Flexibility is a critical element in most flexible circuit board designs. Whether it’s to meet a tight “one-time bend-to-fit” application or a “dynamic” infinite bend cycle application. To meet these requirements, a flex circuit design must be kept as thin as practically possible, use the correct copper type, and utilize the correct copper plating process.
Mechanical bend reliability is a critical element in a successful flex or rigid-flex PCB design. One area that can have a significant impact is the transition line(s) that occurs from a rigid area, in a rigid-flex circuit design, or from a stiffened area, in a flex circuit with stiffeners design, to the flex layer(s) only areas.
Dome switches are a very popular solution for use as a momentary switch. They are a good solution that provides tactile feedback that the switch has been depressed and an event registered. Many applications require a dome switch mounted to a flexible circuit board.
We get many inquiries from our customer base regarding updating or converting an existing design from its current configuration of rigid printed circuit boards interconnected with a wiring harness to a rigid-flex printed circuit board. With our experience, we can quickly determine if a conversion option is worth investigating further. We can also see how some are relatively obvious that they would need a complete redesign to convert.
Dating back to 1952, we are industry leaders and experts in all things printed circuit board (PCB) related, rigid PCBs, flexible circuits, and rigid-flex circuit boards combined, we know all the options and the difficulties in the fabrication processes. In this blog, we will focus on flex and rigid-flex PCBs what you should know and what to look for regarding the design and layout, as well as the importance of a successful data set and what is needed to prevent delays in engineering and manufacturing.
At the conclusion of our webinar, EMI Shielding Methods for Flex & Rigid-Flex PCB Designs, we had several questions submitted to our presenter, Paul Tome, Product Manager of Flex & Rigid-Flex Circuits at Epec. We have compiled these questions into a readable format on our blog.
Flex circuits have the capability of utilizing a wide variety of connector options. The list, with a couple of exceptions, includes all connector systems that can be used on rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) plus a couple of additional systems that were specifically designed for interconnecting flexible circuits to rigid PCBs or wiring harnesses.
The last 18 months have been some of the most challenging that many of us have had to deal with both personally and professionally. It has often felt like we were riding waves, coming closer to things getting a little more normal, only to have them change radically. Looking forward to the next 18 months, I don’t see those changes getting any easier for us or our industry.
With advancements in rigid-flex PCB design technology, the use of laser-based systems in the manufacturing process are very common in the industry. Not having laser drilling and cutting available would place significant limitations on what could be accomplished in a design and what components could be used.
Many flexible circuit board applications require designs to be exposed to and or operate continuously at elevated temperatures well beyond that of standard room temperature. These requirements are above and beyond the requirements of component or connector assembly.