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2 layer flexible PCB

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2 Layer Flexible PCB Plates

Flexible PCB, commonly referred to as flex circuits or FPC PCB, represent key components within modern electronic apparatus. They provide a multitude of benefits in contrast to conventional rigid PCB, such as increased pliability, compactness, and the proficiency to adapt to intricate forms.

The necessity for flexible printed circuit boards is swiftly escalating across various sectors, attributed to their distinctive attributes of conserving space, reducing weight and offering design adaptability. Among the diverse kinds of flexible PCB, the 2-layer flexible PCB maintains a consequential stance. This type of PCB offers a balanced combination of simplicity and functionality, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. In this article, we will delve into the principal characteristics, design, stack-up, fabrication and usages of 2-layer flexible PCB, underlining their significance in contemporary electronic designs.

Introduction of 2 Layer Flexible PCB

Double sided flexible PCB circuit board is a versatile electronic component consisting of two conductive layers separated by an insulating layer. The conductive strata predominantly consist of copper foil, while the insulative layer is generally fashioned from a flexible polymeric substance, like polyimide or polyester. By means of meticulous patterning of the copper layers, the intended circuitry is established, facilitating the flexible PCB to withstand bending and flexing motions without incurring damage.

The application of 2-layer flexible PCB presents a fitting equilibrium between efficiency, cost-efficiency, and versatility. Therefore, making them highly sought-after in a diverse array of electronic applications. These applications fields extend across sectors such as wearable technology, medical equipment, and flexible displays, where the capability to adapt to varied forms and endure changing conditions holds notable significance.

What Materials Used for Manufacturing Double Sided Flex PCB?

The materials used for manufacturing double-sided flex PCB typically include:

Substrate Material: The substrate material forms the base of the PCB and provides flexibility. The choice of Polyimide for double-sided flex PCB stems from its excellent flexibility, superior heat endurance, and substantial longevity. It allows the PCB to bend and flex, persistently preserving its solid electrical effectiveness.

Copper Foil: In a double-sided flex PCB, copper intercedes as the electrical conductor. The process involves laminating copper foils onto each side of the substrate, thus forming the conductive traces and pads which enable component interconnection. The thickness of the copper foil can fluctuate based on specific design necessities.

Coverlay: Coverlay, also known as cover film or cover coat, is a protective layer applied over the copper traces to insulate and safeguard them from external elements. It is typically made of polyimide or another flexible polymer material. Coverlay is applied using a lamination process and is then selectively etched to expose the required solder pads and connection points.

Adhesive: Adhesive materials are used to bond the layers of the double-sided flex PCB together. These adhesives provide mechanical strength and stability to the PCB. The selection of adhesive is contingent upon certain elements such as the necessities for flexibility, resistance to temperature and congruity with the substrate material.

Solder Mask: Solder mask is a protective layer applied over the copper traces, except for the solder pads, to prevent solder bridging and ensure proper soldering during assembly. It is usually a liquid polymer that is screen-printed onto the PCB and cured to form a protective coating.

Benefits of 2 Layer Flex PCB

Two-layer flexible PCB offer a range of significant advantages that contribute to their widespread adoption:

Double Routing Density: The availability of both sides for traces and components effectively doubles the layout area, enabling a higher density of routing and component placement.

Integrated Shielding: Ground planes can be incorporated into the flexible PCB, providing effective shielding against electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference, ensuring the integrity of signals.

Embedded Components: Passives, such as resistors and capacitors, can be embedded within the flexible layers of the PCB, reducing the need for separate discrete components and enhancing space utilization.

Impedance Control: The use of sandwiched microstrips in a two-layer flex PCB facilitates better control over impedance characteristics, resulting in improved impedance matching and signal integrity.

Higher Interconnection Density: The ability to accommodate fine traces on both sides of the PCB allows for increased interconnect density, enabling more connections within a limited space.

Rigid Sections: Two-layer flex PCB can incorporate rigid sections, providing areas for mounting components that require stability and mechanical support.

