Your Qualified Rigid Flex PCB Manufacturer in China

PCBMay is an expert rigid-flex PCB boards manufacturer in China, if you’re looking for a rigid-flex PCB supplier, PCBMay is your best choice.

  • Over 12 years rigid-flex PCB manufacturing experience
  • Offer different types of rigid-flex PCBs for you
  • 7/24 sales and engineering tech support for your order
  • No minimum order quantity for your new order
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Modern Expert Rigid Flex PCB is Top Recommended

As a professional rigid-flex PCB manufacturer based in China, PCBMay could help you custom excellent rigid-flex PCB based on your Gerber file.

We have been in this industry for over 12 years and could help you to produce different types of rigid-flex PCBs.

From 3layer to 14layer rigid-flex PCB, PCBMay has its own advantages to produce high-quality rigid-flex PCB for you. Because we have passed passed a lot of certifications like ISO9001, ISO14001, SGS, UL USA, and Canada.

Please send us your inquiry of rigid-flex PCB, you will get the instant quotation with 1day.

All Different Types of Rigid-flex PCB Benefit Your Projects

3layer rigid flex PCB

At PCBMay, we design and manufacture a wide range of standard and custom rigid-flex printed Circuit Boards. The 3 layers rigid-flex circuit board comprises a single flexible layer and two rigid layers. This type of rigid-flex PCB is designed to create a dynamic interaction between the circuit board and the electronic product in which it is used.

4layer rigid flex PCB

PCBMay offers 4 layers rigid-flex PCB with 2 layer flex PCB in breakaway panel form, where the breakaway panels are created using the tab routing. These panels are designed such that they do not sag during reflow or wave soldering. These panels remain attached to the PCB during the assembly process and are removed just before the inspection phase.

5layer rigid flex PCB

PCBMay provides rigid-flex printed circuit boards in various standard and custom specifications. These printed circuit boards are used regularly in industries such as power, automobile, telecommunication, and lighting. PCBMay’s 5layer rigid-flex printed circuit boards have gained popularity over the years. These printed circuit boards are known to offer flexibility.

6layer rigid flex PCB

PCBMay can provide single, as well as multilayered printed circuit boards, among which 6 layer rigid-flex PCB with stiffener is the popular one. The stiffeners are added to the PCBs to improve their strength and durability. They help support the PCB in the manufacturing phase by minimizing the deflection. Also, these stiffeners help us support complex PCB designs.

7layer rigid flex PCB

PCBMay offers 4 layers rigid-flex PCB with 2 layer flex PCB in breakaway panel form, where the breakaway panels are created using the tab routing. These panels are designed such that they do not sag during reflow or wave soldering. These panels remain attached to the PCB during the assembly process and are removed just before the inspection phase.

8layer rigid flex PCB

PCBMay is committed to offering rigid-flex circuit boards quickly and consistently without sacrificing quality. Our engineering team can work with customers who demand nothing short of perfection. With years of effort in the field, we have gained expertise in producing several kinds of PCBs, and one amongst the types we offer is 7 layer rigid-flex PCB.

PCBMay is a Leading Rigid-Flex PCB Supplier for Your Project

PCBMay is a professional rigid-flex PCB manufacturer with over 12 years of industry experience. We provide a wide range of rigid-flex PCBs from the prototype, medium batch, and mass production in different industries such as military, aerospace, medical device, and automotive.

As a leading flexible PCB manufacturer, PCBMay has brought many high-tech machines from home and abroad, such as laser drilling machines, laser cutting machines, LDI exposure machines and laser direct image machines.

Whether you are a flexible PCB distributor, trader, factory, PCB assembler, or end product customer, PCBMay is always your best choice.

