Staying Up to Date with Changes in Materials

The properties of materials don’t really change, but that doesn’t mean that people who work with them don’t have to make changes when they develop new applications. When one aspect of a printed board changes, it may be necessary to alter materials used for covering boards and for bonding components to them.

That’s just one of the factors behind the A revision of IPC-4203, Cover and Bonding Material for Flexible Printed Circuitry. The revised standard, now complete and available for sale, has a number of changes. Many will make it simpler for product developers to pick the right materials for their boards.

One beneficial change is that language has been cleaned up and made more succinct. The document is also more relevant, according to Tom Newton, IPC’s director of PCB programs, standards and technology. In another move designed to make IPC-4203A easier to navigate, a couple outdated materials were removed.

The release of IPC-4203A completes the update of the three primary flexible materials documents. But that doesn’t mean the committees that manage them can take time off. Specifically, IPC-4204A, Flexible Metal-Clad Dielectrics for Use in Fabrication of Flexible Printed Circuitry is currently being rewritten to account for changes that occurred since it was released in 2011. When some materials were tested, new information was discovered. It’s important enough to warrant an amendment to the IPC-4204A that’s expected to see publication in the next few months.

Cover and bonding materials are critical elements in flexible board fabrication and production. Understanding the performance of various materials can make the difference between a reliable board and one that brings headaches.

For more information on IPC-4203A, visit IPC’s Online Bookstore.




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