppers to commercial planes, courtesy of its lightweight characteristics.
- Spacecrafts have the Kapton tape for maintaining a consistent temperature of onboard systems. For instance, astronomers have used the Kapton tape in recent Apollo Lunar missions. Moreover, the International Space Station has recently temporarily used Kapton tape to fix a leakage.
- During the surface mounting process, laying the Kapton tape over the printing surface aids in ensuring that the components remain in a fixed position.
The above information makes it possible to understand Kapton and the Kapton FPCs. Kapton provides excellent resistance to extreme environmental conditions and is versatile. Therefore, it is suitable for sophisticated electronic devices that require a high level of flexibility or miniaturization of components. Moreover, dynamic electronic circuits require reliable and durable materials to cub wear due to mechanical strain. However, Kapton is a solid solution to such circuit requirements. Therefore, please make Kapton FPC your film of choice for applications requiring excellent adhesion and low shrinkage.