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Related Rigid-Flex PCB Boards

rigid flex pcb
10layer Rigid-Flex PCB
This is a specially designed 10 layer rigid-flex printed circuit board (PCB), which has 4 additional flexible layers and 6 rigid layers together. This provides advantages in terms of stability and flexibility. At PCBMay, we use Polyimide, Kapton, and PET as the main materials for manufacturing printed circuit boards.Especially for the rigid section, we use specialized Taiyo PSR 4000 white solder masks.
12layer rigid flex pcb
12layer Rigid-Flex PCB
These circuit boards are designed to work with complex electronics. PCBMay has gained recognition as rigid-flex PCB manufacturer in China. Our 12 layer rigid-flex PCB with heat sink help avoid overheating, thereby ensuring efficient performance of chips, connectors, traces, and solder joints.The PCB comprises a combination of polyimide and FR4 material, which offers excellent electrical insulation.
14layer rigid flex pcb
14layer Rigid-Flex PCB
PCBMay is one of the leading manufacturers of 14 layer rigid-flex PCBs. These PCBs are used for applications, which demand extreme precision and tight tolerances. Over the years, we have helped clients by designing and providing compact sized 14 layer rigid-flex PCBs. These circuit boards comprise flexible inner layers, which are attached using a prepeg film, which resembles to a multilayer flexible circuit.
16layer rigid flex pcb
16layer rigid flex pcb
We can provide 16-layer rigid-flex printed circuit boards with 12-layer flex PCB bookbinding in different specifications. These PCBs are made from a wide range of board materials such as FR4, Rogers Ultralam 2000, Rogers RO4350, Rogers RO4003, black FR4, Arlon AR350, and more. We use different types of connectors to terminate the extreme ends of flexible PCBs.

Rigid-Flex PCB Production Details As Following Up

Lamination
Brown Oxide
Etching
PTH Line
VCP Plating   AOI  Exposure E-Test

Our experience and technical expertise enable us to develop custom rigid-flex PCBs for any specific application. Here are our full feature rigid-flex PCB manufacturing capabilities:

Feature Capability
Number of Layers 3 – 18layers
Order Quantity 1pc – 10000+pcs
Board thickness 0.012-0.12inch
Min. Board Size 0.4*0.6inch
Min. Board Size 16*22inch
Build Time 2days – 5weeks
Material FCCL (adhesive) Shengyi SF305
FCCL (adhesiveless) Panasonic R-F775(ER)
Dupont Pyralux AP
Coverlay Shengyi SF305C
Taiflex FHK 1025&1035
Adhesive Taiflex BT
Shengyi SF302B
PI stiffener Taiflex MHK
3M 9077&6677&9458
NO FLOW PP Ventec:VT-47N(TG170) & EM-285B (TG150)
CCL ITEQ: IT180A; Shengyi S1141 & S1000-2
Other CCL Arlon:85N; Rogers:RO4000series; Nelco:N4000-13series;
Ventec:vt901
Others Tolerance of board thickness(thickness>1.0mm) ±10%
Tolerance of board thickness(thickness≤1.0mm) ±0.1mm
Impedance control tolerance Single ended:±5Ω(≤50Ω);±10%(>50Ω)
Differential Pairs: ±5Ω (≤50Ω);±10%(>50Ω)
HDI /
Min bow&twist 0.75%(symmetrical), 2%(unsymmetrical)
Ecoobond width 1.5±0.5mm (flex window width ≥ 5mm)
Inner layer Min line width/spacing (12/18um copper) 3.5/3.5mil (3.2/3.2mil)
Min line width/spacing (35um copper) 4.0/4.0mil (3.6/3.7mil)
Min line width/spacing (70um copper) 6.0/6.5mil (5.5/6mil)
Annular ring (blind via) 4mil
Max copper thickness 2oz
Outer layer Min line width/spacing (18um copper) 3.5/3.8mil (3.2/3.5mil)
Min line width/spacing (35um copper) 4.0/4.3mil (3.5/3.8mil)
Min line width/spacing (70um copper) 6.5/6mil (6/5.5mil)
Min line width/spacing (105um copper) 10/13mil(9.5/12.5mil)
Min BGA pad size 12mil (8mil for the electrical soft gold board)
Max finished copper thickness 3OZ
Drilling Blind via /
Max buried via 0.4mm
Aspect ratio (mechanical drill) 10:01
Min distance between via and conductors 6mil (≤6 layer)
9mil (7-11 layer)
12mil (≥12 layer)
Tolerance of non-plated holes ±2mil (limited is +0/-2mil or +2mil/-0)
Solder mask Solder mask color green,blue,red,matte green
and silk screen Min solder dam (copper ≤ 1oz) 4mil(green,red and blue); 5mil(black and white)
Min solder dam (copper 2-4oz ) 8mil
Min clearance 2.5mil (2.0mil)
Silk color White, Yellow, black
Surface treatment Surface treatment HASL/LF, HASL, ENIG, ENEPIG, Electrolytic Nickel Gold, Soft gold, Hard gold, Immersion silver, and OSP
Mixed surface treatment ENIG+OSP, ENIG+G/F, Electrical gold+Gold fingers
Gold thickness (ENIG) 0.05-0.10um
Nickel thickness (ENIG) 3-8um
Gold thickness (ENEPIG) 0.05-0.10um
Palladium thickness (ENEPIG) 0.05-0.15um
Nick thickness (ENEPIG) 3-8um
Hard gold thickness(leadless) 0.1-1.5um
Hard gold thickness (including lead) 0.1-4.0um
Electrolytic Nickel thickness ≥3um
Electrolytic Gold thickness 0.05-0.10um
Immersion silver thickness 0.2-0.4um
OSP thickness 0.1-0.3um
Routing Tolerance of board outline ±6mil(exclude complicated board outline and cutout)