Smaller Product Size: The high-density packaging capability of flexible PCB enables the creation of smaller and more compact electronic products, ideal for applications where size reduction is critical.

Lower Assembly Cost: Compared to traditional wiring methods, two-layer flex PCB require fewer discrete wires and connectors, leading to simplified assembly processes and reduced assembly costs.

Three-Dimensional Flexibility: The inherent flexibility of these PCB allows for dynamic shaping and folding around complex structures, enabling three-dimensional designs and conforming to unconventional product form factors.

High Frequencies: The controlled impedance characteristics of two-layer flex PCB contribute to improved performance at high frequencies, making them suitable for applications demanding reliable signal transmission and reception in high-frequency environments.

2 Layer Flexible PCB Stack-Up

A two-layer flexible printed circuit board is composed of several essential components: a central base film known as a laminate or substrate, two copper foils, up to four adhesive layers, and two covering or protective layers.

The base film serves as the foundation and incorporates plated-through holes, which establish connections with the copper foil layers.

Adhesive layers play a crucial role by attaching one copper layer to the base film and securing a protective coating onto both sides of the flexible PCB’s copper foil layer. These adhesive layers ensure the integrity and stability of the PCB assembly, enhancing its durability and safeguarding against external influences.

2 Layer Flex PCB Stackup

Why Choose Polyimide Over FR-4 for 2 Layer Flex PCB Stack-up?

When it comes to PCB materials, both FR-4 and Polyimide play crucial roles. While FR-4 is generally less expensive than Polyimide, the latter is favored by many for its unique qualities and suitability in flexible circuits. Let’s briefly compare these two materials:


Polyimide exhibits greater flexibility compared to FR-4. This flexibility is essential in applications where the PCB needs to bend or conform to specific shapes or spaces.


Although FR-4 exhibits fair strength, its performance can be less than efficient under conditions of physical stress and high temperatures. Conversely, Polyimide proves to be adept under these circumstances, demonstrating greater durability and reliability.

Heat Resistance:

FR-4 is not the optimal choice for high-heat dissipation situations. In stark contrast, Polyimide displays outstanding heat endurance and embraces a broad spectrum of temperatures, rendering it ideal for circumstances that comprise high thermal surroundings.

Component Replacement:

Polyimide’s flexibility makes it easier to replace components in the future. Its ability to bend and flex without risking damage simplifies the process of swapping out or upgrading components as needed.

Considering these factors, it becomes clear why people choose Polyimide over FR-4 for certain applications. Polyimide’s superior flexibility, durability, heat resistance, and ease of component replacement make it a preferred choice in the realm of flexible circuits.

What Factors Consideration when Design 2 Layer Flex PCB?

Flexibility requirements: Ascertain the degree of flexibility required for your specific application. You should take into account elements like the bending radius, quantity of flex cycles, and overall flexibility demands. These considerations will guide you in selecting suitable materials and designing the right features.

Substrate selection: Select a flexible substrate material that meets your performance requirements. Common materials used in 2-layer flex PCB include polyimide and polyester. Consider the thermal stability, dielectric properties and mechanical strength of the substrate material.

Trace routing: Plan your trace routing carefully to accommodate the flexing and bending of the PCB. Avoid sharp angles and tight bends that could stress or damage the traces. Use curved or rounded traces and maintain proper spacing between traces to ensure signal integrity and minimize the risk of short circuits.

Component placement: Consider the placement of components on the flex PCB. Guarantee that these components are located in regions that are not prone to extensive bending or flexing. Take into account the spatial limitations and the necessity for adequate clearance amid components and traces.

Mechanical reinforcements: Depending on the application, you may need to reinforce certain areas of the flex PCB to provide additional support and prevent excessive flexing. These reinforcements may feature stiffeners, adhesive strips or supplementary layers of substrate material.

Environmental considerations: Assess the environmental factors that will influence the operation of the flex PCB, including elements like temperature, humidity, and potential exposure to chemicals or moisture. selecting for materials and finishes that are capable of enduring these conditions while maintaining optimal performance levels.

