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Advantages and Uses of Rigid-Flex PCB

Rigid-Flex PCB

The birth and development of FPC and PCB have spawned a new product of rigid-flex board. Rigid-flex board, as the name implies, is a combination of a flexible board and a rigid board. It is a clever design and connection of a thin flexible bottom layer and a rigid bottom layer, and then laminated to form a printed circuit board. It changed the traditional flat design concept and expanded to the three-dimensional space concept, which brought great convenience to the design of electronic products.

The application of rigid-flex board:
  1. Industrial uses, including industrial, military and medical equipments. Most industrial parts require precise, safe, and non-destructive soil. Therefore, the characteristics required for rigid and flexible boards are: high reliability, high precision, low impedance loss, complete signal transmission quality, and durability. But because of the complexity of the process, the output is small and the unit price is quite high.

In the difficult times of fighting the COVID-19 epidemic globally, PCBWay is also contributing their own strength to help produce the PCBs for medical devices.

Rigid-Flex PCB
PCBWay Rigid-flex board for medical equipment

2. Mobile phone. The application of rigid-flex boards also covers in the mobile phone, the common turning points of folding mobile phones (Hinge), image module (camera module), key pad (keypad) and radio frequency module (RF Module), etc.

3. Consumer electronics products. Among consumer products, DSC and DV are representative of the development of rigid-flex boards, and can be divided into two main axes of performance and structure. In terms of performance, the rigid-flex boards can connect different rigid PCB and components in three dimensions, so the total area of the PCB can be increased at the same line density, which can relatively increase the circuit carrying capacity and reduce the signal transmission limit of the contacts. On the other hand, since rigid-flex boards are light and thin and can flex the wiring, they have a substantial benefit in reducing the volume and weight.

4. Automobiles. The uses of rigid-flex boards in the car include the buttons on the steering wheel to connect the motherboard, the connection of the car video system screen and the control panel, the operation connection of the audio or function keys on the side door, the reversing radar imaging system, the sensor (Sensor, including air quality, temperature and humidity, special gas regulation, etc.), vehicle communication system, satellite navigation, rear seat control panel and front controller connection board, outside vehicle detection system, etc.

Automotive Inverter Rigid-Flex PCB
PCBWay Automotive inverter
Its advantages are as follows:

1. Realize three-dimensional assembly, save assembly space, make electronic products more compact and lightweight, and maintain uniform electrical characteristics.

2. The design of the rigid-flex board can use a single component to replace the composite printed circuit board connected by multiple connectors, multiple cables and ribbon cables, with stronger performance and higher stability. This kind of boards provides the best solution for the limited space conditions. This technology provides the possibility of safely connecting device components while ensuring polarity and contact stability, and reduces the number of plug and connector components.

3. Combining HDI technology, the design space of rigid-flex board has been gradually expanded.

In the following situations, the use of rigid-flex board becomes the best solution:

1. High impact and high vibration environment. The rigid-flex combination board has high impact resistance and can survive in a high-stress environment, otherwise it will cause equipment failure.

2. High-precision applications where reliability is more important than cost considerations. If a cable or connector failure is very dangerous, it is best to use a more durable rigid-flex board.

3. High-density applications: Some components lack all the necessary surface area for connectors and cables. Rigid-flex board can save space to solve this problem.

4. Applications that require multiple rigid plates. When the assembly is full of more than four connection boards, replacing them with a single rigid-flex board may be the best option and more cost-effective.

In PCB prototyping, rigid-flex PCB belongs to a special process, which has a certain technical threshold and difficulty in operation. It is expensive, and has a high error rate and loss rate. PCBWay solves the pain points that enterprises have no processing for difficult boards, precision boards and special boards in PCB prototyping and assembly, and provide customers with a variety of PCB manufacturing services.

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Advantages and Uses of Rigid-Flex PCB

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 3 min