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Flex & Rigid-Flex PCB Solutions are very effective and reliable for different fields.
Flex versus Rigid-Flex: A flex PCB, acts as a cable, a link between one and several PCBs. A flex PCB is only the cable. Whereas Rigid-Flex acts as a cable already linked to one or several PCBs.
What is ‘’FLEX PCB”?
Reliability is a major element for many electronic devices and that is why a substantial number of electronics manufacturers mainly focus on the reputation of the brand.
Connectors are way too often of deficient performance and thus can affect cable assembly’s overall performance.
One solution to avoid quality and reliability issues coming from connectors and cables is to use flexible solutions, mainly in the world of printed circuits.
Rigid PCBs are an ideal solution for connecting two or more PCBs to each other.
Why using ‘’Flex PCB”?
Which different technologies use for FLEX PCB:
- Single side
- Single side double sides access
- Double sides
- Multi layers
- Multi layers HDI
- Additional Options:
Wave solder carrier for easy soldering process
PET and PEN cannot be used for Flex PCB with PTH and no soldering process can be realized for both.
It is for low cost application of various interconnection functions usually crimped on connector.
PI (Polyimide) is the most common raw material used for Flex PCB; can be with PTH and available for soldering process.
PI ∑r = 3.5
Existing few different kind of PI raw material:
- With Adhesive not UL compliant
- With Adhesive UL compliant
- Adhesive-less UL compliant
Usual thickness range:
- Usual: 25 µm ; 50 µm
- Intermediate: 12 µm ; 75 µm ; 100 µm
- Unusual: 9 µm ; 125 µm ; 150 µm…
Copper thickness is similar as Rigid boards
Existing 2 kind of copper:
• ED Electro deposited
Copper got better roughness, better for fine lines.
• RA Rolled anodized
Copper is more ductile, better for dynamic flexion.
Basic Design Rules
PI material provides the best thermal, but somehow the worst mechanical properties.
Consequently, designing a rigid flex must follow basic guidelines.
Benefits of using Flex PCB
The decision of using a Flex, is never obvious.
- Need to be done from the very beginning of the project, this must be a team decision.
- To save cost and optimize quality, PCB suppliers need to be involved in the design and industrialization.
- Cost comparison must always include overall cost (non-quality, servicing, BOM management,…).
ICAPE is there to help you make the right choice !