1, What Types Of Rigid-Flex PCBs Do do You Produce?

We can produce several types of Rigid-flex PCBs,such as single-sided rigid-flex PCBs,double-sided rigid-flex PCBs and multi-layer rigid-flex PCBs

2, What Is The Standard Delivery Time For Rigid-Flex Boards?

We can produce the prototype of rigid-flex boards with 1-2 weeks for standard leading time,3-4 weeks for mass production of rigid-flex PCBs.

3, What Is The Temperature That The Rigid-Flex Material Usually Supports?

Temperature guidelines: Kapton has a high-temperature rating but is limited by adhesive.

Copper foil: adhesive or adhesiveness material.

4, What Are The Rigid-Flex PCBs Materials?

The most commonly used rigid-flex PCB materials are polyimide, polyester (PET), copper, adhesives, cover lays, and cover coats.

5, When Manufacturing Rigid-Flex, How Is The Rigid Part Removed Around The Flex Board?

The bonding material (prepreg) is removed from the flex region, and then the rigid part is milled as part of the final route operation.

6, What Copper Thickness Do You Use And Are There Other Thicknesses Available?

The copper thickness of most PCB boards is 35um(1oz), our capability can reach 12oz.

7, Is There Any Minimum Order Quantity?

No, we can produce 1 to 10,000 pieces, what’s more, there is also no minimum order surcharge or additional fees

Your Super Rigid-Flex PCB Manufacturer

Rigid-flex PCB is not like the standard PCB, whose technology is very high, not all PCB factories could produce it. As an expert of rigid-flex PCB supplier in China, we could help you to produce many types of rigid-flex PCBs.

As a leading rigid-flex PCB manufacturer, we have the rigid-flex PCB capabilities that other companies can’t compete with. We are able to build boards with line and width spacing down to 19 microns (.75 mil) and 1 mil micro vias.

PCBMay has passed different certifications like ISO9001, 14001, and UL USA & Canada with a high-quality product for you.

We could also offer an extremely fast quick turn rigid-flex PCB prototyping service for you, please send your inquiry right now.

Rigid-Flex PCB: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Today, the use of flexible and flex-rigid PCB boards (GSP and GZHPP) in electronic products will surprise no one. They are used everywhere: from consumer, consumer electronics – mobile phones, miniature computers, cameras, etc., to complex, professional electronics for special purposes.

What is Rigid-Flex  PCB?

Flex-rigid PCB boards are multilayer boards using flexible polyimide on the part of the product and fiberglass.

Their advantage is the use of:

  • A non-standard shape
  • An increase in the reliability of connections without the use of wires and bundles
  • A decrease in the overall dimensions and weight of finished devices.

The presence of a polyamide base in Flexible and Flexible-Rigid PCBs allows them to change the usual spatial arrangement of elements.

Rigid Flex PCB

Rigid-Flex PCB

And use them in hard-to-reach places where a different plane orientation is required.

Also, flexible and rigid-flex PCB boards are used to reduce the weight of the product, and to improve the conductivity between the individual parts of the structure.

Rigid-flex PCBs have printed circuit boards similar to flexible printed circuit boards, but with mechanical reinforcement in certain places. Most often, the rigid layer is attached to the flexible PCB from the back of the pads.

