Rigid-flex PCBs are the result of the birth and development of flexible printed circuit (FPC) and printed circuit board(PCB). It combines both flex and rigid materials on one printed circuit board, which is called rigid-flex PCB have both the characteristics of FPC and PCB. The two boards are interconnected through plated through holes, and the board materials used are mainly rigid sheet FR4 and flexible sheet polyimide(PI).
Benefits of the rigid-flex PCBs
1. Compact and flexible design
Because the compact and flexible design of rigid-flex PCBs, much internal space can be saved, the size of various accessories and the end products can be reduced. More components are allowed in a certain device, which tends to give a chance for improving the design and modification for improving the overall products greatly.
2. More freedom in 3D design and housing design
Rigid-flex PCBs are the best choice for consumer electronics such as mobile phone which needs the freedom of light and nice housing design and allow a 3D application to minimize the space.
3. Excellent electrical connection reliability and simple PCB assembly process and test conditions
Fewer solder joints need to be used in connecting the parts in PCBs, which can reduce the overall assembly consumption and test complexity while results in better electrical connection reliability and heat absorption capability.
4. Allow designers to customize the size and shape of the PCB to fit the device
Rigid-flex PCBs' customizability is a little different from other types of PCBs. Designers can customize the size and shape of the circuit boards to fit the devices, which gives the designer much freedom to meet the different demands with different designs.
With the rigid-flex technology, PCB designers can connect multiple PCBs without extra wires and cables in a single package, simple assembly and test process can also reduce the costs. Moreover, fewer components need to be purchased, which reduces the materials bill and supply chain risk and costs. Less logistical charge and convenient product maintenance are also cost-factors in product circle life.
As the name of rigid-flex PCBs implies, this PCB technology combine s all the benefits that belong to rigid PCBs and flexible PCBs. The application of rigid-flex PCBs provides great help to improve the performance of products, which makes it possible to be the most versatile type of PCBs in various industries. Besides having so many advantages, some disadvantages also exist. Rigid-flexible PCBs are relatively expensive with long date code because of the diverse and difficult manufacturing processes, low yield rate, demand for more materials, and human resources.
Applications of rigid-flex PCBs fabrication
Rigid-flex PCBs have been used in the military and aerospace industries for more than 20 years. For the high component density and dependent performance, rigid-flex PCBs quickly become the preferred choice for engineers and companies. The application areas cover from the military, weapon control system, testing & measurements, consumer electronics, wireless networks, semiconductor, industry controls to the medical field, and so on.
NextPCB' s rigid-flex combination boards provide high-quality and durable performance for our customers with cost-effective. Custom rigid-flex PCBs are also available. NexPCB will design and construct custom PCBs in various ways through utilizing the latest technologies and years of manufacturing experience to meet different requirements in PCB prototype and PCB assembly.