Tape cable is known by several names including flat cable, flat conductor cable (FCC), flat flexible cable and laminated cable. Tape cable consists of two or more parallel conductors encapsulated between layers of insulating material. Increasingly, these cables are replacing conventional round cables for electronic interconnection because they offer several advantages:
LOWER INSTALLED COST
Savings of 35% to 50% are frequent because of more efficient handling and termination, complete elimination of wiring errors and increased reliability. Even greater savings are not uncommon.
Systems for simultaneous termination of all conductors are available. Stripping all conductors can be performed in a single operation.
The cable is easily folded and bent around small radii. Self-retracting accordian folded or coiled configurations for interconnection of movable or rotational equipment can be supplied.
SPACE AND WEIGHT REDUCTION
Since forces applied to flat cables are borne equally by all the conductors, the cable inherently has great mechanical strength. Insulation thickness and conductor size may therefore be kept to the minimums required for electrical needs since they have no secondary function as strength members. Compared with round cables, volume reductions up to 50% are attainable. Weight reductions of 10:1 are possible, 5:1 are common.
GREATER CURRENT CARRYING CAPACITY
Significantly larger surface-to-volume ratio than equivalent round cable allows increased heat dissipation. Lower conductor temperature rise results in greater ampacity.
CONSISTANT ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES
Precise conductor spacing ensures uniform impedance and time delay, and provides predictable levels of capacitive crosstalk, inductive coupling and electrical isolation.
Registration of conductors and connector make proper contact assignment automatic, eliminate wiring errors.
Easily bent and folded, flat conductor cable will follow the contour of any surface. It is readily installed with clamps, adhesive or double-faced tape.