Rigid PCB VS flex PCB

Rigid PCB VS flex PCB – which one is better to handle

Table of Contents

The definition of rigid PCB VS flex PCB

■  A rigid PCB is a printed circuit board that has a rigid substrate.
■  A printed circuit board with a flexible substrate is known as flex PCB.

Rigid PCBs are made up of a rigid substrate, which helps to give rigidity and strength to the board. The rigid substrate is made of copper, which provides extra stiffness and strength. In addition, rigid PCBs are also cheaper than flexible PCBs because they don’t need any special materials for bending or folding purposes.
Rigid PCBs are also known as stiffened boards because they have an added amount of stiffness compared to regular PCBs.
Generally, printed circuit boards are made of rigid materials. Flexible printed circuits are made of flexible materials that can bend or stretch under their weight. 


Flexible printed circuits have no limitations on bending or breaking as long as they remain under whatever load is applied to them.
Flexible printed circuits are more expensive than rigid PCBs because they require special handling during manufacture.
The flexibility of a PCB can be defined as the ability to be bent or rolled into a curved shape. Flexible circuit boards have been used in many applications, including medical devices and military electronics. In contrast, rigid circuit boards are designed to withstand external forces without breaking or deforming significantly when subjected to high pressures or stress levels (such as during transportation). The flexible material is there to help in the bending process without any damping when it comes to a rigid PCB VS flex PCB.

Types of rigid PCB and flex PCB

★ Rigid PCB


● Single-layer rigid PCBs are the most common type of rigid PCB. This type of rigidity comes from using a single layer of copper foil and applying a coating to help protect against corrosion.

● Double-sided rigid PCBs use two layers of copper foil, which ensures that there is no possibility of leaching or cracking.

● Multi-layer rigid PCBs have more than one layer of metal foil on top of each other.

★ Flex PCB


● Small and single-sided boards have a better performance with single-layer flex PCB. It’s a great choice for applications that don’t require a lot of space.

● Double-sided flex PCB is used for bigger boards that have more components on them. The double side makes it easier for you to add components and connect them on both sides of the board. This type of flex PCB is also referred to as a double-sided circuit board (DSCCB).

● Multi-layer flex PCB consists of multiple layers of flexible material placed one above another on top of one another. It’s sometimes referred to as a stackable circuit board (SCCB) or stackable hybrid substrate (SHBS).

The advantages of rigid PCB and flex PCB

The advantages of rigid PCB and flex PCB


                                RIGID PCB

                                   FLEX PCB

Rigid PCBs are a great way to ensure your technology stays safe, even when you’re on the move.


Flex PCBs are unique in that they are flexible and offer greater design flexibility than rigid boards. They can be bent, flexed, and twisted without affecting the overall circuit performance or reliability.

Rigid PCBs are a great solution for your next PCB project. They’re small, inexpensive, and easy to use.


Flex PCBs are more flexible than rigid boards due to their soft material properties. This allows for greater design flexibility because it allows for more complex shapes and designs at a lower cost than rigid boards.

They’re also very low in noise, meaning your product won’t interfere with other electronics. Rigid PCBs are also resistant to movement, which means they’ll last longer than regular PCBs.


 The increased reliability of the circuit is also a great benefit of flex PCBs as it allows for higher voltage levels without worrying about damage or failure due to premature circuit issues.


Rigid PCBs are also easier to diagnose and repair. If there’s a problem with the design or manufacturing process, you can simply send it off for repair without having to replace the whole board!


When there is less need for soldering points or solder paste when repairing damaged flex circuit boards compared to rigid ones. They also offer increased convenience in repair and maintenance due to their flexible nature. This makes it much easier in industries where equipment can be used for many years.

Rigid PCBs are also immune to movement and vibration, so they don’t lose any of their functionality.


Flex PCBs have a wide temperature range, which makes them suitable for harsher environments.

The similarities and differences between rigid PCB VS flex PCB

♥ The similarities between rigid PCB VS flex PCB are:

● Both are printed circuit boards (PCBs).

● They are both used for high-speed and high-frequency applications.

