Rigid Flex PCBs

What is a Rigid-Flex PCB?

A Rigid-Flex PCB is a hybrid circuit board combining elements of both flexible circuit boards and rigid circuit boards, with an end result of a board that is able to be folded or continuously flexed and is normally formed into a flexed shape or curve during the manufacturing process.

The flexible layers of a Rigid-Flex PCB are buried within the board and penetrate through the rigid sections of the PCB.

Rigid-Flex design

The designs of Rigid-Flex PCBs are a little more complex as these boards are designed in 3D, which allows the board to be folded or twisted to create the desired shape for the product. Designing a board in 3D means they can offer greater spatial efficiency and can subsequently be used in special instances where space and weight reduction may be necessary, such as in medical devices.

Rigid-Flex PCBs are usually thinner than other boards, meaning it’s a great option for any thin or light packaging needs your products may have. With thin copper layers and adhesive-less laminates, it’s a great small, thin and light solution for your circuit design needs.

Flex to install & dynamic flex PCBs

There are two common types of Rigid-Flex PCBs; flex to install and dynamic flex.

  1. Flex to install: this is the most common of the two and applies when a board only folds once, either when the device or product is assembled or dismantled, but is otherwise sturdy and stable throughout
  1. Dynamic flex: a dynamic flex board will be used when a product is required to fold and bend when in use, meaning they are highly durable and can last through a thousand flex cycles

Whilst the design might be a touch more complex, and the process slightly more time consuming than the usual printed circuit board, they are an investment worth making with their versatile and durable nature.

Rigid-Flex benefits

There are several benefits to a Rigid-Flex PCB which could make it a perfect choice for your product, including:

  • Reduced space requirement through 3D ability
  • Shock resistance: Rigid-Flex PCBs can withstand high-stress environments
  • Increased reliability: due to the reduced need for solder joints or connectors, Rigid-Flex PCBs are a brilliant choice for products where a connector or cable failure could be detrimental
  • Rigid-Flex PCBs also have a simpler assembly process as they have fewer cables and connectors being used throughout

If your product requires a board that needs to be folded when assembled or you’re after something highly durable and long-lasting then a Rigid-Flex PCB might be the right fit for you.

Get in touch today

For more information on our PCB services or to get a quote, contact our team today. Give us a call on 01462 417 400 or reach us through our contact page to learn how we can help you.

Our reputation as one of the country’s most reliable and trustworthy blank PCB manufacturers has been built up through decades of dedication to our customers and the promise that your circuit boards will be delivered “on time, every time”. Whether you are ordering our bare boards or choosing our total PCB solution, we pride ourselves on offering some of the best lead times in the industry, without compromising our quality and service.

Take a look at our online quotation page and see just how competitive our prices are for your blank PCB service needs.

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Ian - MES

First time user of ABL and placed an order for a 4 layer board with 2oz copper on all layers. Order received in 5 days and the quality of the board was excellent. Probably the best quality of board that I have received from using countless suppliers. Would definitely recommend ABL for PCB manufacture and will be using them again for my next PCB request.


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