For more than 15 years, ICAPE Group have developed expertise in Flexible and Rigid-Flex Printed Circuits for most application sectors, including HDI designs, in small, medium and large volumes. Although Flexible and Rigid-Flex solutions can provide an optimal technical response to all 3D applications, they remain somehow a costly product, mainly because of high-value material (polyimide), variety of stack-ups and complex manufacturing.
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ICAPE offers a wide range of solutions for your Flexible PCB
Because it is monomaterial, made only from FR4, Semi-Flex is a cheap alternative to complex Polyimide Rigid-Flex circuits.
After populating, the semi-flex PCBs can be bended for casing, it must be a static using, not dynamic.
Application and Benefits
-save cost of traditional "connecting material" between two rigid PCBs: cables (discrete or flat), crimps, connectors, binders, labels, and their own cost of assembly.
-grant a better reliability than cables and connectors, as this is the most frequent cause of defect
- make assembly and integration into boxes and housing easier, thanks to a standardized 3D dimension.
Semi-Flex circuits are recommended for cost challenging applications, making Rigid-Flex improper.
Semi-Flex is approximately three times cheaper than the equivalent Rigid-Flex, and 30% cheaper than the equivalent rigid+cable+connectors solution, by considering their total cost.
Semi-Flex areas can be arranged as angled connectors on large PCBS.
They can easily fit in boxes and housing
Several Semi-Flex portions are possible on both sides!
A rigid multilayer PCB is arranged by designer, keeping clear all tracks and vias from the portion which is expected to be removed.
During PCB manufacturing, once lamination is processed, all layers of the selected portion are removed by Z-controlled accurate routing equipment, except the said remaining top or bottom layer(s).
Buried dummy pallets are placed by manufacturer to protect remaining layers from routing and help safe removal of useless material from Semi-Flex portion.
Requirement and Performance
Minimum bending radius (1layer): 5,0mm
This is much more than Polyimide flex, however it is enough for most applications.
180° bending angle is possible.
Number of possible bending cycles: less than 10
Only static “Flex-To-Install” application is recommended. No “Dynamic Flex” usage,which could damage FR4 flexible portion.
Total layers: not limited FR4 thickness of Semi-Flex: 0,05 – 0,2mm
Semi-Flex layers: 1 - 2 Copper thickness on Semi-Flex: 1 - 3 Oz
Covering layer on imaging in Semi-Flex area : Flexible solder mask (or Coverlay).
Semi-Flex Data Sheet
Length of Semi-Flex portion:
|Angle||Lenght of semi-flex portion (1-layer)|
Copper strands should always be perpendicular to bending lines, so as to prevent from tearing and scratching.
Eliminate stress concentrators with radiused corners
Having a radiused corner within flex bend area reduces or eliminates stress concentrators and improves reliability.