Rigid circuit board - the circuit type with the most application scenarios
According to the state of the circuit board, these boards are divided into different types: rigid PCB, flexible PCB and rigid-flex PCB. As the name suggests, a rigid printed circuit board is a type of circuit that is characterized by being strong, and electronics manufacturers are keen to use it in electronic products because it is cheap. As the best rigid circuit manufacturer in China, FS Technology will introduce our capabilities in this area and fully introduce these types of PCB in the following content.
Highlights of FS Technology in Rigid PCB Fabrication
There are numerous rigid PCB manufacturers to choose from worldwide that provide vastly different manufacturing and assembly services for electronic projects, but FS Technology is definitely the best and most experienced service provider in China. We can provide a more comprehensive service at a lower price so if you are searching for rigid PCBs or rigid PCBA for your projects, please be sure to consult us. You can get a rigid printed circuit board up to 1-58L with a maximum board size of 1100×650 mm. We use a variety of materials for our rigid boards including:
CME1, CME3, FR-4, High TG FR4, Halogen-free FR4, Polyimide and aluminum. In addition to basic PCB fabrication services, you will have more choices from FS Technology:
- Fast Turnaround Service
- Rigid PCB Prototyping
- Multi-layer Rigid PCB up to 58L
- Various materials are available (polyimide rigid PCB, etc.)
- Turnkey Rigid PCB Assembly Services
Rigid PCB/PCBA Sample Display
Why Use Rigid PCB Circuits
If you are looking to purchase cost-effective PCBA boards or a bulk order, ordering rigid PCBs & using the rigid PCBA manufacturing service from FS Technology is the best choice. Compared with other types of circuit boards, rigid boards have the following advantages:
- Enables the creation of smaller board sizes
- Rigid boards are much stronger and more functional than other board types
- Much cheaper than flex and rigid-flex PCBs
- Attenuate electrical noise from electronic equipment
- Reduce total project costs in terms of design, development and installation
- Applying DFM to advanced rigid circuit boards ensures proper development and manufacturing
- It can not be modified and changed to another shape when its construction is completed.
- Better quality of rigid PCB substrate material
- More designable and easy-to-build single-layer, double-layer and multi-layer Rigid PCB boards
- High-end rigid PCBs are the best for computer CPU motherboards
- A mover in the 5G communications industry and considered a major part of RAM, CPUs and GPUs.
- Modern management can achieve standardized, large-scale and automated production
The composition of FR4 rigid PCB
The construction of FR4 rigid boards is done through the use of a combination of different types of layers that offer heat resistance to the board. There are many layers involved in the final composition of the PCB board and all these layers are described in the below section:
- Solder Mask
- Copper Layer
At the starting bottom layer or base, the substrate layer is essentially the foundation of the PCB and the initial step for rigid board construction. FR4 material is used for the creation of substrate and the rigid nature of FR4 is what increases the rigidity of the overall board. Alongside FR4, different materials including phenolics and epoxies are also used for the creation of substrate. However, such materials are mostly not used since they do not offer as much strength as Rigid FR-4 PCB but are used in some projects where a lower price is required.
For protecting the various PCB layers and paths created on the board, the use of copper as the solder mask is used. Solder mask works as an insulator and protects the copper layers from oxidation in other conditions. The solder mask of rigid PCB typically comes in distinct colors like green, black, blue, pink etc., but a green color is mainly used.
When the creation and application of substrate layers are complete, a copper layer is placed on the substrate. These copper layers work as the lamentation for the substrate and protect the substrate from heat and other environmental conditions. The best and most important feature of the copper layer is that it helps in the transmission of data among the many components and layers of the board. It is necessary to know the manufacturer’s rigid PCB copper thickness capability in detail before choosing a service provider to serve you. In some projects, double-layer rigid boards are used, which have copper layers on both sides whereas, in lower-cost projects, single-layer boards are commonly used but can affect the overall operation of those projects.
The last and topmost layer of the board is the silkscreen layer and on this layer, there are oftentimes a vast array of numbers and symbolic representations (component identification numbers, symbols, schematics, etc) that can be printed on the rigid board to assist in the use, assembly (soldering) or connection of electronic components for the creation of projects.
Multilayer rigid PCB for different fields
Rigid Aerospace Circuit
Due to the rigidity of rigid PCBs, they can provide stable and reliable mechanical performance in extreme environments, to the extent that rigid PCBAs can be used in the aerospace industries, often seen in global positioning systems (GPS) and satellite components. In order to make them capable of challenging extreme environments while still performing to the highest standard, the circuit boards typically used in the aerospace industry require special composite materials and high-strength internal structures. The rigid aerospace PCB boards and PCBA service that FS Technology provides can cater towards numerous applications, including:
- Radio Communication System
- Radar Device
- Power Converter
- LED Lighting Systems
- Temperature & Environmental Sensors
- Audio Interface Applications
Repeater Rigid PCB
Since signal transmission of wireless electronic devices has a common disadvantage of an increase in the distance leading to a weakening in the signal, this may lead to an overall diminishing of signal transmission capabilities in a multitude of electronic devices. However, the emergence of repeaters PCB serves as a well-suited solution to this problem. High-frequency and high-density rigid PCBs play a key role in the internal structure of a repeat and through the ability of these circuit boards to amplify signals and compensate for signal attenuation, the signal transmission distance can significantly increase.
