Reliability for Advanced Rigid Flex PCB

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The electronics manufacturing industry has grown to become a significant part of the world economy due to its innovative approach and diverse range of products. With the increasing number of electronics components, the use of advanced rigid flex PCBs within them cannot be overlooked. The uses are pretty unlimited as they can be made airborne or submerged, used in industry or healthcare, and in a variety of other situations that would require both rigidity and flexibility.

While advanced rigid flex circuits are prized for their superior performance, they are also subject to strict reliability requirements. Such circuit boards have to withstand various environmental stresses, from high temperatures to radiation and from mechanical stresses to chemical materials. The following guide will discuss some of the most critical reliability concerns and how you can address them to provide the absolute highest quality product possible.

rigid flex pcb manufacturing

What is Advanced Rigid Flex PCB?

Advanced Rigid Flex PCB is a derivative of rigid flex PCB. It has the same properties as rigid flex PCB, but it has a polyester film added to it. The polyester film is laminated to both sides of the copper-clad laminate sheets, and then copper is plated to both sides of the laminate sheet with thick copper plating on the bottom side and thinner copper plating on the top side. The polyester film makes the board bendable and flexible but still rigid enough to be handled easily by machines and people alike.

Advanced rigid flex PCB can be used to manufacture high-quality printed circuit boards with tight tolerances, even on small or complex parts. It is commonly used in high-speed data transmission systems where signal integrity is critical such as ethernet over twisted pair.

Advanced Rigid Flex PCB Reliability

Reliability is a critical aspect of advanced rigid flex PCBs. Reliability refers to the ability of advanced rigid flex PCB to function or perform as expected, without failure, over time. By analyzing reliability, you can determine how robust your product is and what needs improvement. Reliability testing also helps identify potential defects, so they can be removed before mass production begins.

Reliability testing determines the probability that a product will perform its intended function for its expected lifetime under given conditions. This can be expressed as MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), the average time between two failures in a large group of systems or components, or MTTF (Mean Time To Failure), which is the average time it takes for a system or component to fail.

Establishing reliability requires understanding failure mechanisms and their probabilities. Reliability engineers are responsible for understanding how failures occur, what causes them, and how to design products that minimize failures due to these causes. They use this knowledge to determine the level of reliability required for each component or subsystem and then design tests that evaluate each candidate design against those requirements before they enter mass production or final assembly stages of development.

Factors Affecting Reliability of Advanced Rigid Flex PCB

The reliability of Advanced Rigid Flex PCB is affected by many factors. The most important factors are:


The design process affects the reliability of an advanced rigid flex PCB as it determines the product's performance. A well-designed product can be more reliable than an ill-designed one. The advanced rigid flex PCB design should consider all possible failure modes so that each component can handle harsh environments without failure during its lifetime. A good design also considers how failure will be detected, how fast it can be detected, and what actions need to be taken once failure occurs to minimize its impact on system performance and safety requirements.

Material Selection

The materials used in advanced rigid flex PCB also affect its reliability. Some materials are more suitable than others for different applications due to their mechanical properties, such as strength, hardness, etc., which determine how much stress they can take before failing under normal operating conditions or abnormal conditions due to external factors.

The materials used in advanced rigid flex PCB are:

1) FR-4 (Flame Retardant 4): This material is one of the most commonly used in the electronics industry. It has good thermal conductivity and dielectric properties but poor mechanical strength. The other disadvantage of this material is that it has a low melting point, so it cannot withstand high temperatures like soldering or welding.

2) Glass Fabric PCB (GFPCB): This material is specially designed for extreme reliability applications such as aerospace and military systems where high temperature and humidity conditions are expected during operation.

Operating Temperature Range

A good operating temperature range, including advanced rigid flex PCB, is essential for any electronic device. The operating temperature range affects various parameters, such as thermal resistance, which determines how fast heat dissipates from one surface to another. If the operating temperature range is not within acceptable limits, then it may affect the reliability of advanced rigid flex PCB because it will not be able to perform at its best level when operated at extreme temperatures.

Solder Mask and Solder Paste

Solder mask and solder paste are both essential in designing advanced rigid flex PCBs. A solder mask is a multi-layer metal coating that protects the PCB from damage during the soldering process and prevents the oxidation of exposed copper traces. Solder paste provides a conductive path between the pad on the rigid flex PCB and the component pins.

The solder mask and solder paste must be chosen carefully to ensure that they will not cause any problems during the manufacturing process or affect performance once the product has been assembled. For example, if an insufficient amount of solder paste is applied between component pads and pins, then there may not be enough material to form good electrical connections when heat is applied during soldering, which could lead to problems such as poor signal integrity or even component failure if signals are lost due to insufficient power supply.


The fabrication process of advanced rigid flex PCB is a critical factor affecting the product's reliability. The process includes but is not limited to designing, drawing, etching, and drilling. The quality of these processes is directly related to the end product, which is the circuit board. If any of these processes are performed poorly or incorrectly, it will significantly affect the circuit board's reliability.

Reliability Tests for Advanced Rigid Flex PCBs

Reliability testing is a critical step in the development of a new product. It ensures that your product will perform as specified and that it can withstand the stresses of everyday use. The most common types of reliability testing include:

ESD/EMP Testing - These tests determine the ability of your circuit to withstand electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic pulse damage.

Moisture Resistance Testing - This test measures how much water can get through your board without causing permanent damage. The results will determine if the board needs reinforcement or other modifications.

Vibration - Vibration testing simulates movement on planes, trains, and automobiles. It helps determine if parts will continue to function after being repeatedly moved between different locations by passengers or cargo handlers.

Low pressure - Low-pressure tests simulate the effects of pressure changes that occur when traveling at high altitudes or changes in atmospheric pressure due to weather conditions. High-end electronics are often tested using this method because they experience dramatic shifts in pressure during flight.

Thermal Cycling Testing - This test measures how much heat can be transferred through your board without causing permanent damage or failure. The results will determine if the board needs reinforcement or other modifications.

Reliability Testing Cycles

In the past, reliability testing was done after the PCBs were assembled and tested for functionality. However, this method does not indicate how well the board will perform in actual use conditions after being put together by end-users. To address this problem, advanced rigid flex PCBs are now being used during design and production so that they can be tested during manufacturing instead of after production has been completed. This change allows manufacturers to identify any issues before they become serious problems that could cause system failure later down the line.

During Design

Reliability testing can help you determine whether to incorporate additional features into your design or eliminate them. If your design includes a new component, then reliability testing will help you determine whether this component will meet performance requirements.

During Manufacturing

Reliability testing can identify potential problems with your manufacturing process that could affect quality or yield. For example, if multiple samples fail a test after being assembled by hand, then you may need to modify the assembly process or provide additional training to workers so that they can perform the task more efficiently and accurately.

Check Out Hemeixin

In this guide, we discussed reliability and why it is essential for advanced rigid flex PCBs. We also explored some reliability factors and testing for advanced rigid flex boards. However, if you want a product with impressive life expectancy, and high reliability, there is one solution: Hemeixin offers maximum reliability at a reasonable cost. If you are thinking of buying rigid flex PCBs and have not considered us yet, it definitely should be your first choice.

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