    ♥ Flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs) are popular for all types of electronic equipment and applications, including consumer electronics, networking equipment, and medical devices. They offer some differences over rigid boards, including:

● Flexibility: Flex PCBs can be bent into different shapes and configurations to meet specific needs.

● Durability: Flex PCBs are more durable than rigid PCBs because they are less likely to crack or break when flexed. Furthermore, their flexible nature makes them less likely to become damaged by environmental factors such as extreme temperatures or humidity levels.

● Connectivity: Flex PCBs allow for increased connectivity among components mounted on them. This allows designers to create more systems that are complex without having to redesign their boards as often as they would otherwise have to do with rigid PCBs.

● Resistance: Flex PCB’s flexibility means that they can be bent at specific points without breaking apart entirely like rigid boards would upon flexing at those same points (i.e., it doesn’t snap back into shape). This makes them resistant to external forces such as impact damage or vibrations from other parts of the system.

When to use rigid PCB VS flex PCB

When to use rigid PCB VS flex PCB

Flex PCBs are more cost-effective than rigid PCBs.

● Flex PCBs are ideal for high-reliability applications, high-density applications, because they can withstand higher amounts of stress than other types of PCBs. This makes them suitable for use in applications where the units are exposed to extreme temperatures or harsh environments. They’re also able to withstand more shock than other types of PCBs, making them ideal for use in rugged devices such as computers and mobile phones.

● Flex PCBs offer greater flexibility than other types of PCB materials by allowing you to create custom shapes and sizes without having to deal with additional costs or time constraints associated with creating them from scratch.

● Rigid PCBs are more common, and less expensive, so it is appropriate to use rigid PCB when cost efficiency is taking into account. When it comes to large scale production, the automated production and manufacturing facilities made the rigid PCB more optimal than flex PCB.

IPC standards for rigid PCB VS flex PCB

IPC 2223C describes the requirements for rigid PCB VS flex PCB. The IPC standard has been around for many years, and it is still widely used in the industry.

There are two basic categories when designing a PCB: flexible and rigid. Rigid PCBs are composed of numerous layers, each of which serves a particular purpose, such as connecting components or ensuring electrical continuity. They are often built from rigid materials like copper foil bonded onto an aluminium board.

Flexible PCBs are made from plastic materials such as polyimide or FR4 glass epoxy resin that can be bent into any shape to accommodate the design needs of a system designer.

To meet IPC design standard 2223C, the design must claim a flex core that is adhesiveless. Polyimide coverlays are laminated onto the surface of the flex layers to encapsulate the circuitry and serve the same purpose as solder masks do to rigid boards.

What need to be noticed in particular when design rigid PCB VS flex PCB

What need to be noticed in particular when design rigid PCB VS flex PCB

When designing rigid PCB vs flex PCB, the following factors need to be taken into consideration:

 ★  The thickness of the board. The thicker your flex circuit board is, the more expensive it will be. The cost increases as you increase from 0.5mm to 1mm, and then to 2mm thicknesses.

 ★  Surface finish. A surface finish can help improve the reliability and durability of your electronic device by providing better conductivity between surfaces within an assembly process.

For example, a smooth surface might cause interference between components on a circuit board due to corrosion issues caused by moisture exposure over time. However, if you choose a textured coating such as PEI, there’s no guarantee that these areas won’t become damaged first before they fail which might result in costly repairs later down the road due to a lack of proper maintenance procedures set forth beforehand during manufacturing stages prior release date.


Flex PCBs are a type of printed circuit board (PCB), which means that it is made up of layers of copper and aluminium. FR4 and other materials, such as polyimide film, can also be utilised as the flexible substrate.

Consumer electronics and medical equipment are two examples of the many possibilities for Flex PCB. They can be built into enclosures for heat sinks or other components, or even into devices themselves like cell phones and tablets!

The two types of rigid PCB VS flex PCB have a lot in common. They both offer great performance, high flexibility and reliability. The main difference between them is that rigid PCBs are more suitable for large-volume applications while flex PCBs are better suited for smaller ones. Rigid boards are also more costly than flex ones but this does not mean that they’re better or worse than their counterparts.

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