Micro-holes are drilled and plated in flexible printed circuit boards (FPCs) for connecting circuits from different layers. More holes, with diameters smaller than 0.3 mm, are required to be drilled in smaller areas with flexible circuits’ miniaturization. The micro-hole quality of micro-drilling is one of the biggest issues of the flexible circuit manufacturers’ production. However, it is not easy to control the quality of micro-holes. The purpose of this study was to conduct research on the tool wear characteristics of FPC drilling process and its influence on micro-hole quality to improve the micro-hole quality of FPC.
The tool-wear characteristics of micro-drills after FPC drilling were observed. The influence of spindle speed, feed rate, number of drilled holes and entry board materials on tool-wear was analyzed. The hole qualities of FPC micro-drilling were measured and observed. The relationship between tool-wear and hole quality was analyzed.
The result showed that the tool-wear characteristics of FPC micro-drilling was similar to the tool-wear characteristics of rigid printed circuit board (RPC) micro-drilling. Abrasive wear occurred on both the main cutting edges and the chisel edges of micro-drills, even though there was no glass fiber reinforcing the cloth inside FPC. Resin adhesion was observed on the chisel edge. The influence of feed and number of drilled holes on tool-wear was significant. Tool-wear significantly influences the hole quality of FPC. Tool-wear will largely decrease the hole position accuracy of FPC micro-holes. Tool-wear will increase the thickness of PI nail heads and the height of exit burrs. Fracture was the main difference between tool wear of FPC and RPC micro-drilling. Resin adhesion of RPC was much more severe than FPC micro-drilling. Increasing the spindle speed properly may improve tool life and hole quality.
The technology and manufacturing of FPC has been little investigated. Research on micro-drilling FPC and research data is lacking so far. The micro-hole quality directly affects the reliability of FPC. Thus, improving the micro-hole quality of FPC is very important.
This research is funded by the National Science Foundation for Young Scientists of China (Grant No. 51405090), Major Scientific Research Projects of Guangdong Province (Grant No.2014KZDXM030) and Innovation and Better University Project of Department of Education of Guangdong Province (Grant No.15ZK0208).
Zheng, L., Wang, C., Zhang, X., Huang, X., Song, Y., Wang, K. and Zhang, L. (2016), "The tool-wear characteristics of flexible printed circuit board micro-drilling and its influence on micro-hole quality", Circuit World, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 162-169. https://doi.org/10.1108/CW-08-2015-0040Download as .RIS
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