Such boards allow higher reliability of the electrical connection between flexible and rigid boards. The hard layer is made of polyimide or fiberglass.

  • Base (base material) of the flexible part: polyimide
  • Films Foil (conductive material): copper

As a rule,non-adhesive materials are used as the base. They have a wider operating temperature range, usually limited by adhesives.

Why Rigid-Flex PCB?

Rigid-flex PCB combines the best of both worlds when it comes to the two most important overarching board types.

Rigid-flex boards are composed of multiple layers of flexible printed circuit boards attached to a series of rigid PCB layers.

Rigid-flex printed circuit boards are the most complex interconnecting structures in electronic equipment.

3 layer Rigid Flex PCB

3 layer Rigid-Flex PCB

Typically, a simple rigid-flex PCB has one rigid and one flexible dielectric layer in its structure. And complex rigid-flex PCB boards can contain dozens of layers of flexible and rigid cores assembled into one structure in almost any order.

Design and Installation of Rigid-Flex PCBs

Rigid-flex PCB is a design that combines flexible and rigid parts. This figure shows the simplest construction in which two rigid parts are connected by a flexible cable.

As a result of the use of the flexible part, it becomes possible to place two boards in a “stack” without connectors.
The use of rigid-flex PCB allows in some cases:

• Reduce the size and weight of the device;
• Embed electronics into a complex shape;
• Abandon the connectors;
• Improve the reliability of connections;
• Simplify installation;
• Provide dynamic flexibility of connections;
• Simplify maintenance during operation.

Types of Flexible and Rigid-Flex PCBs

  • The single-layer, the double-sided board allows solder pads to be created not only on the top but also on the bottom of the PCB, which often simplifies product design. However, not all factories that produce flexible printed circuit boards own this technology.
  • Plated-Hole Double Layer Flexible PCB is perhaps the most common design. It provides the developer with quite large opportunities, both in the number and density of connections and in the presence of pin and planar soldering seats and in routing between them. Soldering of components, however, is allowed only in those places that are reinforced with a rigid pad (hereinafter we will call it “hardener”).
  • A multilayer flexible printed circuit board is used with a higher density of connections. It is also possible to metalize through holes and have soldering pads on both sides of the board. The main disadvantage of this design is a significant reduction in flexibility. To maintain flexibility, designers often use a design with air spaces between layers, where each layer is built as a single layer PCB.
  • Flexible-rigid PCB is a further development of flexible design, with rigid areas in which no longer reinforcing elements are used, but full-fledged rigid PCBs with hole metallization. On the one hand, such a board is the most versatile and convenient for development, and on the other hand, it is the most expensive technology of all of the above.

6 layer Rigid Flex PCB

6 layer Rigid-Flex PCB

What are Rigid-FlexPCBs’ Advantages?

Rigid-flex PCBs are circuit boards that combine conventional “rigid” circuit boards with thinner, flexible areas.

A rigid-flex PCB can thus replace various rigid circuit boards that would otherwise have to be connected with cables.

This has the following advantages:

  • The installation time is often reduced
  • Various components of the assembly (plugs, cables, additional circuit boards, etc.) are saved.
  • It enables a higher degree of miniaturization
  • The reliability of the assembly increases, since plug contacts are often potential sources of contact problems. This applies in particular to dynamic bending loads on the flexible area, which could otherwise quickly lead to connectors being disconnected.

On the other hand, there is a slightly higher price, because the manufacture of rigid-flex PCB is more complex and expensive.

Often, however, the advantages outweigh the advantages if you compare the additional price with all actual, effective, and imputed costs.

What Kind of Material is Used for Rigid-Flex?

Rigid-flex boards consist of a so-called hybrid structure. Conventional FR4 is used for the rigid areas, while the flexible parts are made of polyimide.

In addition to differing bendability, these materials have various different properties that must be taken into account when constructing rigid-flexible circuit boards.

Rigid Flex PCB

Rigid-Flex PCB

A resulting challenge in the production lies in the different thermal expansion behavior.

This must be anticipated before pressing so that the multilayer composite will later fit precisely with the holes.

Furthermore, the adhesive properties of polyimide when pressed are far lower than those of FR4 and require special procedures when roughening.

