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PCBs or printed circuit boards are integral to the functioning of most electrical, electronic, and electromechanical devices or products. So, the board design including the circuitry and components must be flawless. There are three types of boards offered by PCB manufacturers- rigid, flex, and rigid flex PCBs. Flex boards are flexible and bendable at certain angles. In certain applications, only flex boards are used, while in most applications rigid flex boards are used as they are a perfect combination of rigid and flexible PCBs. However, when it comes to flexible PCBs, there are certain factors you may want to consider when designing them. This post discusses some pointers for flexible PCB design and more.
Here are some factors to consider when designing flex PCBs:
While these boards are flexible, you cannot take the bendability for granted. Depending upon the application as well the shape of the product, the bend radius needs to be calculated. Also, the number of times the board would bend also needs to be calculated. Both these aspects are essential to avoid cracking.
Flex boards are of two types- static and dynamic. As the term implies, a static flex board would flex only during the installation and overall only minimal times through its operational life. A dynamic flex board is designed to bend and twist all the time, and hence the bend radius is calculated accordingly.
When calculating the bend radius, the copper coating must remain intact. Also, one need to consider the number of layers. The thickness of the board depends upon the bend radius.
The rigid and flex regions or areas of the board need to be defined. For certain device ort product shapes, the board needs to bent at particular angles. However, it is best to avoid absolute right angles as they may damage the circuit at times.
Do not perform through hole plating in a bend region.
Flex board materials may be adhesive based or adhesiveless. For adhesion, acrylic is used to bind a polyimide material with copper plating. In case of adhesiveless boards, copper plating is directly done on the polyimide material.
Heat sinking is an extremely important aspect when designing any type of circuit boards. Proper air flow and good heat dissipation enhance the functional life of the board and prevent damages due to overheating.
If you are an OEM and looking to digitize your mechanical or electrical product, it is good to partner with an experienced and reliable PCB manufacturer and assembly services provider. It is imperative that they understand your requirements and can customize accordingly. Also, look for a partner who offers end-to-end services from ideation to installation and beyond, especially if you are adopting this technology for the first time. Creative Hi-Tech is a well-known PCB manufacturer and assembly services provider who specialized in custom designs based on client requirements. They use superior quality industry grade materials and components for their PCBs.