Flex Pcb Manufacturer Explains the Different Types of Flex Pcbs: Flex vs Rigid Pcbs

Posted on 2020-12-08

Additive and Semi Additive Technologies of PCB Boards

Flex Pcb Manufacturer

Flexible printed circuit boards are one of the most popular types of printed circuit boards used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications. Flex Pcb Manufacturer designs and manufacture flexible printed circuits keeping our customers’ needs in mind. Hence, they provide quality and durability while being cost effective in terms of design and manufacturing.

What are the different types of the Flex Pcb?

  1. Single side of the FPC

After creating a single-panel substrate circuit and adding a film coating layer, it becomes the most basic flexible PCB.

Double side of FPC

Generally, Flex Pcb Manufacturer uses a double-sided board substrate. After the double-sided circuit is made, a film coating is added to each surface to become another main PCB.

Air gap in 2 one side of the FPC

Basically, it is combined with 2 flexible PCB side panels, the design without glue and bare space within the joint area. Moreover, it achieves the goal of high winding requirements

Multilayer Flexible PCB  

Generally, it comes with single-sided panel or combination of double-sided panels. Furthermore, Pcb manufacturers make it in the form of three or more layers of the circuit diagram.

Flexible vs Rigid-Flex PCBs: Features and Differences

Flexible and flexible-rigid printed circuit boards made it possible to completely replace ribbon harnesses and flat-type wires. Hence, it eliminates bulky connectors, and creates a reliable connection between rigid electronic components and dogs.

Applying these plates minimizes weight and size characteristics of unit. Moreover, it also optimizes cooling conditions and greatly simplifies installation.

Features of flexible and flex-rigid printed circuit boards
Flexible printed circuit boards

Flex Pcb Manufacturer creates it on the basis of a thin, durable base material with a high degree of flexibility – polyimide film or polyethylene terephthalate. Such dielectrics contain SMD components or elements without packages. Due to their flexibility, the boards can take a compact shape, bend or bend. As a result – the possibility of three-dimensional mounting and the ability to bend around the contours of electronic devices enhance.

Flex Pcb Manufacturer describes Rigid-flex PCBs features

They are one of the complex electronic connecting structures of the equipment. Simple models of flexible-rigid boards contain one rigid and flexible dielectric layer. Similarly, more complex ones can contain dozens of such layers.

The design features of the devices make it possible to reduce weight and dimensions, integrate additional electronics. Therefore, it increases the reliability and durability of connections, and also completely abandons the connection connectors.

The nuance of manufacturing: Flex Pcb Manufacturer

The main difference between the technology of manufacturing flexible and flexible-rigid printed circuit boards from rigid analogs is the use of other base materials. According to Flex Pcb Manufacturer, it makes it possible to reduce the thickness of the boards and place them on more than one plane.

Flex Pcb Manufacturer manufacturing methods

Flex Pcb Manufacturer

Conventionally, all methods of manufacturing printed circuit boards can be combined into four groups:
  • additive;
  • subtractive;
  • semi-additive;


These processes involve the removal of specific areas of the conductive foil by etching. It is most often chemical. Moreover, it can be used to create an inner layer of multi-layer products.

What stages does the future payment go through?

  • Nibbling the workpiece.
  • Drilling holes.
  • Moreover, preparation of the foil surface, removal of protrusions, surplus.
  • Pattern application of acid-resistant paint on those foils fragments.
  • Actually, deleting open fragments.
  • Solder mask overlay.
  • Similarly, formation on open parts of the metal layer by melting the solder (tinning).
  • Marking imprint.


The advantages of chemical actions can be considered the possibility of maximum automation of the above procedure and high productivity at low cost.

How does Flex Pcb Manufacturer explain disadvantages of pcb boards?

Among the shortcomings, the first one should highlight the environmental factor (considerable volumes of waste harmful liquids). Also, this technique cannot boast of an impeccable bond density.

Instead of chemical etching, we can create gaps between electrically conductive substances by mechanical action. Generally, we can do it with a special cutting tool. If we are talking about one-sided products, then it is enough to have one specialized machine with software control available. Hence, it allows you to form through holes and grooves of a given depth.

How to create blind cuts?

Generally, Flex Pcb Manufacturer creates blind cuts (scribing) with diamond cutters. This procedure must be carefully adjusted, because even a slight deviation in its parameters can lead to inaccuracies in the gap width.

The advantages of the method include low capital intensity, the absence of environmental pollutants. Moreover, it is good for making experimental prototypes, but for mass production it is better to choose another one. After all, the board takes longer to create, and at the same time its cost is more expensive than using reagents.

After exposure to the cutter, the plates require protection of the exterior from external factors. Therefore it has a coating with a solution, impregnation that does not interfere with the soldering process or varnish after installation.

In order to minimize the damage caused to the dielectric, lasers are used that engrave the contours of the conductors. Basically, the laser method is highly productive, but at the moment it is very expensive for mass distribution.

Flex Pcb Manufacturer Additive Manufacturing Technology

Such technologies are gaining more and more popularity among Flex Pcb Manufacturer. Furthermore, they have a great chance of gaining a dominant position in the mass production of printed dielectric bases. Basically, the initial material in this case is non-foil, on which the image is applied.

The advantages of the method (when compared with the previous one) are:

  • high reliability;
  • homogeneous compounds;
  • complete elimination of etching;
  • Similarly, no need for protective substances during the removal of selective sites, respectively, saving on raw materials and wastewater disposal;
  • Simplicity of the technological process.

Both the photo additive technique and the application of a photoresist at the very beginning go through the same stages: formation of the base, making recesses for metallization and treatment of the entire surface with a catalyst.

Photo additive technologies activate it using a negative photomask, after which it happens:

  • thick copper plating;
  • washing;
  • thorough drying;
  • applying a solder mask;
  • circumcision;
  • check;
  • Moreover, obtaining a certificate.

Their undoubted advantage is the application of a thin pattern. Subsequently, the disadvantage is the long-term interaction of the metalworking solution with the dielectric. Hence, it requires additional cleaning steps.

PCB factory China

If a photoresist is used, it is applied through the positive of a photomask. The next steps are:

  • its manifestation with exposure of areas with a catalyst;
  • Moreover, metalworking of grooves and conductors to form a thick layer;
  • marking;
  • shaping;
  • testing;

Generally, the polymer light-sensitive material serves as a protective coating on the insulation. Of the minuses, we can note the duration of the metallization process.

Semi-additive technologies

Basically, this method combines the advantages of subtractive and additive: the use of non-foil materials and the ability to produce thin conductive lines.

What does his scheme look like?
  • Creating a blank.
  • Making holes.
  • Thin-layer metallization.
  • Thin layer compaction.
  • Exposing the photoresist using a photomask.
  • Galvanic metallization.
  • Metal resist overlay.
  • Removing the polymer photosensitive source.
  • Fusion of metal resist using tin.
  • Deposition of contact coatings on end plates.
  • Applying a heat-resistant protective agent.
  • Coating treatment.
  • Perimeter trimming.

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