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90 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 It is axiomatic that bending and folding are fundamental to flexible circuits. e reality is that most flex circuit applications are ones where the circuit is made to conform to the confines of the package that contains it to meet product design objectives. is matter is oen glossed over but it is oen very important to get the flex circuit to take on a reasonably per- manent shape to facilitate its installation into a housing. Bending flex circuits for static, form-to-fit applications is common; however, getting the flex circuit to hold shape oen requires more attention and, in some cases, more processing. is is because flexible circuits, depending on the material used, have varying amounts of elastic memory; that is, the circuit will oen try to return to its planar shape. us, there is need in such cases to use some established design and process principles for more accu- rately and permanently shaping flexible cir- cuits to fit permanently in their application. e first principle of getting a flex circuit to hold shape is to maximize the metal con- tent of the design. is can be accomplished by increased metal thickness, total metal area in the design, or both. Metals, such as copper, have higher moduli of elasticity and tensile Shaping Flexible Circuits Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS

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