With the fatigue ductility test the ductility of metallic foils and flexible metal foil/dielectric laminates can be determined. Ductility together with tensile strength allows prediction of the fatigue behaviour of flexible printed wiring (FPW) in both the low‐cycle/high‐strain (ductility dependent) and the high‐cycle/low‐strain (strength dependent) ranges. However, for laminates and FPW with Kapton as the dielectric the standard fatigue ductility test method does not produce the expected results and flex life predictions deviate from experimental results. The results of a study to determine the cause of this anomalous behaviour of Kapton FPW and to find correlative correction procedures are reported. Corrections to account for both the cyclic strain‐hardening of rolled annealed copper foil and the Kapton/adhesive/copper interactions for asymmetric single‐sided FPW are presented. With these corrections the ductility determination for copper foil laminated to a Kapton substrate using the fatigue ductility test produces good results, and the fatigue life of symmetric Kapton FPW can be predicted from the copper foil properties. The underlying mechanisms for the strong deviational flex behaviour of asymmetric single‐sided FPW could not be identified. The recommendation is made that for high‐cycle flex applications the FPW construction be precisely symmetrical. FPW made from copper‐clad Kapton with rolled annealed copper foil is the overwhelming choice and it is important that one has proper acceptance criteria at incoming inspection and that a valid prediction methodology for FPW flexural resistance and fatigue behaviour is available.
Engelmaier, W. and Wagner, A. (1988), "Fatigue Behaviour and Ductility Determination for Rolled Annealed Copper Foil and Flex Circuits on Kapton", Circuit World, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 30-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb043951Download as .RIS
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