72m multi-layer flexible PCB enters record books

A 72m multi-layer flexible printed circuit (FPC) has been created by Trackwise Designs and promptly entered the record books, breaking the previous record, also held by Trackwise Designs, for the world’s longest multi-layer FPC.

The FPC was constructed using a polyimide base laminate with copper elements, and finished with an organo-metallic layer to protect against oxidisation. The company used its patented Improved Harness Technology to ensure circuit consistency.

The FPC also had a constant copper thickness across and along the manufactured part, thanks to a reel-to-reel copper plating line, achieving within ±5micron across and along the entire 72m length. This allowed for defined and tightly controlled layer to layer resistance with as thin as possible thickness for the flex in the end product, commented Trackwise.

“Philip Johnston, CEO, Trackwise, said: “Many applications are emerging for very long FPCs as customers become aware of the advantages offered by the technology”. As well as the industrial sector, they are used in the aerospace and automotive industries where they can help to increase battery life and EV range, for example, by reducing weight. Another key market is medical where users look to replace existing microwires with a cheaper, more reliable, and flexible circuits, he added.

Trackwise is a UK-based manufacturer of specialist products using printed circuit technology.

The full portfolio includes Improved Harness Technology (‘IHT’) and advanced PCBs – microwave and radio frequency (RF), short flex, flex rigid and rigid multi-layer products.

IHT uses a proprietary, patented process that Trackwise has developed to manufacture multi-layer FPCs of unlimited length. While the technology has many applications, the directors expect that one of its primary uses will be to replace traditional wire harness in a variety of industries.

The company has three sites, located in Tewkesbury, Stevenage (following the acquisition of Stevenage Circuits Ltd) and Stonehouse. It serves customers in Europe and North America.


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