Advanced Flex PCB Rigid-Flex PCB Design Support

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A rigid-flex PCB is a hybrid circuit board of a rigid PCB and a flex PCB. The rigid-flexible circuit board contains a rigid board with flexible interconnections. The flexible interconnection can fold and bend, while the rigid board provides structural integrity.

However, working with a rigid flexible PCB board is not as easy as it sounds. The manufacturing of the rigid-flex circuit is complicated, and people often make mistakes.

flexible electronics

This is where advanced flex PCB and rigid-flex design support can help.

Advanced Flex PCB design support can help prevent and fix those mistakes that are commonly made when designing a PCB board. This article will go through what advanced flex PCB is, the common mistakes made when designing rigid-flex circuit boards, and the importance of Advanced flex design support in preventing those mistakes.

What is a Rigid-Flex PCB?

A rigid-flex is a unique circuit board design that allows the circuit's rigid part to be placed directly, followed by the flexible section of the circuit board that is bent and folded to fit into appliances and devices. This allows for reliable and enhanced performance.

Many devices such as laptops, computers, and mobile phones use rigid-flexible circuit boards due to their rigidity and bending capabilities.

Such PCB boards consist of Flexible PCBs and Rigid PCBs and use both of the board's pros.

The Importance of Advanced Flex and Rigid-flex Design Support

Designing a PCB board is not for everyone. Many mistakes are made when manufacturing rigid-flex PCBs as their designs are often complex, and the requirements for their manufacturing are high.

However, Advanced flex PCB design support can fix that problem. Here are some common circuits design mistakes and how Advanced flex PCB design support can help.

rigid flex pcb design

Applying Rigid PCB or Flex PCB Principles to Advanced Flex PCBs

Rigid flexible PCB allows a great range of options and applications. They also have great design versatility. However, applying rigid PCB principles will fail to make the PCB work to its full capability.

A common mistake manufacturers make when designing PCBs is copying and pasting the same print notes to circuits that they use for flexible or rigid circuits. This is mainly because designers struggle to build a proper print.

Additionally, advanced flex circuit boards require greater dimensional accuracy than other PCBs, meaning that the designer requires more detail is needed. Without an accurate layout, the PCB fabricator makes decisions that can impact the functioning of the PCB. 

These hybrid PCBs are designed to work in three dimensions, and the designer needs to understand the installation of the PCB.

Advanced flex PCB design support can help build a proper functioning print and help with accurate layout dimensions. They can also help with understanding the installation of the rigid, flexible circuit board.

Miscalculating Minimum Bend Radius

The minimum bend radius of the PCB board tells the designer how much the board can bend without damaging the circuit board or decreasing its life span. Designers need to follow the recommendations of the minimum bend radii.

The Advanced flex PCB design support helps the designer produce reliable electronics, keeping the minimum bend radius in mind, and allows the circuit board to survive high shocks and vibrations.

Selecting Materials

Rigid PCBs can use standard materials with high resin content. However, those materials can not be used in rigid-flexible circuit boards. Excess resin flows onto the flexible part of the board and hardens it, making it inflexible.

Advanced flex PCB design support can help designers choose the correct materials. Instead of high resin material, no-flow or low-flow materials need to be used. There are only a few choices in that category, so the designers must be careful which to select.

Designing Rigid-Flex Constructions

Advanced flex PCB design support can help designers with rigid-flex circuit board construction designs. They help select the appropriate symmetrical design that is easy to work with and manufacture.

Most designers would often mistake designing asymmetrical layups with varying positions of the flexible layers. This can cause the manufacturing of the board and the assembly of the components much more difficult.

Designing Rigid Sections With Varying Thickness

Advanced flex PCB design support can help design and manufacture PCB with a uniform thickness of the rigid sections of the rigid-flexible circuit board.

For example, if the PCB has a rigid section with six layers of 1.5 mm overall thickness, it can be connected to another rigid section with four layers as long the overall thickness of 1.5 mm remains the same. 

Advanced flex and rigid-flexible PCB design support use the standard set by IPC 2223 Sectional Standard on Flexible Circuit Design to ensure that the material construction on both sides of the flexible layers is identical and that the flexible layers are centered.

Using Ground Planes

The outer layers of the PCB consist of ground planes, shielding, and copper pours. The problem is that these PCBs have low current density and high current density areas. Low current density areas are plated with copper at a slower rate than high current density areas such as pads, vias, and circuit traces.

The varying rates of plating copper cause minor problems in manufacturing such PCB. This impacts how the PCB functions and may compromise its accuracy.

Advanced Flex and Rigid-flex design support can help create an error-free circuit board and enable inter-layer checks.

Conclusion

PCB boards a widely used and appreciated for their functioning properties. However, PCB designs can be tricky, and manufacturers often make mistakes when designing them. Using Advanced flex and Rigid-flex design support can help design and manufacture the PCB so that it retains its functioning properties and works to the best of its abilities.

The importance of Advanced flex PCB design support is unquestionable in the PCB manufacturing industry and is a useful tool to have at your disposal. Get in touch with Hemeixin PCB here to get PCB design support.

 

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