DESIGNING FLEXIBLE PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS（ Part One）
A Flexible PCB is defined as an arranged pattern of integrated circuits and components that uses flexible based materials. Here, the same components used to produce rigid printed circuits boards might be used to fabricate these flexible electronic assemblies, but they should allow the flexibility of the board during its application.
Some of the advantages provided by flexible PCBs include; low mass, greater reliability, high ductility, and space savings. But also, inventors/designers must be ready for their complexity and complications.
Except for the fact that the designer must be accountable for the mechanical complexity related to a flex circuit, there’s no great difference between flexible PCBs and rigid boards during the designing phase. For example, if a flexible PCB is flexed above its capability, it is going to tear during installation.
Hence, creating a mechanical model of the PCB and testing it for a proper fit is important before going ahead with an electrical design. Also, this will include the test for any misalignments, servicing, and ergonomics of the installation. Additionally, designers are required to know the different available flex circuits that exist and how they work.
Types of Flex PCBs
Based on their application, there are different types of existing flexible PCBs. Among them, the flex, high-density-interconnect (HDI) flex, and rigid-flex, are the most prominent.
These PCBs are flexible and resistant to vibrations making them unique and different from others. They are the flexible version of the most common existing rigid PCBs. Their additional features are accompanied with the usual repeatability, high density, and reliability which are already provided by rigid PCBs.
Flex circuits have the capacity to assume a three-dimensional configuration which is the major advantage they have over rigid PCBs. One of the flexible PCBs’ most common applications is as being a wire harnesses replacement.
These PCBs are a combination of both the flex and rigid. While adding some unique abilities that cannot be owned by either flex and rigid when separated, they provide the best of both constructions. For example, a series of rigid PCBs derived from a typical rigid-flex configuration will be linked by an integrated flex circuit. Therefore, designers can greatly improve their circuits design capability by integrating rigid parts as an addition to the flexible regions.