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, rigid-flex PCB, and semi-flexible 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, this article FS Technology will introduce our manufacturing capabilities in detail and give you a comprehensive introduction to this type of PCB based on our experience!
Highlights of FS Technology in Rigid PCB Fabrication
Although there are many rigid PCB manufacturers to choose from worldwide that provide vastly different manufacturing and assembly services for electronic projects, FS Technology is definitely the most correct choice for you! We are from Shenzhen, China, and because of the labor force, we can provide rigid PCB quotations that are more competitive than European and American countries. In addition, turnkey service is our special and bright spot, which can solve all manufacturing needs before sales. Finally we have obtained extensive qualification certification to ensure that all products are up to standard. If you are searching for PCB or PCBA for your electronic projects, please be sure to consult us. In return, you will get a 1-58L rigid board with a maximum board size of 1100 × 650 mm. Below is a snapshot of our manufacturing capabilities:
- Rigid Material: CME1, CME3, FR-4, High TG, Halogen Free and Metal, etc.
- Service Options: Bare Board, PCBA, Box Build, Wire Harness Assembly, etc.
- Value-Added Services: Prototyping, Fast Turnaround, Design Upgrades, Turnkey Services, etc.
Rigid PCB/PCBA Sample Display
Why Use Rigid Printed Circuits
In many electronic projects, circuit design, material selection, and a series of operations are often tailored to the specific features of the project. However, a noticeable trend in most electronic devices is the frequent preference for rigid PCB. Why does this inclination towards rigid PCB prevail in the majority of electronic devices?
- PCB type with higher cost performance, under the same conditions, rigid PCB＞flexible PCB＞rigid-flexible PCB;
- It is advantageous in reducing the total project cost due to its ease of design, development, manufacture and assembly;
- Applying DFM to rigid PCB prototyping ensures correct development project progression;
- Help straighten out the circuit structure, reduce the size of electronics and reduce electrical noise;
- As stated in the rigid PCB definition, it is a highly reliable printed circuit board;
- Relying on advanced technology such as HDI and multi-layer structure makes it suitable for high-end electronics.
- It can not be modified and changed to another shape when its construction is completed;
- A mover in the 5G communications industry and considered a major part of RAM, CPU and GPU;
- Rigid circuit materials are optional and of better quality to meet the special needs of different projects;
- High-end rigid PCBs are the best for computer CPU motherboards;
- With designability, manufacturability, and assemblability, it is often easier to realize PCBA construction;
- Modern management can achieve standardized, large-scale and automated production.
Rigid PCB vs Flex PCB
Choosing the right PCB for your project before you start designing will help you move forward, which involves more aspects such as material properties, rigidity, durability and price. If you have a strong interest in this please read “Rigid PCB vs. Flexible PCB”, the following will be briefly introduced:
- Definition: The names of the two already show the difference in definition, that is, the hardness of the board.
- Material: The manufacturing material of rigid PCB is usually FR4 that cannot be bent or structurally altered after customization, while flex PCB is built on flexible bases that can purposely be bent, twisted and folded.
- Number of layers: The number of layers of the circuit board means the wiring space of the internal structure. The more layers there are, the smaller the influence of electromagnetic interference between layers, and the more components can be installed. Rigid PCB is easier to build multi-layers, while flexible PCB is generally within 10 layers;
- Cost: Under the same circumstances, the manufacturing cost of rigid PCB is lower, but flexible PCB has more significant advantages for the overall cost of the project. It is recommended to understand the PCBA cost driver analysis;
- Additional protection: The circuit will be disturbed by external factors, for this reason often use solder mask to protect the printed circuit board, however, this is effective for rigid PCB but will hinder the flexible PCB can be bent and folded characteristics, so additional cover film is required;
- Adaptability: For some small devices and electronic modules that require reliability (such as computer keyboards and toys), it is recommended to choose a rigid PCB, and for three-dimensional space or high-operation projects, it is recommended to use FPCB.
Composition of Rigid PCB Board
Rigid PCB boards can be manufactured from many different materials, some common options are FR4, ceramic substrate, metal substrate, here we take FR4 rigid board as an example to introduce its internal structure. In its internal structure, different layers are stacked to provide better heat resistance for the board. These layers include: Substrate, Solder Mask, Copper Layer, Silkscreen.
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 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 PCB copper thickness capability in detail before choosing a service provider to serve you. In some projects, double-layer rigid PCB is used, which has copper layers on both sides whereas, in lower-cost projects, single-layer rigid PCB is 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.
Application of Multilayer Rigid PCB
Due to the ease of constructing multiple layers with rigid PCB, they play a significant role in various advanced fields. Let’s delve into the applications of these multi-layer PCB manufactured with rigid materials:
Rigid Aerospace Circuit
Due to the rigidity, they can provide stable and reliable mechanical performance in extreme environments, to the extent that rigid PCBA 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 board 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 and more.
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 PCB 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 and more.
Rigid Medical Device PCBA
Rigid PCB 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.
Rigid PCB is 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 PCB, the board can handle all components accurately, providing the necessary strength to both the board and all needed PCBA components on the board.
Having gone through these details, you probably have a better understanding of whether your project necessitates a rigid PCB. If you are actively seeking PCB manufacturing services, FS Technology stands out as your ideal partner. With years of profound experience in the electronics field, we have a keen awareness of the pain points and challenges in projects, enabling us to deliver superior services tailored to your needs.