For the processing of rigid flexures, it must be taken into account, on the one hand, that due to the flexible areas, individual assembly without a utility frame is difficult or almost impossible in the assembly machine.

It is always advisable to produce rigid-flex in one panel and only to separate it after assembly.

It is also important to remember that polyimide is a very hygroscopic material and therefore absorbs a lot of water from the ambient air.

This (very negative) property of polyimide means that if it is improperly processed (soldering) moisture escapes and bubbles form – this is known as delamination.

For this reason, it is essential and absolutely necessary that rigid-flex circuit boards are tempered in an oven directly before soldering so that this moisture can escape slowly and not through a “temperature shock”.

How do the Different Rigid-flex Structures?

There are primarily two distinguishing features worth mentioning. First: the number of flexible layers. Second: the arrangement of these flexible layers.

Depending on the manufacturer, there are very different declarations for rigid-flex circuit boards.

Flexible PCB

Flexible PCB

From our point of view, a very sensible way of categorizing conventional rigid-flex circuit boards is to first name the maximum number of layers in the rigid area, followed by the position of the flexible layer (s): inside (I) or outside (A). Finally, there is an indication of how many flexible layers there are.

Rigid-Flex PCB in CAD

A rigid-flex PCB can be thought of by a design engineer as a multilayer board in which some of the copper and dielectric layers exist only in designated areas, while others contain polyimide as the dielectric.

In the design system (CAD of printed circuit boards), it is necessary to set the general outline of the board, and in a special layer draw the outlines of both each rigid part and each flexible part, with a clear text designation which parts are rigid and which are flexible.

Separately, the joints should be marked, and it is shown to what depth the covering layer from the flexible part enters the rigid part.

Rigid parts must have the same structure, uniform for the entire PCB.

The material of the rigid part is fiberglass, the coating of the conductors is a solder mask, and in general, the design of the rigid part is in many ways similar to the design of a conventional multilayer printed circuit board.

It just uses layers from the flexible part as one or more inner layers.

The flexible portion of a rigid-flex board is similar in design and function to the flexible printed circuit board discussed earlier.

However, there are a number of limitations:

  • Do not use planar blade connectors in the flexible part.
  • Do not separate the plating of holes in the flexible part.
  • Do not open the pads in the flexible part.

Ignoring These Restrictions Significantly Increases the Cost of Manufacturing.

The joint between the flexible and rigid parts must be worked out very carefully. This is a location with a high probability of kinking or delamination.

Typically, the design engineer provides for the application of a silicone roller at the joint: to prevent bending with an unacceptably small radius.

It is recommended to insert the cover layer of the flexible printed circuit board into the rigid part only a few millimeters from the joint. Let us describe in more detail what this is connected with.

One of the major problems with a rigid-flex board is the high coefficient of thermal expansion of the adhesive used to bond the polyimide layers.

If multiple layers of adhesive are present in the rigid part of the PCB, when soldering through holes, the thermal expansion of these layers is so great that it can rupture the copper walls of the hole and open the circuit.

In this regard, the designers strive to remove the adhesive from the rigid part, and the removal of the covering layer is done for this very purpose.

The next step towards improving the reliability of the PCB is the use of a non-adhesive polyimide base, which allows you to make the rigid part without any layers of adhesive at all.

Prototyping Rigid-Flex PCB Design

Before starting the design, it is imperative to perform prototyping of the 3D structure of the printed circuit board.

The circuit board outline is cut out of film or thick paper and placed in the device case. It is necessary to provide a margin for possible compression, tension, and deformation of the material.

It should be borne in mind that the bending radius of the printed circuit board is limited to a certain minimum value.

What should be considered when designing rigid-flex printed circuit boards and why?

1. Distance of the vias to the flex area

Vias in the rigid areas must have their outer edge at least 1.0mm away from the adjacent flex layers.

The reason for this is that chemicals flow through these holes during wet processes. The flex area is however hollow inside (not glued).

So there is only this approx. 1mm (in reality even less due to drilling swelling and prepreg restoration) of adhesive between the DK and the flex area, which prevents the chemical substances from flowing into this hollow area.

Rigid-flex printed circuit board

This graphic illustrates the problem in section. In the end, the FR4 block in the flex area is deepened so that only the flexible part remains.