Manufacturing capabilities: Ensure that your chosen PCB manufacturer has experience in producing 2-layer flex PCB. They should have the necessary equipment and expertise to handle the unique requirements of flex PCB fabrication, such as laser cutting, controlled impedance, and proper lamination techniques.

By considering these factors, you can design a reliable and functional 2-layer flex PCB that meets your specific application requirements.

Manufacturing and Assembly Process for 2-Layer FPC PCB

The fabrication and assembly process of flex PCB involves a series of essential steps, ensuring the production of high-quality and functional circuitry:

1.Imaging: The desired circuit layout is transferred onto the copper layers of the flex PCB using photolithography techniques. This step accurately defines the traces and component placement.

2.Etching: Unwanted copper is selectively removed from the PCB through etching, leaving behind the desired traces and conductive paths as per the layout specifications.

3. Die Cutting: The flex PCB is precisely cut to its intended outline, and if required, bend perforations are created to facilitate flexibility at designated areas.

4. Coverlay Lamination: A protective coverlay, typically made of a flexible polymer material, is laminated onto the circuitry. This coverlay provides insulation and shields the traces from external influences, enhancing the durability and reliability of the flex PCB.

5. Solder Mask: A liquid photoimageable (LPI) solder mask is applied to the flex PCB. This solder mask provides additional insulation and protects the exposed copper traces from oxidation, contamination, and short circuits.

6. Route/Fold: The individual flex PCB are routed apart from each other, separating them for further processing. If necessary, the flex PCB can be folded along predetermined bend areas to conform to specific form factors or assembly requirements.

7. Component Mounting: Electronic components are mounted onto the rigid sections of the flex PCB using adhesive or fixing points. The rigid sections offer stability and mechanical support for the components, ensuring secure attachment.

8. Debugging: Testpoints are strategically placed on the flex PCB to facilitate easy access for probing during testing and debugging stages, enabling efficient troubleshooting and quality assurance.

9. Conformal Coating: As an optional step, a conformal coating may be applied to the flex PCB. This thin protective coating provides an additional layer of insulation and protection against environmental factors, enhancing the overall reliability and longevity of the PCB assembly.

By following these fabrication and assembly steps, flex PCB can be manufactured with precision and reliability, meeting the required specifications and functional requirements of various electronic applications.

Potential Applications of 2-Layer Flexible PCB

2-layer flexible PCB find applications in various industries and products. Some notable examples include:

Consumer Electronics:

Flexible PCB are frequently implemented in portable electronics such as smartphones, tablets, and wearable technology. Their flexibility facilitates their incorporation into streamlined, lightweight designs, thus augmenting the comprehensive user experience.

Automotive Electronics:

The automobile sector leverages the use of flexible PCBs in various applications including dashboard operations, infotainment systems, and sophisticated driver-assistance systems (ADAS). The pliability of these PCBs permits their accommodation even in the confined spaces within vehicles, all while enduring severe environmental circumstances.

Medical Devices:

Flexible PCB find their application in medical instruments including pacemakers, defibrillators, and medical imaging hardware. Given their compact dimensions and flexibility, they are most suitable for medical devices designed for implantation and wearability.

Industrial Equipment:

Many industrial applications require durable and reliable electronics. 2-layer flexible PCB are used in industrial control systems, robotics, and automation equipment, where they can withstand the rigors of harsh operating conditions.


2 layer flexible PCB have risen as an adaptable resolution in the domain of electronic design. Their compact dimensions, light-weight characteristics, and superior flexibility render them optimal for contexts wherein space limitations and intricate designs are vital. The streamlined architecture of 2-layer flexible PCB facilitates cost-efficient production procedures and effective assembly. Progression in materials and fabrication methodologies contribute to these PCB offering enhanced electrical performance, resilience, and dependability.

As the necessity for compact and adaptable electronic components persists in its growth, the importance of 2-layer flexible PCB will only amplify, spurring innovation and fostering the creation of pioneering technologies across a diverse array of sectors.

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