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Rigid-flex Circuits

Rigid Flexible Circuit (rigid-flex circuit board) is a circuit board combined of Rigid circuit board and Flexible circuit board, selectively interconnected by an epoxy pre-preg bonding film, and electronically connected with the plated through hole (PTH) and via, almost like a multi-layer flex circuit.

Areas to be designed as rigid where extra support is needed, and designed as flexible where the corners and areas require extra space and flexibility, so it can enjoy the advantage of both rigid boards such as rigidness & flatness and flexible circuits such as flexibility & bendability. Rigid-flex circuits provide higher component density and better quality control.

Normally, the rigid parts made of FR4 PCB will have one layer to multi-layers, and on outer layers most of the FR4 PCB, will have one layer to multilayers, and on outer layers in most of the time. The vital part is the flexible circuit that connected the Rigid PCB, it can be one layer or multi-layers too. Now Best Technology can manufacture rigid-flex circuits over 50 layers.

Rigid-flex Circuits

Rigid-flex Circuits

Here are stacks up of normal 6L rigid-flex circuits (2L FR4 PCB +2L FPC +2L PCB) and you can see, normally the inner layers are flexible circuits which are easier to be made and have lower price.
 

Rigid flex circuits have been used in the military and aerospace industries for more than 20 years. In most rigid-flex circuit boards, the circuitry consists of multiple flexible circuit inner layers. However, a multilayer rigid-flex circuit incorporates a flexible circuit layer externally, internally or both as needed to accomplish the design. Best Technology can also manufacture rigid-flex circuit with outer layers to be flexible circuits.

  

Click to download more stacks up of rigid-flex circuit boards from Best Technology. 

Rigid-flex PCB is different from a multi-layer flex circuit. with stiffeners by having conductors on the rigid layers. Plated through holes (PTH) extend through both rigid and flexible layers, so that DIP components can be soldered on the circuit more firmly, and it has more flatness and stability.

Advantage of Rigid Flex Circuit

  • High Density Applications: The rigid area of a rigid flex circuit is utilized for high density device population. In addition, finer line width & space is allowed in flexible circuits, so more density can be used. Denser device populations and lighter conductors can be designed into a product, freeing space for additional product features.
  • More application: Advances in rigid circuit board technology has broadened the applications on electronic products from communication, computer, and consumer electronics, to medical, automotive, and military electronics.
  • Increasing demand for more powerful and smaller products drives the need for multiple layers to accommodate denser, finer line width and spacing and smaller hole sizes.
  • Highly complex configurations
  • Less electronics components need
  • Reduced interconnections
  • Package Size and Weight Reduction
  • Additionally, air gap which widely used in a multi-layer flex circuit can be also used, and other feature such as controlled impedance(插入impedance-control.htm), EMI shielding, panelization, stiffeners , PSA, Circuit Assembly (SMT) are also available.

Rigid Flexible Circuit Capability

  • As a professional manufacturer of rigid flexible circuit board in China, Best Technology always try to improve our capability to produce more rigid-flex circuit board to our customers. Here is major capability: 
  • 1-10 flexible layers; multiple flex layers in either bonded or air gap configuration
  • 1-40 rigid layers
  • 2-50 layer rigid flexible circuits
  • Flex Core Materials: Polyimide (PI): 1/2 mil to 4 mils in either adhesive or adhesives constructions
  • Copper thickness: 1/3 OZ – 2 OZ RA or ED type (insert material/copper-foil.htm) in flexible circuit; 1/2OZ to 10 OZ in rigid circuits;
  • Coverlays: 1/2 mil to 2 mils polyimide
  • Stiffeners material: polyimide, FR4, stainless steel, aluminum
  • Rigid Materials: 130, 170, 180 TG FR4, low flow prepreg
  • EMI/RF shielding films
  • Blind and buried vias available
  • Any layer available 
  • Controlled impedance: 50 ohm, 90 Ohm, 100 Ohm, 110 Ohm and other value
  • Surface finishing: ENIG, ENEPIG, gold plating, gold fingers (3-30u” Au), Immersion silver
  • IPC 6013 – Class II & Class III available

Rigid Flex Circuit Manufacturing Process:

Manufacturing of rigid-flex PCB is much more complicated than other types of flexible circuit, here are simple manufacturing steps for your reference:

Best Technology provides various sizes of rigid flexible Circuit boards, of different layers. All Rigid-Flex Circuits are tested with electronic testing reflecting all Gerber data to ensure continuity and other data requirements. 
We can provide fast prototypes within 3-7 days, on-time delivery, great quality for you. Please contact us today for more information about rigid flexible circuits.

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