Flexible PCB History

Flexible PCB has been one of the most eminent electronic component in the long history of electronic/electrical industry. It is not a new technology since it has been developed for decades with tremendous history. Flexible PCB technology patent has been issued in the early stage of 21st century. And the researcher was try to figure out how to simplify the telephone exchanger in the early day with circuit layout by using the electrical conductors embedded between the two isolated material. As early as 20th century some scientists have already transferred their attention on the electronic interconnection method such as Thomas Edison’s experimental record who is the pioneer and predecessor of flexible PCB.

His assistant Frank Spange asked Edison how to build the flexible PCB circuit track onto the isolated material. Edison suggested to add the carbon power into the epoxy resin and then smear it onto the linen fabric paper, although there is no evidence can verify his thoughts and put into practical operation. However this kind of method is quite similar to the existing polyamide flexible PCB structure which has been widely applied today.

Till the end of world war two, flexible PCB has been used in the electrical and electronic product. During this stage, Germany scientist has applied the flat circuit track technology in the tank tower and V2 rocket. And U.S. flexible PCB pioneer Pat Bryan also pointed out that in the early part of 1950s, U.S. space researcher do the research on a V2 rocket and found the flexible PCB which has made it prevail in the U.S. Bryan brought back some flexible PCB to the California center when he was working in the LOCKHEED and then flexible PCB has finally been introduced into the aerospace field.

Another important improvement was made by the SANDERS united corporation in the east coast of U.S. by the effort of Victor Dahlgren and the company cofounder Royden Sanders, they developed the flexible PCB made by printed and etched copper tracks on the flexible material to replace wire connection technology at almost the same time and have effective promotion during that period of time. At that moment, even in the advertisement announce the OPTICAL & ELECTRICAL company from new York provide the way to form the metal track on the flexible material to give birth to flexible PCB. Another flexible PCB manufacturer from the east coast is PARLEX who provide flexible PCB to military since the early stage.

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