In the tech industry, printed circuit boards are very important in ensuring that each gadget and project work effectively. There are a few popular types of PCBs with the most common being known as rigid or flex circuits.
Here, we are going to look at the main differences between rigid and flex circuits. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more.
How They Are Designed
Before we look at the differences, we thought we’d first take a look at how these products are designed. Usually, a PCB designer uses advanced circuit designer software like Altium Designer to place everything where it needs to be. This software comes with tools to aid both types of PCB and help to create effective designs.
One of the differences between rigid and flex circuits is that they have different levels of softness. With a rigid board, you’ll find that everything is much harder and less easy to move around. Flex circuits need to be flexible and so they will be easier to move around and can fit into unusual shapes due to their overall softness.
In PCB design, the carrying capacity is very important and so this is something which you will need to consider. You will find that the carrying capacity in flex PCBs is much less than you’ll find in a rigid PCB. This is why this type of PCB design is more suitable for certain types of products that others will be.
Thickness Of Board
Another interesting difference between rigid and flex PCBs is in the thickness of the board as a whole. You will find that a flex PCB tends to be much thinner than a rigid board due to how it needs to be able to move around. Flex PCBs can sometimes be as thin or thinner than paper. This is quite interesting and is something to consider when you are working with these types of PCBs.
Finally, you will find that rigid PCBs are much less suitable for a variety of products that flex PCBs. Of course, they do have their strengths in the way in which they are designed. Rigid PCBs will be more likely used in products that need to rely on the strength of the PCB whereas flex PCBs will be used on products that are smaller and need to be moved around like Smart Watches, for example.
It is clear that there are many differences between rigid and flex PCBs. Each of these types of PCBs have their advantages and their disadvantages and they tend to be used for different things. We suggest that you take on board all of the information that we have discussed here when choosing which type of PCB is best for your project. Rigid PCBs are much harder and less versatile while flex PCBs are better for flexibility. If you need a bit of both – you can always try a rigid-flex PCB.