Tracey Stark
Tracey Stark
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Film

Polyethylene Terephthlate (PET)

Polyethylene Terephthlate (PET)

PET is the original flexible circuit material and remains in high volume use today. More

It has the lowest cost of any of the standard films which makes it very suitable for large-area circuits. It is a robust film with good dielectric properties, available in a wide range of types, thicknesses and widths from a number of suppliers. GTS can help with film selection and advice. The main disadvantage of PET is the inability to withstand direct solder temperatures, though soldering can be done with care and correct application of technology - such as use of low temperature solders or low-shrink films. Its operating temperature is 105 C and it has a moderate resistance to hydrolysis, though ‘low-oligomer’ grades are available with improved properties. GTS Standard Product Series:
Laminates: 5500 / 5560 / 5570 / 5580
Tapes: 3000 / 3020 / 3400 / 3480

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Polyimide (PI)

Polyimide (PI)

Polyimide film is the standard plastic film used for flexible circuits, being resistant to all solder processes and having a good dielectric strength and flexibility. More

It has a very high temperature resistance which comes from the ‘imide’ structure of it polymer, making it thermoset. In processing, allowance has to be made for its hygroscopic nature where it can pick up over 2 % of water. So pre-drying of laminates prior to soldering is recommended. PI film is not resistant to strong alkalis and may be etched with proprietary chemicals of an alkali nature. PI film is available from 12 to 125 microns in thickness. Widths of film may go up to 1220 mm, though the standard widths produce finished widths of 500 or 610 mm. PI film is available black (as Kapton™ B), and also with a white coating.There are a number of manufacturers, for example DuPont, Kaneka, SKC, UBE and Liyang and GTS uses all of these where specified.
GTS has a particular association with Kaneka, as its European Distributor, and uses Apical film when there is no specified film. GTS Standard Product series:
Laminates: 7600 / 7800 / 7870 / 7700
Tapes: 3200 / 3300 / 3770 / 3840 / 3870

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Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN)

Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN)

PEN film is a thermo-plastic polyester with a higher temperature rating than standard PET. More

PEN film is a thermo-plastic polyester with a higher temperature rating than standard PET. It’s increased resistance to shrinkage means that it can be used, for example, in surface-mount soldering when PET film will fail. It has a very good resistance to humidity and chemicals, plus contains only a small amount of moisture. PEN is available at wide widths, so GTS manufactures all widths up to 1220 mm. GTS Standard Product Series:
Laminates: 5660 / 5670
Tapes: 3640 / 3660

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Other film types

Other film types

GTS has experience of lamination of a very wide variety of substrates, other than the standard FPC materials. More

Care has often to be taken with regard to chemical resistance, shrinkage or handling with some films, but the following is a list of some films with which GTS has experience:

  • Polyvinyl Fluoride (PVF) - Tedlar™
  • Polyether Imide (PEI) - Ultem™
  • Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK)
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polyurethane (PU)
  • Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) - Valox™
  • Polypropylene (PP) - Rayopp™, Formex™ as well as FR4 and aramide paper like NOMEX™ and X-Fiper™

It is highly recommended that GTS is contacted to discuss applications and manufacturing possibilities with these films.

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