Flex and Rigid Flex
Flexible Circuit Boards
Flex PCBs (Flexible Printed Circuit Boards) are printed circuit boards that are bendable, either bent once as they are being installed like those in a miniature camera, or bent multiple times (even continuously) like those in an inkjet printer.
Flex PCBs can be single-sided, double-sided, or multi-layered. They can have stiffeners to provide areas of non-flexing, or they can be part of a rigid-flexible assembly to allow a rigid PCB to be bent on assembly.
Flexible PCB Uses
Reducing both labor cost and assembly size, flexible PCBs are used increasingly in electronic assemblies. Some of the uses for flexible PCBs:
- Cell Phones
- Military Electronics
Flex PCB Advantages
Flexible Printed Circuit Boards have advantages over rigid PCBs, ribbon cable, and discrete wiring:
- Reduction in overall package size/weight.
- Fewer assembly errors.
- Increased reliability.
- Increased control of impedance/inductance.
- Improved heat dissipation.
- Allows for a 3-dimensional packaging scheme.
- Improves the appearance of the package.
Flex PCB Issues
Where components are attached or where the flexible circuit board is to be bent as it attaches to non-flexing circuits, stiffeners are required.This prevents damage to both the connections and the Flex PCB.
Flexible PCBs, by their nature, are made to odd shapes; they aren’t a convenient rectangle. After the Flex PCB is manufactured,it has to be routed, or skived, to shape it to fit. To make sure that the edges of the circuit traces are not going to be damaged in the process of routing, care must be taken in the layout and design stages to keep the circuit traces back from the edge.
When there will be continuous or dynamic flexing of the circuit material, special considerations are needed. On multi-layered Flex PCBs, this includes taking into account the number of layers while making sure that the conductors will not be fatigued when the PCB is flexed.
Flexible printed circuit boards from RUSH PCB are designed and fabricated to the highest quality standards.
For more information about Flex PCBs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 408-496-6013.