Know About the Modern and Innovative Applications of Rigid Flex PCBs

Rigid Flex PCBs
Know About the Modern and Innovative Applications of Rigid Flex PCBs

Most electrical, electronic, and electromechanical devices today comprise printed circuit boards, which contribute to their power carrying capabilities. Hence, their accuracy and functionality are crucial to the correct and efficient functioning of the product. Primarily, there are three broad types of PCBs- rigid, flexible, and rigid flex PCBs. Of these, rigid flex PCBs have some amazing applications in terms of technologically advanced modern devices such as wearables, complex circuits, and more. Rigid flex PCBs combine the best features of rigid and flexible boards, and hence already have a huge application in conventional and miniature devices and systems across industries. However, their evolution towards modern technology has been incredible. This post discusses the flexibility of rigid flex printed circuit boards as well as their application in modern devices.

Evolution of Technology and the Growing Demand for Rigid Flex PCBs

Gone are the days when rigid boards were used for making simple electrical and electronic devices such as calculators, digital clocks, switches, and a range of other items from heaters and medical devices to computers and weaponry systems. As the technology has evolved, size of devices has shrunk, and the functionalities have increased. Adding to this, the designs and circuits have become increasingly complex. This is where rigid flex PCBs are of great use because of their combined properties of rigid boards and flexible substrates. Also, the flexible substrates offer tight tolerances and are resistant to temperature fluctuations, heat, and so on. On the other hand, rigid boards hold the circuit and components well. Here are some pointers which throw light on the use of rigid flex PCBs in modern and complex devices:

  • This applies to all modern devices such smartphones, smartwatches, surface adhering heaters, wearable medical devices to monitor certain health parameters, and many more.
  • One thing common about all of these devices is their need to be flexible or bendable, adhere to human body or a surface to be heated, depending upon their application.
  • Some of the most common shapes of these boards are round or elliptical. They may be of other odd shapes as well. This certainly benefits the device designers who need to design miniature devices with a dense circuitry and several mounted components.
  • Wearable devices are not simply consumer electronic products, but they have already ventured into mission critical applications in crucial sectors such as defense and medicine.
  • Some wearable devices are so slim and small that they cannot be noticed easily when worn on your body. This is also the demand of most users of users of wearable devices that the device should not be seen or noticed by others.
  • Aside from these there is augmented reality and virtual reality which offers viewers a completely immersive experience when watching a movie, concert, and so on. These AR and VR devices need to adhere to your forehead and be close to your eyes. So, their design is extremely complex and so is the circuitry. Rigid flex PCBs have made their foray here as well.
  • Rigid flex boards are also used in applications where impedance control in terms of force and positioning is crucial in terms of minimum bend radius requirements. The minimum bend needs to be determined especially for flexible parts to retain dimensional stability and shape. Active components mounted on rigid board also require impedance control.

If you are looking for rigid flex PCB assembly for your product, ensure you partner with a PCB fabrication services provider who understands your requirements, can customize, and offer help at every stage including the design phase. Twisted Traces designs, fabricates, and assembles rigid flex PCBs, no matter how complex the design and circuitry is. The company offers end-to-end solutions, and has a market presence of over three decades.

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