Designed to function in environments with temperatures reaching 200°C and suitable for
June 12, 2023 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
TOKYO- OKI Electric Cable, a subsidiary of the OKI Group specializing in electric cables, has successfully created two innovative environment-proof FPC (flexible printed circuit) products (Note 1). These ground breaking products, namely the heat-proof FPC and high-pressure steam-proof FPC, are specifically designed to withstand challenging conditions, including high-temperature environments and high-pressure steam environments. Global sales of these FPCs will begin in June, targeting applications in equipment and devices that undergo high-temperature heat treatment or high-pressure steam sterilization. Anticipated sales for the current fiscal year are projected to exceed JPY100 million.
The unique characteristics of FPCs offer the potential for wiring in applications and devices that were previously limited by environmental constraints. By providing greater design flexibility, these features are expected to contribute to the development of highly functional devices with enhanced capabilities.
FPCs, or flexible printed circuit boards, utilize plastic film as substrates, making them significantly thinner and more flexible compared to rigid conventional circuit boards. Their flexibility allows them to be bent freely, making them suitable for use in narrow spaces, three-dimensional configurations, and moving parts that undergo repeated bending. FPCs function similarly to rigid circuit boards, enabling the mounting of components and playing a vital role in reducing the size and weight of electronic devices while offering a wide range of applications across various industries. They are utilized in both everyday consumer electronics and industrial electronic equipment.
In recent years, there has been an increased demand for FPCs, particularly in semiconductor manufacturing equipment that involves heat treatment at temperatures around 200°C, as well as in medical equipment that requires high-pressure steam sterilization. These demanding conditions necessitate FPCs that can withstand harsh environments. Traditional FPCs, when exposed to temperatures of 80°C or higher or to humid and high-pressure steam environments, experience adhesive degradation in the insulating layers that protect the circuit boards, leading to issues like peeling of the insulation layer and other defects.
The newly developed heat-proof FPC utilizes a proprietary surface treatment from OKI Cable, enhancing the adhesion of copper foil to the insulating layer. In addition to this treatment, the high-pressure steam-proof FPC incorporates silicone resin into the insulating layer, improving its resistance to high-pressure steam. These advancements ensure that the insulation layer maintains its adhesion even after being subjected to high-temperature heat treatment at 200°C for 1,000 hours (for the heat-proof FPC) and high-pressure steam treatment at 132°C and 0.2 MPa for 15 minutes, repeated 250 times (for the high-pressure steam-proof FPC). These FPCs meet all the requirements specified by the applicable standard in terms of insulation resistance and other electrical characteristics.
About Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (OKI)
Established in 1881, OKI is a prominent manufacturer of information and telecommunication solutions in Japan. With its headquarters located in Tokyo, Japan, OKI offers a comprehensive range of high-quality products, cutting-edge technologies, and innovative solutions through its diverse business divisions, namely Public Solutions, Enterprise Solutions, Component Products, and Electronics Manufacturing Services. By leveraging the synergies across these divisions, OKI continuously delivers exciting new products and technologies that cater to the diverse needs of customers in various sectors.