What is a Flexible PCB? Best Guide to Manufacture Flex PCB in 2021

Why is a printed circuit board flexible?

Flexible circuit boards were created with the goal of saving space and increasing flexibility in smaller and high-density mount designs. They also reduce the number of elements in the entire assembly process.

What are the benefits of using a flexible PCB?

The flexible circuit board is fruitful to save space and increase flexibility in order to satisfy a smaller and greater density mounting design. Moreover, it also aids in the assembly process and improves dependability.

What can I do at home to make my PCB more flexible?

You can make a PCB at home using the following steps.

Firstly, get copper-coated film first then obtain some thin polyimide sheets with copper on one or both sides.

Secondly, print with solid-ink ink. Locate a solid-ink printer for direct printing on copper film.

After that, need to create a Pyralux print.

Then scratch it with a chisel.

Finally, fill in the blanks on the board.

What is the process of making a flexible PCB?

A flexible printed circuit is made up of a metal layer of traces (often copper) attached to a dielectric layer. Furthermore, the metal layer might have an extremely thin thickness material to protect the circuitry from oxidation or electrical shorting in non-contact areas.

Where Flexible PCBs are used?

Most cellphones and related tiny devices include  PCBs. Moreover, flexible printed circuit boards are excellent for producing small cables and circuitry that are exceedingly light.

Types of flexible PCB

Flexible printed circuit boards come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and layouts. Layers, on the other hand, are useable to categorise them.

Flexible Circuit Boards are classified according to their configurations.

Flexible circuit boards are classified into various groups based on their layout.

PCBs that are both rigid and flexible

These PCBs are a cross of flex and stiff PCBs, combining the best of both worlds. A rigid-flex PCB layout typically consists of a sequence of rigid circuits held together by flex circuitry. Moreover, hybrid circuits are in high demand because they enable designers to boost their capability.

Flexible PCBs from HDI

High density interconnects is the abbreviation of HDI. These PCBs are ideal for applications. These require a greater level of performance than standard flexible PCBs. HDI flex circuit boards have a variety of features, such as micro-vias, and they provide improved layout, construction, and designs.

Layers-Based Classification of Flexible Circuit Boards

On the basis of their layers, flex circuit boards are classified into the following types.

Single-Sided Flexible Circuit Boards

A single sheet of flexible polyimide film with a thin layer of copper makes up one of the most basic types of flexible circuit boards. Moreover, the conductive copper layer is accessible from only one side of the circuit.

Single-Sided Flexible PCB with Dual Access:

These flex circuits are single-sided, as the name implies, yet the copper sheet or conductor material is accessible from both sides.

Flexible Circuit Boards with Two Conductor Layers: These circuit boards have two conductor layers on each side of the base polyimide layer. Metalized plated through holes are used to make electrical connections between two conducting layers.

Flexible Circuits with Multiple Layers

A multi-layered flex circuit board is made up of multiple single-sided and double-sided flexible circuits. These circuits are connected via plated-through holes or by being surface mounted in a consistent arrangement.

Benefits of Flexible Printed Circuit Boards

Flexible printed circuit boards have grown in popularity over time as a result of the advantages they provide. Here are a few of the advantages:

Reduction in weight and package size

Flexible PCB can be used in situations where no other solution would be suitable. The circuit boards are tiny and light, and they can be easily crumpled, folded, and positioned in spaces.  Our experts at Rigiflex frequently use the advantages of 3D packaging geometry to achieve additional package size reduction.

Accurate Designs

Automated machinery is frequently used to design and assemble flexible printed circuit boards. This reduces the faults that can occur when wires and harnesses are hand-built and ensures accuracy, which is essential for complex electrical systems.

Design Flexibility

These PCB gives designers a lot of creative latitudes. Single-sided with a single access, single-sided with double access, and multilayered – mixing multiple layers of stiff and flexible circuitry – are all options for flexible PCB.

High-Density Configurations Possible

This combination makes it possible to handle high-density devices with very small gaps between them. As a result, denser and lighter conductors can be created.


During execution, flexible circuits can link to numerous planes. Rigid circuit boards are lighter and take up less space as a result of this. Flexible circuit boards can bend to varying levels without the worry of failure during installation.

High Heat Dissipation

Shorter thermal routes need to develop as a result of the compact designs and denser device populations. This allows for faster heat dissipation than a rigid circuit. Furthermore, heat dissipates from both sides of flexible circuits.

Improved Air Flow

Flexible PCB with a more streamlined design allow for better thermal dissipation and improved air flow. This allows the circuits to operate at a lower temperature than their rigid printed circuit board equivalents. Improved ventilation also helps electronic circuit boards operate better in the long run.

Durability and Long-term Performance

A flex circuit board is designed to flex up to 500 million times the usual device lifespan. Many of the PCBs can be bent in any direction. These circuit boards’ low ductility and bulk help them tolerate vibrations and shocks, which improves their performance in such applications.

High System Reliability

One of the key challenges with previous circuit boards was interconnections. One of the most common causes of circuit board failure was interconnection failure. PCBs with fewer connector points are now possible to design. This has improved their dependability in difficult situations.

Possible to Create Streamlined Designs

Circuit geometries have improved thanks to flexible PCB technology. Surface mounting the components on the circuit boards simplifies the overall design.

Suited for High-Temperature Applications

Polyimide materials, for example, can tolerate high temperatures and are resistant to acids, oils, and gases. As a result, the flexible circuit boards can endure temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius and difficult working conditions.

Cost Savings

Polyimide films that are flexible and thin can readily fit into a smaller space, lowering overall assembly costs. Flexible circuit boards can also assist cut down on testing time, wire routing errors rejects, and rework.

Saving Space

Flex PCBs take up around 10% of the space and weight of traditional circuit board assemblies, allowing for more installation and packaging flexibility. The inherent flexibility also allows for tighter bends.

Maximum Reliability

There are fewer interconnects on a flexible printed circuit board, which means fewer contact crimps, connectors, and solder joints. Simply explained, a flexible PCB board contains fewer potential failure causes, which improves its reliability.

Enhanced Capabilities

The flexible printed circuit boards can be useful with almost any sort of connector or component, and they function well with ZIP connectors. They also function exceptionally well at severe temperatures and have superior radiation and chemical resistance.

What are the applications of flexible PCB?

The flexible printed circuit boards are suitable for both dynamic and static applications. We can build a circuit board with little flexing in mind for static applications. Flexible circuit boards are good to utilise in applications that require high precision and consistent flexing. Avionics is one of the most well-known instances.

Antilock brakes are a type of brake that prevents the vehicle from locking up.

  • Equipment with bar codes
  • Packs of batteries
  • Cameras
  • Pumps for fuel
  • Systems of motion
  • Satellites
  • Devices for testing and manufacturing semiconductors
  • Medical devices and ultrasound probes

To get high-quality flex PCBs for future electronic projects, Victory PCB manufactures impeccable flexible PCBs at competitive prices.

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