Inside electronics, we sometimes face seemingly new technologies who have roots in the earlier. Rigid-flex PCB technologies trace back approximately 50 many years to the need to replace wiring harnesses within spacecraft. The first from the commercial perspective available mobile computer (which weighed a little above 25 pounds! ) applied rigid-flex technologies.
Today, laptop computer computers, wearable technologies, medical devices, test equipment, and satellites are a few of the applications that will depend on rigid-flex PCBs. one
What Is a Rigid-Flex PCB?
With a rigid-flex PCB, flexible circuit substrates and rigid circuit substrates are laminated together. Rigid-flex PCBs cross the boundaries of traditional rigid PCBs and the unique properties of flex circuits of which use high-ductility electrodeposited or rolled annealed copper conductors photo-etched onto a flexible insulating film.
Flex brake lines include stackups made coming from a flexible polyimide this kind of as Kapton or Norton and copper laminated collectively through heat, acrylic glue, and pressure
Rigid-flex PCBs still in the particular panel after manufacturing. Graphic used courtesy of WellDonePCB.
As with conventional PCBs, you can mount elements on both sides regarding the rigid board. Because of the integration that happens between rigid and bend circuits, a rigid-flex design and style does not use fittings or connecting cables among the sections. Instead, typically the flex circuits electrically hook up the system together.
The particular lack of connectors and connecting cables accomplishes a number of things:
1.Improves the capacity of the circuit to be able to transmit signals without damage
2.Accommodates controlled impedance
3.Eliminates connection problems such since cold joints
5.Frees space for additional components2, 4, 6
Every rigid-flex PCB is divided into zones that characteristic different materials and various layer counts. Rigid specific zones could have more layers as compared to flexible zones, and supplies shift from FR-4 to be able to polyimide in transition zones.
Complex designs often changeover from rigid to flex and to rigid numerous times. As these intersections occur, the overlap associated with rigid-flex materials requires maintaining holes away from typically the transition zone to maintain integrity. In addition, many rigid-flex designs include stainless or aluminum stiffeners which provide additional support for connectors and components. 1
For more information on flexible PCBs, have a look at our article on flexible vs rigid-flex PCBs with regard to project design.