Most circuit boards can be classified as rigid or flexible depending on their construction. Rigid printed circuit boards are characterized by a solid, rigid design. Flexible printed circuit boards, on the other hand, are characterized by a bendable, flexible design. They both feature conductive pathways, and they are both used to control the flow of electricity. The difference is that flexible printed circuit boards are flexible. When should you use choose a flexible printed circuit board exactly?
Rigid Printed Circuit Boards Are Recommended for Most Applications
For most applications, rigid printed circuit boards are recommended. They offer a durable and cost-effective circuit solution. Rigid printed circuit boards are made of strong materials, so you can rest assured knowing that they will last. Rigid printed circuit boards also cost less than flexible printed circuits. With their low cost, many business owners prefer them over flexible printed circuits. But there are still reasons to choose a flexible printed circuit, including the following.
If you’re trying to conserve space, you may want to choose a flexible printed circuit board. Both flexible and rigid printed circuit boards will take up space in the devices in which they are used. Flexible printed circuit boards, however, typically take up less space than their rigid counterparts.
Wearable electronics often feature printed circuit boards to conserve space. There are smartwatches with flexible printed circuit boards. Smartwatches require a small design for comfort and ergonomics. By opting for a flexible printed circuit board instead of a rigid printed circuit board, manufacturers can design small, compact smartwatches.
Bend Without Breaking
You should also choose a flexible printed circuit board for devices that you intend to bend. Some devices are designed to be bent during use. Laptops, for instance, are designed to be bent during use. When you open a laptop, you’ll bend the monitor up. Laptop monitors use flexible printed circuit boards that can handle this bending.
Flexible printed circuit boards are commonly found in keyboards. Many keyboards use them for their switch matrix. Like with other devices, flexible printed circuit boards allow keyboards to bend without breaking.
When choosing between a rigid printed circuit board and a flexible printed circuit, you should consider the application for which you intend to use it. If you need to conserve space and/or bend the device without breaking it, you may want to choose a flexible printed circuit board. For other applications, a rigid printed circuit board may suffice.