Circuits are found in nearly all electrical devices. From computers and TVs to smartwatches and table lamps, they are used to control the flow of electricity. A closed circuit will allow electricity to flow from a source to a particular destination, whereas an open circuit will prevent electricity from reaching the destination. While some electrical devices have Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), though, others have Flexible Printed Circuits (FPCs). Here are five common myths about FPCs.

#1) Made of a Single Layer

Not all FPCs are made of a single layer. Some of them are, in fact, made of a single layer, but other FPCs are made of multiple layers. Type 2 FPCs, for instance, are made of two layers. They feature an insulating film between these two layers. Type 3 FPCs are made of three layers, each of which has an insulating film between them as well. And there are even Type 4 FPCs that can accommodate more layers in their design.

#2) Made of the Same Material as PCBs

FPCs aren’t made of the same material as PCBs. PCBs are made of a rigid material, whereas FPCs are made of a flexible material. The flexible properties of FPCs is what distinguishes them from PCBs. What are FPCs made of exactly? You can find them in different materials, but polyimide foil is commonly used in their construction. Polyimide foil is a flexible plastic-like material that serves as the substrate for FPCs.

#3) Less Durable Than PCBs

Another common myth is that FPCs are less durable than PCBs. Because they feature a flexible construction, some people assume that FPCs are more likely to sustain damage when used on a regular basis. But the opposite is actually true. FPCs are more durable than their PCB counterparts. They can withstand more use without breaking or failing.

#4) Only Used in Personal Electronics

FPCs aren’t limited to personal electronics. You can certainly find them in small personal electronics, but they are used in many other devices as well. FPCs, for example, are used in solar arrays. Solar arrays are photovoltaic (PV) panels that capture and convert sunlight into electricity. Many solar arrays feature FPCs. Other devices that feature FPCs include displays, anti-lock braking systems (ABSs), computer printers and more.

#5) Doesn’t Support Backlighting

FPCs can absolutely support backlighting. They can be equipped with backlighting to produce illumination. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are commonly used for backlighting in FPCs. LEDs can be used by themselves for backlighting, or they can be used in conjunction with light guides. Regardless. FPCs support backlighting, with the most common type of backlighting being LED.