Rigid-flex PCBs combine flexibility with stability for high-reliability electronics.
Available structures for Rigid Flex PCBs
There are numerous, different structures available. The more common ones are defined below:
Traditional rigid flex construction (IPC-6013 type 4) Multilayer rigid and flexible circuit combination containing three or more layers with plated through holes. Capability is 22L with 10L flex layers.
Asymmetrical rigid flex construction, where the FPC is situated on the outer layer of the rigid construction. Containing three or more layers with plated through holes.
Multilayer rigid flex construction with buried / blind via (microvia) as part of the rigid construction. 2 layers of microvia are achievable. Construction may also include two rigid structures as part of a homogeneous build. Capability is 2+n+2 HDI structure.
Number of layers
Mixed materials including RF and high speed, standard FR-4, polyimide flex. Adhesiveless or adhesive based polyimide flex constructions, with cover coat or flexible solder mask materials.
Based on the specific design, the bend performance can range from a basic 90 °bend to fit to a full dynamic flex with 360° range of motion in the flex tail that will withstand continuous cycles throughout the product life.
Bend radius controls the flexibility of the flex portion of the board. The thinner the material the lower the bend radius and the more flexible the flex section.
RA copper, HTE copper, FR-4, polyimide, adhesive
Copper weights (finished)
0.5 OZ, 1 OZ, 2OZ, 3OZ
Minimum track and gap
0.075mm / 0.075mm
0.4mm to 3mm
PCB thickness in flex section
0.05mm to 0.8mm
457mm to 610mm
Surface finishes available
ENIG, OSP Immersion tin, Immersion silver
Minimum mechanical drill
FAQ about Rigid-flex PCBs
A rigid-flex PCB is a type of printed circuit board that combines the benefits of rigid and flexible PCBs into one product. It consists of a rigid inner layer and a flexible outer layer, which allows for better versatility and flexibility in design and usage.
A standard PCB is typically made of a single layer of material and can only bend or flex to a limited degree. A rigid-flex PCB, on the other hand, has multiple layers and can bend and flex more easily, making it ideal for applications that require a lot of movement or compact design.
Rigid-flex PCBs offer improved durability, reduced space requirements, and better electrical performance compared to standard PCBs. They are also better suited for harsh environmental conditions, such as extreme temperatures, shock and vibration.
Rigid-flex PCBs are widely used in the aerospace, medical and telecommunications industries, among others.
The production process for a rigid-flex PCB is similar to that of a standard PCB, but with additional steps to create the flexible and rigid layers. The flexible layer is typically made from a polyimide material, while the rigid layer is made from a traditional PCB material, such as FR4. The two layers are then combined and laminated together to create the final product.
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