Rigid-Flex PCB

Views: 23     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-05-13      Origin: Site

Rigid-flex PCB is a combination of flexible and rigid board technology in application. Most rigid-flex boards consist of muti-layer flexible circuit boards that are externally and/or internally connected to one or more rigid boards, depending on the design of the application. The flexible substrate is designed to be in a constant bending state, usually forming a bending curve during manufacturing or installation.

Rigid-flex design is more challenging than the design of typical rigid board environment, because these boards are designed in three-dimensional space, which also provides higher space efficiency. By being able to design rigid-flex substrates in 3D, designers can twist, fold and roll flexible boards to achieve the desired shape for their final application in packaging.

Rigid-flex printed board manufacturing application
Rigid-flex PCBs offer a wide range of applications, from military weapons and aerospace systems to mobile phones and digital cameras. More and more, rigid-flex board manufacturing is used in medical devices such as pacemakers due to its space and weight reduction capabilities. The same advantages of rigid-flex printed boards can also be applied to military weapons and weapon control systems.

In consumer products, rigid flexibility can not only maximize space and weight, but also greatly improve reliability, thus eliminating the need for many solder joints and vulnerable wiring problems. These are just a few examples, but rigid-flex PCBs can be used in almost all advanced electrical applications, including test equipment, tools, and automobiles.

Technology and production process of rigid-flex PCBs
Whether it is to produce a Rigid-flex prototype or a large-scale rigid-flex PCB manufacturing and PCB assembly batch, the technology is fully verified and reliable. The flex PCB is particularly good at overcoming the space and weight problems with spatial degrees of freedom.

At an early stage in the rigid-flex PCB design phase, careful consideration of flex solutions and an appropriate evaluation of available options will yield significant benefits. Early in the design process, rigid flex PCBs manufacturers must be involved to ensure that the design and manufacturing parts are coordinated and that changes to the final product are considered.

The stage of rigid-flex manufacturing is more complex and time-consuming than that of rigid board manufacturing. Compared with the rigid FR4 board, all the flexible parts of the rigid-flex assembly have completely different processing, etching and welding processes.

Benefits of rigid-flex PCBs
Rigid-flex PCBs offer the best choice in both worlds. Therefore, it can be adapted to a wide range of applications and has several benefits, regardless of the characteristics of rigid or fully flexible boards.Some unique benefits of rigid-flex circuit boards include:

A) Design consolidation
Typically, for rigid PCBs, you need multiple cable components and designs to complete production. On the other hand, rigid-flex boards only require one design to impel. You can combine different PCBs into the same assembly and end up using fewer materials. Because of this, rigid-flexible PCBs are cheaper to manufacture than rigid boards.

B) Less parts and space requirements
Rigid-flexible PCBs use thin, flexible polyimide films, so they can occupy a smaller area. You can reduce the size of the final product and use fewer materials, thereby saving more potential costs. Because you need fewer parts (cables, connectors), rigid-flex PCBs are cost effective, especially in mass production. In addition, ordering fewer parts can shrink the risk in the supply chain.

C) Simplified assembly
The assembly process is simplified by using a rigid-flex PCBs. You only need one simplified PCB component, not two or three designs. There is also less error space, as most rigid-flex PCBs can only be installed in a specific way. Fewer errors mean fewer problems and cost-effectiveness.

D) Decreased testing costs
Because the flex-rigid PCBs utilize one component, it only needs one test operation, instead of multiple operations. This can greatly reduce testing costs, whereas rigid PCBs may require three or more tests, depending on the number of components. More importantly, rigid-flex panels provide space to test the complete assembly before installation, which can save a lot of time and effort.

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