What is polyimide PCB – its advantages, applications and future prospects
A number of companies that are using the FR4 material for their PCB manufacturing are quite satisfied with its use. These PCBs have good performance and are inexpensive as well. These are used in various applications in different industries. However, FR4 PCBs are not the only option. Polyimide PCB can be perfect for fabrication of boards and is already in use in various applications of different industries such as aerospace, military, and automobiles, etc.
What is Polyimide PCB?
The material used in the fabrication of polyimide PCBs is polyimide. This material has polymers that consists of monomers of imide. The polyimide can be of both natural and synthetic kinds. Wool and silk are examples of natural polyimides. However, only synthetic polyimide is considered for the production of polyimide PCBs. The manufacturing procedure of synthetic polyimides consists of polymerization of various chemistries that encompass imides structures.
What is the difference between FR4 and Polyimide PCB?
Many differences can be highlighted among FR4 and polyimide PCBs. For example, polyimide is a material that is flexible in nature and could be utilized easily for fabrication of flexible and flexible/ridged PCBs. Whereas, FR4 is a material that can only be used for the fabrication of rigid PCBs. Also, polyimide is sturdier when related to FR4. This is why polyimide PCBs are durable and long-lasting. Polyimide PCBs are capable of withstanding extreme temperatures.
|Property||Polyimide PCB||FR4 PCB|
|Strength||More than 200 MPa||Less than 100 (MPa)|
|Can be used in temperatures below -200oC and above 300oC||Can only be used in the temperature range of below -50oC and up to 100oC|
|Elasticity||Up to 4 GPa||Up to 24 GPa|
Different types of Polyimide PCBs
The following are the different types of polyimide PCBs.
This is the oldest and simplest kind of polyimide PCB. There is no addition of brominated flame retardants. These PCBs are stable and are having strong thermal stability resistance. These PCBs can also bear extreme temperature changes and are flexible because of their filmy structure.
2.3rd Generation Polyimides
This kind of polyimide PCB are the advanced type of pure polyimides. The material is having no flame retardants. These PCBs produces less chances of electrical fires; however, it misses the thermal stability. These PCBs can easily be produced and are inexpensive. This is the reason why 3rd generation polyimides are decent choice for the mass fabrication of boards.
3.Low Flow Polyimides
These kind of polyimide PCB have a lesser amount of flexibility. However, these have an advantage to be used in extreme environments and temperatures. This makes these PCBs suitable to be used in harsh conditions.
This kind of polyimide PCB has additional filler helping in minimization of resin shrinkage that results in the PCB guard from curing. This type of polyimide PCB has a longer life. These are less brittle when compared to rigid PCBs and offer more resistance to heat.
Benefits of Polyimide PCB
Advantages of polyimide PCB are mentioned below in detail.
- Such printed circuit boards offer great flexibility because of its material of manufacturing is flexible.
- These PCBs have outstanding tensile strength. Such PCBs, instead of being flexible are strong enough to resist warping. This is why polyimide PCBs are preferred for applications where durability is required.
- As polyimide PCBs are thermally stable and have capability of withstanding lower and higher temperatures, this is why these are preferred for applications where involvement of extreme temperatures and environment is to be considered.
- Polyimide PCBs resist chemicals. Such PCBs are stable chemically showing that these can withstand effect of material corrosive in nature without any negative impact on the PCB.
- Polyimide PCBs are durable making them perfect for a number of applications that are critical and expensive. Having resistance against applied stress and retaining shape without consideration of physical and thermal conditions that are applied to it.
Applications of Polyimide PCB
The applications of polyimide PCB are mentioned below in detail.
- These PCBs are widely adapted in the manufacturing of computer electronics. Laptops tend for PCBs to be durable and flexible for withstanding physical stress applied during route use. Furthermore, the environments where such PCBs are to be operated are sometimes exceptionally hot making polyimide PCBs the best choice.
- Polyimide PCBs are considered for the automotive industry as it has a large room for electronic equipment made of PCBs flexible in nature. These PCBs must sustain factors such as vibrations, heat, and stress.
- Consumer electronics also dependency on the use of polyimide PCBs such as tablets, play stations, cellphones, etc. to withstand stress.
- Polyimide PCBs are used in the medical industry as well. Several medical applications need a certain extent of flexibility in electronics such as implants, imaging, prosthetics, etc.
- The aerospace and military industry is also taking advantage of the utilization of polyimide PCBs as devices used to require to be durable, stress-resistive, and must work in harsh weather and temperature conditions.
How can I get Polyimide PCB?
Polyimide PCBs are surely the finest supernumerary for FR4 PCB because of features such as having good tensile sturdiness and strength. Reliability, good quality, and durability are other advantages to add. Therefore, before opting for ordering your PCB do visit IBE Electronics to ensure you get the high-quality PCB in a customized way.
The future of Polyamide PCB
The future of polyimide PCB is bright because of the new focus made on polymer plastic solar cells, roll-able smartphones, flexible tablets and laptops, and foldable devices being introduced in the markets. The investors are now opting to employ the use of these PCBs to the maximum possible extent.
Wearable electronics are also seeing a boom which will further hype the use of polyimide PCB. Certain disposable electronics e.g., single-use chargers of cellphones along with PCBs in cartridges of printers will further enhance the use of these PCBs in coming years. Digital pregnancy tests are also being introduced having the use of polyimide PCBs.
Polyimide PCBs are made of polyimide that has polymers consisting of monomers of imide.
Polyimide is a material that is flexible in nature and could be utilized easily for fabrication of flexible and flexible/ridged PCBs. Whereas, FR4 is a material that can only be used for the fabrication of rigid PCBs. Also, polyimide is sturdier when campared to FR4.
- Pure Polyimides
- 3rd Generation Polyimides
- Low Flow Polyimides
- Filled Polyimides
The adaptation of flexible PCBs is growing with the advancement in technology on exponential grounds. This may be the only ground for seeing hype in the use of polyimide PCBs in near future. These PCBs are reliable, durable, can withstand exceptional temperatures, and resist thermal and physical stress making them perfect to be utilized in many applications related to different industries.