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GESP Technology

15+Years Devoted to PCB Solution & Manufacture

Rigid-Flex PCB

Rigid-Flex PCB

Rigid-Flex circuit is made from a combination of a PI flex material sandwiched between FR4 epoxy or Polyimide rigid layers, highlighted by both rigid and flexible areas that make them ideally suited for a wide range of applications. The typical rigid-flex PCB circuit includes two or more conductive layers that comprise either flexible or rigid insulation material between each one – the outer layers may have either exposed pads or covers. Conductors are found on the rigid layers, while plated through-holes are found in both the rigid and flexible layers.

Rigid-Flex designs are more challenging than the design of a typical rigid board environment, as these boards are designed in a 3D space, which also offers greater spatial efficiency. By being able to design in three dimensions rigid flex designers can twist, fold and roll the flexible board substrates to achieve their desired shape for the final application’s package.

The Advantages of Flex-Rigid PCB

  1. Space requirements can be minimized by applying 3D
  2. By removing the need for connectors and cables between the individual rigid parts the board size and overall system weight can be reduced.
  3. By maximizing space, there is often a lower count in parts.
  4. Fewer solder joints assure higher connection reliability.
  5. Handling during assembly is easier in comparison with flexible boards.
  6. Simplified PCB assembly processes.
  7. Integrated ZIF contacts provide simple modular interfaces to the system environment.
  8. Test conditions are simplified. A complete test prior to installation becomes possible.
  9. Logistical and assembly costs are significantly reduced with Rigid-Flex boards.
  10. It is possible to increase the complexity of mechanical designs, which also improves the degree of freedom for optimized housing solutions.

Our Rigid-Flex PCB Capability

Feature Capability
Layer Count 2-8Layers
Material PI, PET, PEN, FR-4
Final Thickness 0.0024″ – 0.16″ (0.06-4.0mm)
Surface Treatment Lead-free: ENG Gold; OSP, Immersion silver, Immersion Tin
Max / Min Board Size Min: 0.2″x0.3″  Max: 20.5″x13″
Min Trace Width
Min Clearance Inner
0.5oz: 4/4mil
1oz: 5/5mil
2oz: 5/7mil
Min Trace Width
Min Clearance Outer
1/3oz-0.5oz: 4/4mil
1oz: 5/5mil
2oz: 5/7mil
Min Hole Ring Inner 0.5oz: 4mil
1oz: 5mil
2oz: 7mil
Min Hole Ring Outer 1/3oz-0.5oz: 4mil
1oz: 5mil
2oz: 7mil
Copper Thickness 1/3oz – 2oz
Max / Min Insulation Thickness 2mil/0.5mil (50um/12.7um)
Min Hole Size&Tolerance Min hole: 8mil
Tolerance: PTH±3mil, NPTH±2mil
Min Slot 24mil x 35mil (0.6×0.9mm)
Silkscreen Line Width 5mil
Gold Plating Nickel: 100u” – 200u” Gold: 1u”-4u”
Immersion Nickel / Gold Nickel: 100u” – 200u” Gold: 1u”-5u”
Immersion Silver Silver: 6u” – 12u”
OSP Film: 8u” – 20u”
Test Voltage Testing Fixture: 50-300V
Profile Tolerance of Punch Accurate mould: ±2mil
Ordinary mould: ±4mil
Knife mould: ±8mil
Hand-Cut: ±15mil

Rigid-Flex PCBs Fabrication Applications

Rigid-Flex PCBs offer a wide array of applications, ranging from smart devices to cell phones and digital cameras. Increasingly, rigid-flex board fabrication has been used in medical devices such as pacemakers for their space and weight reduction capabilities. The same advantages for rigid-flex PCB usage can be applied to smart control systems.

In consumer products, Rigid-Flex doesn’t just maximize space and weight but greatly improves reliability, eliminating many needs for solder joints and delicate, fragile wiring that are prone to connection issues. These are just some examples, but Rigid-Flex PCBs can be used to benefit nearly all advanced electrical applications including testing equipment, tools, and automobiles.

Rigid-Flex PCBs Technology and Production Process

Whether producing a rigid flex prototype or production quantities requiring large scale Rigid-Flex PCBs fabrication and PCB assembly, the technology is well proven and reliable. The flex PCB portion is particularly good in overcoming space and weight issues with spatial degrees of freedom.

Careful consideration of Rigid-Flex solutions and a proper assessment of the available options at the early stages in the rigid-flex PCB design phase will return significant benefits. It is critical the Rigid-Flex PCBs fabricator is involved early in the design process to ensure the design and fab portions are both in coordination and to account for final product variations.

The Rigid-Flex manufacturing phase is also more complex and time-consuming than rigid board fabrication. All the flexible components of the Rigid-Flex assembly have completely different handling, etching, and soldering processes than rigid FR4 boards.

Rigid-Flex Design and Fabrication Issues

During the Rigid-Flex PCBs design process, certain considerations must be taken into account for final product size variations. In the manufacture of Rigid-Flex boards, the flexible polyimide core will shrink once the bonded copper foil is etched away. This variation must be accounted for in the design process.

The final Rigid-Flex assembly process requires the flex portions to be bent into shape, stressing the flex laminations with the potential to cause stress fractures.

How to Get Flex-rigid PCB Fabrication Price?

Send us your Rigid-flex PCB design file & requirements using our PCB order system, we’ll quote for PCB cost at top speed and guide you to place the order. Reach us at any time if you need more information regarding rigid-flex PCBs production.

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