A rigid-flex PCB brings a whole host of advantages to the table which makes them a more popular choice versus traditional rigid PCBs. If you are debating whether or not to go for a rigid-flex PCB solution for your current or future electronics project, we will highlight the utter importance of rigid-flex PCBs for you in this article:
WHY ARE RIGID-FLEX PCBs SO IMPORTANT?
There are many features and elements that make rigid-flex PCBs a superior choice over conventional rigid PCBs. They have the ability to accomplish certain tasks that cannot be done with the latter. While they may be relatively more expensive as compared to rigid PCBs, the utter versatility they show in regards to applications across a number of industries makes them such an attractive solution.
Suited for High Precision and High Density Applications
In cases where there is a need for high precision and endurance to maintain the state of the device persistently, rigid flex PCBs are the go-to solution as they are much more durable than their conventional counterparts. They are also extremely useful in applications where the board surface is too crowded because of its high density nature and there is a need to efficiently divide up the space for the respective components and connectors.
Highly Resistant in Harsh Environments
Another reason why rigid flex PCBs are so important is because they are durable boards with the power to resist the most common stresses such as shock and vibration. Where traditional PCBs may fail to withstand and compensate for these highly stressful conditions and succumb to component failure, rigid flex PCBs power through these environments to give you a consistent and continuous performance.
Multi Board Applications
Certain designs and devices may require the use of multiple boards. Connecting four or more boards together, however, may not prove to be the smartest or cleanest design. Instead, many applications see the use of one rigid flex PCB over multiple conventional boards as the better solution since it is more cost effective and design efficient in the long run.
Following are some of the many advantages of using rigid-flex PCBs regardless of whether you are implementing it in a small or large scale electronic system:
Weight and Size
1. Small packaging size and a lightweight and compact circuit board solution due to the absence of connecting components. The lightweight design also helps to significantly reduce the overall weight of your device as a whole, making them best suited for smart and portable devices.
2. These flexible solutions are best suited in places where other PCBs may not be ideal, thus opening up the possibilities. They can also be folded and physically manipulated to fit into the nooks and crannies of your electronic gadget.
1. It allows you to manufacture your board according to the electronic product or device you are aiming to make instead of having to manipulate the device based on the specifications of the PCB.
2. The polyimide material used to manufacture these flexible circuits makes them much better suited for high temperature applications operating at values below -200 degrees or above 400 degrees Celsius.
3. They are also highly resistant to chemicals, radiation, and ultraviolet rays.
Durability and Performance
1. Since connections such as connecting cables and joints have been removed, it improves the reliability factor of your circuit board. Ultimately, rigid-flex PCBs have better signal transmission and performance, and a non existent risk of joint failure.
2. The compact and lightweight nature of the PCB makes it much less prone to factors such as shock and vibration, making it a more durable option.
1. The long term reliability and durability of rigid-flex PCBs improves their shelf life and saves you on expenditure in the long run as you will not need to invest in repairs and replacements that frequently.
APPLICATIONS OF RIGID-FLEX PCBs
Rigid-flex PCBs are implemented across a variety of applications, whether they are electronic devices used in common day to day life or complex electronic systems used in high pressure environments such as medicine and military. They are also a popular choice for smart devices since they make for lighter and smaller gadgets without compromising on the functionality and performance. Rigid-flex PCBs are commonly used as medical equipment, aircraft, testing tools, satellites and spacecraft, as well as mobile technology such as laptops and smartwatches.
All in all, the importance of rigid flex PCBs in the world of electronic design and manufacturing cannot be denied. The small packaging size and weight paired with prime shock and vibration absorbing capabilities, the ability to handle high density circuits and unlimited flex cycles, as well as multi core functionality make it the ideal choice for many applications. The potential of rigid-flex PCBs is limitless and more and more industries are opening up to the idea of using these circuit designs to capitalize on the great benefits it brings forth for the manufacturers.