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Browse Prior Art Database

INTEGRATED FLEX CIRCUIT BEND LOCATOR

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007343D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Mar-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 94K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Steven R. Fischl: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Flexible electronic circuits are a light-weight, cost effective alternative to circuit boards, widely used because of their dynamic range of motion. How- ever, in many applications ofthese 'flex' circuits, the range of motion in some areas needs to be limited or located in order to: reduce wear or cracking at a weak joint of the circuit, limit unnecessary stresses at solder joints or components, and/or produce an effective fold or bend line along an axis.

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MOTOROLA Technical Developments Volume24 March 1995

INTEGRATED FLEX CIRCUIT BEND LOCATOR

by Steven Ft. Fischl and Micheal M. Austin

  Flexible electronic circuits are a light-weight, cost effective alternative to circuit boards, widely used because of their dynamic range of motion. How- ever, in many applications ofthese 'flex' circuits, the range of motion in some areas needs to be limited or located in order to: reduce wear or cracking at a weak joint of the circuit, limit unnecessary stresses at solder joints or components, and/or produce an effective fold or bend line along an axis.

  Currently, the flex is made more rigid (limiting motion and/or creating a fold axis) by adding a sec- ondary stiffening member. This stiffener is small in most cases but does add material cost. It is com- monly, but not necessarily, made from a material similar to the base carrier (eg. polyamide, mylar, epoxy, etc.). The stiffening member is added to the flex circuit through an extra process, and therefore adds a costly processing step. Stiffeners typically add about 8-10% to the total cost ofthe raw flex circuit.

  An alternative to adding a stiffener is to create features in the manufactured flex that do not add additional cost and can stiffen selected areas or dic- tate the location of a bend. The need for extra oper- ations to process a secondary stiffener is also eliminated.

  An integrated flex circuit bend locator is cre- ated by extending existing circuit runners or traces and s...