However, if chemicals flowed into the cavity during production, the rigid-flex board is unusable.

8 layer Rigid Flex PCB

8 layer Rigid-Flex PCB

2. Conductor tracks in the transition area rigid-to-flex

The conductor tracks from the flex area should be led straight, at least 1.0 mm into the rigid area, before they are allowed to continue angled in another direction.

In these transition areas, there is usually the greatest mechanical stress on the circuit board during the application.

Inclined conductor tracks or angles in this area create unnecessarily sharp edges, which can lead to cracks more quickly under load.

3. Conductor tracks in the flex area

In order to ensure optimal flexibility, the conductor tracks on the flexible area should also only run straight in the bending direction.

Angled or inclined conductor tracks can again lead to an increased risk of tearing when bending through the edges of the copper.

If there is space, thicker conductor tracks in the outdoor area are recommended as tear protection.

These do not have to have an electrical function, but can be introduced as “dummies”. However, these should also run straight into the rigid area at least 1.0mm.

You will see this video as below:

What are Rigid-Flex PCB Applications?

  • Automotive technology
  • Medical equipment
  • Sophisticated household appliances (video cameras, cameras, laptops)
  • On-board electronics (aviation and space)
  • Military products.

The design of flexible and rigid-flex PCB boards is not much different from that of conventional rigid printed circuit boards.

The main difference is in the materials used. It makes it possible to reliably connect the dielectric and conductive layers.

Another feature is the use of specialized equipment and technological modes of manufacturing boards of this type.

The advantage of flexible technologies is not only a reduction in the final weight and dimensions of the finished product, not only easier installation and reliability of connections but also, most importantly, dynamic flexibility. It allows different parts of the product to move relative to each other during operation.

Flexible and flex-rigid PCB boards – a whole independent direction in the production and operation of printed circuit boards.

Such boards are often only one- and two-layer and are used both in static applications.

When the board is initially mounted in a bent state and does not change shape after assembly, and in dynamic applications, when the board, on the contrary, constantly changes shape or position during operation, as in hard disk drive.

Rigid-Flex PCB Has Clear Advantages Over Rigid PCBs

Rigid-flex PCB boards combine the technology of conventional multilayer boards with flexible technologies.

Such boards are a hybrid design containing both rigid and flexible bases that are fastened together in a single assembly.

As a rule, the rigid part is made of FR-4 similar materials, and films based on polyimides are used for flexible layers.

Rigid-flex PCBs have both a number of obvious advantages over conventional rigid PCBs and some disadvantages. The advantages, first of all, include:

  • A reduction in the size and weight of the manufactured devices
  • An increase in the reliability of connections due to the rejection of connectors
  • The provision of dynamic flexibility of finished products.

Rigid-Flex PCB Benefits

Improving Connection Reliability

It is known that one of the problems of operating electronic products in conditions of vibration, exposure to moisture, and temperature extremes is the problem of deterioration of contact in plug connections.

This is especially typical for automotive technology, onboard electronics, and other devices that are not operated in” room conditions”.This is also important for wearable devices.

8 layer Rigid Flex PCB

8 layer Rigid-Flex PCB

They are often subject to:

  • Falling
  • Overheating
  • Moisture
  • Sweat
  • Corrosive fumes, etc.

Rigid-flex PCB connection of boards in such a device successfully eliminates the problem of loss of contact.

Complex Shaped Body

Mobile phones, home handset telephone, Miniature radio station, Hearing aid, Medical wearable device, all these devices are similar in one thing – adaptation to the human body, which means – a very complex shape of the body.

It is practically impossible to integrate rather complex electronics into such a case without the use of flexible-rigid structures.

Rigid-Flex PCB Manufacturing and Application Options

Rigid-flex PCB can be considered a hybrid design. They have both flexible and fixed bases that are held together and electrically connected with plated holes.

As a result of their use, it becomes possible to place two boards in a” stack”.Complex variants can contain up to many flexible sets with a rigid outer layer.

The use of rigid-flex boards allows:

  • To minimize the dimensions of the board, and hence the product itself;
  • Refuse to use connectors;
  • Make connections reliable and installation easier;
  • Provide flexible connections.
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