Rigid-flex PCB is a specialized flexible PCB that is a hybrid between rigid and flexible printed circuit boards. Rigid-flex PCB circuits are multilayer printed circuit boards with multiple flex material layers attached to one or more rigid boards.
In Rigid-flex PCB boards, the flexible layers give bendability to the circuit, while rigid layers support components attached to the circuit. Rigid-flex PCB circuits eliminate the use of connectors or wires to attached circuit boards, and the whole circuit of a device is easily prepared using this technology.
Rigid-flex PCB boards are light and flexible compared to rigid PCB boards and can easily fit into modern devices due to their compact nature. Signal loss issue is less in Rigid-flex PCB circuits as they do not use the connectors to join different rigid and flex substrates on Rigid-flex PCB.
In this post, we will discuss the reasons that make Rigid-flex PCB one of the most useful PCBs in the current electronic industries and what the current market size and future Rigid-flex PCB has.
Evolution of Rigid-Flex PCB
Until the nineteenth century, there was no concept of Rigid-flex PCB or even hand-made Printed circuit boards. It was in the twentieth century when rigid PCB boards were introduced by American and Europeans in the electronics market.
Soon these printed boards became mandatory components of every electronic device. First rigid PCBs were transformed into flex PCBs, and then their hybrid Rigid-flex PCB was manufactured In the 1990s. Compaq computers are believed to be the first to use Rigid-flex PCB circuits in their laptops.
Since its discovery, the rigid and flex layers of Rigid-flex PCB are connected using plated thru holes, and rigid boards are attached inward or outward depending on their application in the electronic device. Rigid-flex PCB commonly contains FR4 rigid boards and polyamide flex boards attached with PSA or epoxy-based adhesives.
Initially, the purpose of Rigid-flex PCB circuits in the laptop was to reduce connectors, but later on, it was used for the miniaturization of laptops as well. Now you can find Rigid-flex PCB circuits in every consumer laptop.
Primarily, the purpose of Rigid-flex PCB was static flexing which gives flexibility and support to the components at the time of its installation. Now you can find static and dynamic Rigid-flex PCB circuits in advanced electronics where dynamic Rigid-flex PCB flexes millions of times within devices during its functioning and support components as well.
Reasons That Made Rigid-Flex PCB Stand Out
Due to their portable size, lightweight, bendability without breakage, and design freedom Rigid-flex PCB have become the number one choice of the electronic manufacturer to use as their power circuits. Due to their reliability, you can find Rigid-flex PCB circuits as main circuits in commercial and domestic electronic items.
Rigid-flex PCB circuits are used in defense, automotive, aerospace, communication, medical, and other important electronic industries. Due to their compactness and ability to work under extreme temperatures, Rigid-flex PCB has become the basic circuit of aerospace and defense devices that work under extreme temperatures.
Rigid-flex PCB circuits are primarily used in the telecommunication industry. Their ability to lose data during transmission makes them essential components of communication devices such as mobile phones, laptops, radars, and satellites. Rigid-flex PCB is present in the majority of medical wearable devices as well.
Currently, Rigid-flex PCB dominates the security, medical, communication, lighting, aerospace, and automotive sectors. However, due to their benefits and hybrid nature, Rigid-flex PCB circuits will replace traditional circuits in most electronic devices in the coming years and will stand out in every electronic industrial sector.
Industries That Led to the Rise of Rigid-Flex PCB
You can find Rigid-flex PCB circuits in almost all advanced electronic devices, from smartphones to digital cameras. Some major industries that led to the rise of Rigid-flex PCB are as follows
Rigid-flex PCB circuits easily work at high temperatures and easily flex without breaking. Rigid-flex PCB circuits are majorly used in the military industry. Many arms manufacturers use them in weapons guidance systems, missile-launch, drones, detectors, and other defense devices.
Rigid-flex PCB circuits can easily work in harsh environments and need less maintenance than other PCBs; thus, many aerospace device manufacturers use Rigid-flex PCB in satellites, vibration, and noise testing systems, Radar equipment, and other aerospace devices.
Due to their decreased interface connections and compact nature, Rigid-flex PCB easily fits in medical devices. You can easily find Rigid-flex PCB in handheld monitors, Pacemakers, body scanners, and wearable devices.
Rigid-flex PCB circuits are commonly used in communication devices due to their low-loss signal abilities during signal transmission. Laptops, routers and servers, mobile phones, and many other communication devices use Rigid-flex PCB in their circuits.
Due to their unique features and compact circuits, many detection and safety systems of automotive works use Rigid-flex PCB circuits. You can find Rigid-flex PCB circuits in transmission controls, LCD displays, music systems, navigation control, air conditioning, and heating systems of vehicles.
Consumer Goods Industry
As they are cost-friendly compared to flex circuits, you can find Rigid-flex PCB circuits in consumer electronics, such as refrigerators, Air conditioners, Cameras, washing systems, and Ovens.
Rigid Flex PCB 2022 Market Share & Projected Figures for the Foreseeable Future
Rigid-flex PCB market share in 2022 was estimated to be $2.2 billion, which is forecasted to rise to $3.1 billion by 2028 due to Rigid-flex PCB circuit consumption in automotive, medical, aerospace, military, communication, and other electronic fields.
The leading manufacturers of Rigid-flex PCB include Unimicron, Compaq, NCAB Group, Kingboard, Shennan Circuits, Advance circuits, Nippon Mektron, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics.
The countries that majorly produce Rigid-flex PCB in North America include Canada, USA, and Mexico. At the same time, the largest producers of Rigid-flex PCB in Asia include China, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and India.
The largest producer of Rigid-flex PCB in Europe includes Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, and France. While worldwide, China is the leading producer of Rigid-flex PCB and other advanced PCBs.
In this post, we have discussed Rigid-flex PCB, the reasons for their popularity, and the global rigid-flex market trends. If you are looking for a reliable Hdi Pcb manufacturer.