Flex-rigid pcbs (PCBs) are innovative and versatile solutions for more complex circuit designs. These boards have the characteristics of both flexible and rigid boards, which means they can be folded to fit a space or device, or for applications that have to be folded repeatedly (called “dynamic bending”). In either case, the rigid part of the circuit provides high circuit density and provides a stable and rigid surface for your components on both sides of the circuit board. The integrity of the structure can be ensured even under harsh conditions.
Some applications of flex-rigid pcb are superior to conventional hard board and flexible circuit
High vibration environment – traditional connectors and flexible cables will fail in time
High impact environment – flexible circuits are embedded on hard boards to achieve high packaging reliability and withstand tens of thousands of grams of failure
Ultra light packaging – you can build flex-rigid pcbs with very thin, ultra lightweight components, giving you circuit density and lightweight design
Cost reduction – when your design includes four or more rigid boards connected to connectors and / or flexible cables, a rigid flexible design can usually reduce costs (see our rigid flexible cost estimator)
Once you decide to study flex-rigid pcb packaging for design, it’s time to find a manufacturer who can work closely with you to make your concept a reality. Different from the traditional hard board or flexible circuit design, the relationship among rigid flexible designers, manufacturers and even assemblers is more collaborative. Remember that your circuit board will be used for 3D applications and requires mechanical engineering skills. It may also have electrical requirements for different materials and require electrical engineering skills.
Mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, PCB layout engineers, CAD engineers, assembly line engineers and the manufacturer’s front-end engineering departments work together to successfully produce rigid flexible PCB products. In rigid flexible design, material selection, physical stacking, signal integrity requirements, and design rule constraints become more critical.