Autonomous Vehicle Rigid PCB
Traditional automobiles focus on the development of mechanics and hydraulics, while the modern automobile industry relies more on electronic PCBA applications. In the automotive field, rigid HDI PCB can result in higher-quality mechanical systems, ABS, anti-skid control, etc. FS Technology has the ability to manufacture and assemble almost all rigid PCBA boards used in the automotive industry, including for:
- Engine Control
- Drive Control Modules
- Sensor Systems
- Door Locks/Locking Systems
- Occupant Detectors
- LED Displays and Touch Screens
- GPS Systems
- Sound Systems
- Emergency Assistance Systems
Rigid Medical Device PCBA
Rigid PCBs used in the medical industry have a higher degree of contrast in manufacturing difficulties due to their wide uses. In the case of lighting components, for example, the difficulty of manufacturing these medical PCB is comparatively low with a far lower price point that even ordinary rigid PCB manufacturers can produce them easily. On the other hand, products such as X-ray machines, CT scans and implantable microelectronics require more complex manufacturing techniques and require a professional turnkey rigid circuit board assembly company to achieve their maximum quality. FS Technology has been seeking technological breakthroughs in high level rigid board manufacturing and assembly and began to introduce skilled engineers in 2019 that are specifically trained in these fields. We believe that all your difficult projects can be completed with the assistance of our engineers’ rich knowledge and responsible attitude. The current manufacturing capabilities of FS Technology support the creation of rigid PCBAs for the following medical electronic devices:
- Handheld Wireless Controllers
- Laboratory diagnostics tools (laboratory blood diagnostics, high-pressure liquid chromatography and dialysis)
- Imaging and monitoring devices (ultrasounds, CTs, MRIs, PET scans, X-rays and patient monitors)
Rigid PCB vs Flex PCB
Choosing the printed circuit board that is suitable for your project can highly promote the advancement of the project. When discussing what kind of circuit board is suitable for your project, in addition to paying attention to the characteristics of the materials used, you also need to consider the hardness or durability of the PCB. The following from FS Technology will compare rigid, flexible and rigid-flex PCBs to help you select a more suitable PCB type.
Simply from the names of the two types of boards, the most obvious difference between rigid and flexible PCBs is in the softness and hardness of the boards. Rigid PCBs are essentially circuit boards built from a rigid base material that cannot be bent or structurally altered after customization, while flex PCBs are built on flexible bases that can purposely be bent, twisted and folded. Although both rigid and flexible PCBs are widely used in electronic equipment and have the same basic purpose, we cannot ignore the advantages and disadvantages of their performance. We’ll do a simple comparison here and expand on it in “Rigid vs Flex PCB”.
- Lower cost of rigid PCB manufacturing and assembly (PCBA): The predominant drivers of PCB manufacturing and PCBA cost include the material used, number of layers, size, etc. Although both board types are manufactured in a similar way, flexible PCBs are commonly more expensive than rigid PCBs under the same circumstances. If you consider the project profits, FS Technology recommends that you first conduct PCBA cost driver analysis and can reduce the overall project cost through rigid materials.
- Additional protection: Due to the circuit pattern of flex PCBs being exposed, turnkey manufacturers have to use a cover film instead of a solder mask during its creation process. On the other hand, rigid PCBs do not have this concern and only need the normal PCB manufacturing process.
- Flexibility: Even if rigid boards have better reliability, they are powerless in the face of three-dimensional space, so it is not suitable for some electrical projects that require flexibility of circuit boards.
- Circuit board layers: We know that the number of high-level PCBA is equivalent to more wiring space in its internal structure. Furthermore, the higher the number of layers of the multi-layer board, the less the influence of electromagnetic interference between the layers and hence, the interference between signals is reduced. Due to the differences between the two board types, rigid materials are more suitable for building rigid double-sided, four-layer and six-layer PCBs, while flexible boards are more for single-layer PCBs.
- Electronic projects: Some small-size devices and electronic modules such as computer keyboards and toys make use of rigid PCBs but for high-operation projects, FPCBs are used as they minimize the use of hardware connectors and provide a reliable solution for most connection failures.
Polyimide rigid PCBs are a category of boards that come with a nonflexible structure and cannot be modified to another shape easily. If high pressure is applied to these boards, it is likely that the boards will break. Its design and structure are a combination of different types of layers such as the bottom substrate layer, followed by the copper solder mask layer and at the top, a silkscreen layer that is important in ensuring that electrical connections are established for the different projects that the board is assembled for. These boards, contrary to other types of boards, can be created in single, double and multilayer rigid PCB, depending on the project requirements. Their main feature is that when these rigid circuit boards are produced, there is no chance to modify them and convert them into another form post-manufacturing.
In conclusion, detailed explanations have previously been done focusing on rigid PCB boards that will help you to get an in-depth overview of the features of this PCB type. Rigid boards have increasingly become a very common aspect in the electronics industry and engineering projects because of their giving nature that enhances their use in the computer industry. The versatility of these boards allows for different projects, especially with computer boards due to their rigid and solid structure. Even when a large number of components are configured and assembled on complex rigid PCBs, the board can handle all components accurately, providing the necessary strength to both the board and all needed PCBA components on the board.