When you need a printer circuit board, or PCB, for your machine, you're likely to purchase either a flexible or rigid version. You may be used to buying rigid boards without really questioning why; consider the following reasons you may prefer flexible boards instead.
Good for High Temperatures
The material that is often used for these boards is polyimide, which is used in aerospace applications because of how well the substance resists damage when temperatures get very high. You might be aware of how hot electronic devices and other machines can become, so it is wise to use materials that are better suited to handle these temperatures without having to be switched out because its components warp or melt. Flexible PCBs will have to be replaced less often because they can better withstand the heat necessary to get work done.
Polyimide is a material that allows the boards to be made much thinner than the alternative. Because less material is needed to manufacture them, they are less expensive than rigid boards. Not only that, but shipping costs for these thinner pieces tend to be lower than other kinds of boards, which can save you money when you order them.
Of course, flexible PCBs are more bendable than rigid circuit boards. However, you might not know how this is beneficial for you. Typically, you'll have to do some bending to get the circuit board you're using to fit into place. This can be a challenge depending on how much space you have to work with. When you have to do upgrades on your system, you might need to move your circuit boards around to make room for new ones and other components. A board that is flexible will make this much easier than a rigid one that can only be positioned in a few ways based on its shape and flexibility. Having a flexible board will afford you additional options for configuration.
Better Vibration Absorption
One of the best reasons to select flexible PCBs instead of rigid types is that the thin size and light weight of the flexible boards permits them to absorb vibrations more effectively. Because they are not vibrating as much as rigid boards do as you use your machine or device, flexible PCBs usually have a longer life than rigid boards.
Now that you can understand why flexible PCBs could be a better choice when you need a circuit board for various machines, locate a local PCB manufacturer. They can answer any additional questions you have about which board are most suitable for your devices.