Minimum Flexible PCB Specifications Needed for an Accurate Quote
When deciding how to produce your flexible PCBs, knowing how many you will need is essential. If a quote is not given for each flexible PCB and somewhat for the total number, this could lead to an inaccurate quote. Calculating an accurate quote requires knowing each board's features so you can plan out your order.
If you need flexible printed circuit board fabrication in a time crunch, you can easily find out the minimum requirements of your design using this guide.
When requesting a quote for PCB assembly services, your job details are critical. The following are the minimum specifications needed for an accurate quote of flexible PCBs:
The size of your flex circuit also plays a vital role in determining how much it will cost to print. If you want to ensure that you get the best price possible on your build, then you need to ensure that you have enough information available when submitting your quote request form so that our engineers can accurately estimate how much it will cost to manufacture your design.
The base material is the starting point for a flexible PCB. The most common materials are FR-4 and Rogers 4003. Both of these materials are rigid and have excellent mechanical properties. While FR-4 may be more expensive, it has better thermal and chemical resistance than Rogers 4003. This means that if you need a rigid PCB, then you should use FR-4. Rogers 4003 is a better choice if you want a flexible PCB because it has better flex characteristics than FR-4.
The copper thickness is another important specification when quoting out a flexible PCB because it affects thermal management, signal integrity, and even the board's durability. Using at least 1 oz copper for all traces on your flex circuit is recommended, no matter what material your top layer is made of (FR-4 or Rogers 4003). This will help ensure no issues with signal integrity or heat dissipation due to high trace currents running through them during operation (i.e., higher power consumption).
Number of Layers
The number of layers determines the complexity of the circuit and will also affect the cost of the board. The more layers, the more expensive each layer will be. For a simple 2-layer board, you can expect to pay about $0.50 per square inch for manufacturing, but this price can increase significantly if you need more than two layers. If your design requires more than four layers, having somebody else do it for you is usually cheaper than trying to DIY it yourself.
Minimum Bend Radius
Bend radii are another vital specification that must be considered when quoting a flexible circuit board. Bend radii determine how often a trace can be bent before it fails or becomes damaged due to excessive stress during manufacture or operation. It is recommended that all traces have a minimum bend radius of at least 1/4 inch (6mm) for most applications, so they do not break during manufacture or operation.
Trace and Space Requirements
The trace and space requirements are another essential factor when quoting a flex circuit. Traces must be wide enough to accommodate any possible current loads and power dissipation conditions during operation. You should also ensure sufficient clearance from any conductive material on top of the flex circuit (i.e., through-hole components) so that there are no short circuits between traces or connections with other conductors in your product design.
The stiffener requirements for your flexible circuit will depend on how thick your PCB is and what type of material you choose. Thinner boards tend to require stiffening bars closer together than thicker ones because they flex more easily under pressure from the environment (i.e., applying pressure during soldering). When quoting out a flexible PCB, it may be helpful to include a drawing or photo of what size stiffening bar you are looking for so that we can provide an accurate quote.
Coverlay Color for Flexible Layer(s)
The coverlay color is also an important specification when quoting out a flexible PCB. It can significantly impact the appearance of your final product, and it will also affect the production time of your order. In addition to being less expensive than other options, plain white coverlays are the most economical. However, if you want a more customized look or need to match an existing design, consider using a colored coverlay instead.
The finish plating thickness is another important specification when quoting out a flexible PCB because it affects the overall durability of your final product. A thinner finish plating would be better suited for small flex circuits like those used in wearables where you do not need to worry about durability as much as you might with larger flex circuits used in automotive applications where impact resistance is critical to the integrity of the board's performance.
However, even if specifications do not require it, we recommend using at least a 0.010" thick finish so that your finished flex circuit can withstand normal wear and tear without worrying about damage.
The conductor width should also be considered when quoting out a flexible PCB. Using larger conductor widths can help increase power dissipation capabilities which are especially important for higher-powered devices such as battery chargers or power supplies where heat buildup can become an issue if not properly managed.
On the other hand, using smaller conductor widths can help with manufacturing costs by reducing the amount of copper needed for each board, thereby increasing production yields and reducing the price per unit produced.
Many different specs can be used when designing Flexible PCBs, and it is possible to include quite a few options to estimate the costs accurately. Although it may seem like a primary task, gathering the proper information may prove to be more complicated than it initially seems, and improper requests can result in unnecessary delays and additional costs associated with redesign and re-quote. We hope you find the information provided in this helpful post. If you have any other questions, comments or concerns, contact Hemeixin.