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Are Flexible PCBs Prone to Electromagnetic Interference?

Are Flexible PCBs Prone to Electromagnetic Interference?

Flexible PCBs Prone to Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is the unwanted electrical noise that can interfere with your circuit’s signal and cause data loss, signal distortion, or even system failure. This unwanted noise can come from a variety of sources, including nearby electronic devices, wireless signals, and power lines. To prevent these problems from occurring, your flex circuits must be properly shielded against EMI.

EMI shielding is a process of adding conductive material to your flex PCB that protects it from absorbing and radiating electromagnetic interference. While there are a few different methods of EMI shielding, all of them increase the thickness of your flex circuit. This can violate the bend criteria and pose a risk of mechanical failure, so it is important to consider this issue during design.

Flexible PCBs are a key component of many electronics, from smartphones to laptop computers. The tiny spaces inside these products make it difficult to fit wires and other components, so flexible pcb allow them to be shaped into the shape needed by the product.

The conductive copper layers in a flexible pcb are etched into a polyester or polyimide substrate, and then a protective layer is applied to protect the traces from moisture, dirt, and other damage. A flex PCB can have as many or as few layers as needed, but a high layer count drives up the cost. This is because each additional layer requires more time, materials and expertise to laminate. It is also important to consider your etching options when designing a flex PCB to reduce the number of layers.

Are Flexible PCBs Prone to Electromagnetic Interference?

Using a metal foil to shield the conductive copper traces from the rest of the board is one effective way to reduce EMI on a flex PCB. Another technique is to separate the signals and power traces on your PCB. This can be done by physically separating them or using a high impedance buffer to isolate the signals. Lastly, it’s a good idea to use EMI filters to suppress unwanted noise on your PCB.

Flexible PCBs have a variety of uses in medical and wearable devices, especially those that must endure the rough environments and repeated bending found in these applications. They offer higher durability and lower weight than rigid PCBs, while still maintaining their flexibility. They can be molded into the necessary shapes for many medical and wearable devices, such as pacemakers, hearing aids, heart monitors, and exercise trackers.

For example, the PillCam is a swallowable device that utilizes a flexible PCB to transmit video and audio from within the body. This durable and lightweight flexible PCB can take on the natural shapes of the human body, allowing it to capture images and other data in places where other technology would be impossible to place. They are also a great option for aerospace applications because they can withstand the high temperatures and vibrations of airplanes and satellites.

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