As technology changes and evolves, the printed circuit boards that enable devices to work have to evolve as well. With this trend, investing in PCB layout service is more important than ever before as it can save you both time and money. Durable rigid flex PCBs are able to withstand today’s challenge of flawless performance, regardless of the application.

Rigid flex circuit boards are a hybrid of all the best qualities of the rigid and flex circuits boards. These hybrid circuits provide better quality control and more design options. Organizations that produce aerospace, medical, automotive, military, and consumer electronics, are increasingly utilizing the versatility of rigid-flex PCBs.

When designing and building a rigid-flex circuit board, there are a few basic layout guidelines that can help to ensure consistent quality, while still adhering to production timelines. Here is an overview of the guidelines to follow when building a rigid-flex PCB.

Insulate with Bondply: Take the time to insulate the rolled-up copper cladding that is used within the flex layers of a rigid-flex PCB. The bondply prevents the copper from becoming brittle over time.

Adjust Via Spacing: The best way for pliable flex materials to remain stable is to place vias 50 millimeters from the edge of the rigid area, adjacent to the flex ribbon. This distance is greater than that found in rigid-only stackups, but it is essential to retain stackup stability.

Alternate Flex Traces from Layer to Layer: For the PCB wiring to continue functioning as intended, ribbons need to remain flexible. In order for this to happen, traces cannot be positioned on top of each other, layer upon layer. Instead, stagger the traces vertically to allow for optimal ribbon flexibility.

Adapt Adhesive Application: Be aware of where adhesive is being placed. Do not apply adhesive to the bendable parts of circuits that have more than four flex layers.

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