What is a Rigid PCB?
Rigid PCBs are also a type of Printed Circuit Board and they are highly manufactured. It is made up of solid substrate material, which can effectively be safe from distortion of the circuit board. Whereas the most commonly seen rigid PCBs are the computer motherboard. The motherboard is a multilayered PCB that is designed in such a way to distribute power from the power supply while allowing communication between all components of the computer, such as CPU and RAM. Rigid PCBs can be used in any position where the PCB itself needs to be set to a shape and maintained during the life of the electronic equipment.
Rigid PCBs can be anything from simple single-layer PCBs to eight or ten-layer multi-layer PCBs. Rigid PCBs and flexible PCBs are different from each other. One PCB is flexible and the other PCB is rigid-flex PCBs. Therefore, their applications are different from each other. Along with this, there are rigid-flex PCBs. There are some similarities between them. However, all rigid-Flex PCBs have single-layer, double-layer, or multi-layer structures of rigid and flexible boards so they have common applications in different fields of life.
Composition of Rigid PCBs:
Rigid PCBs are made up of different layers that are joined together using adhesive materials and heat, providing a solid shape to board material. Following layers are generally used to develop rigid PCBs.
The substrate layer, also known as base material, and is made up of fiberglass. The FR4 is usually used as a substrate material which is the most common fiberglass that provides rigidity and stiffness to the printed circuit boards. Phenolics and epoxies are also used as a base material but they are not as useful and friendly to use as FR4, however, they are less expensive and feature a unique bad smell. The decomposition temperature of phenolics is too low that resulting in delamination of the layer if solder is placed for a long duration of time.
On the top of the substrate layer, there is a copper foil which is laminated on the board with the help of the added amount of heat and adhesive. In common use, both sides of the board are laminated with copper conductive metal layers, while some cheap electronics come with only one layer of copper material on the board. Different boards come with different thicknesses which are described in ounces per square foot.
Solder Mask Layer:
Solder Mask Layer houses above lamination of the copper layer. This layer is added on the board to add insulation on the copper layer to avoid any dangerous condition such as damage in case any conduction material is touched with the copper layer.
The silkscreen layer is present above the solder mask layer. It is used to add characters or symbols on the board that provide a better understanding of the board. White color is mostly used for silkscreen however, other colors are also available just a few examples grey, red-black, and yellow.
Types of Rigid printed circuit boards:
These rigid printed circuit boards feature metal traces on a single side of the dielectric with simple designs. Single-sided rigid PCBs are ideal for rapid production due to their manufacturability.
As the name suggests, these printed circuit boards have a layer of dielectric present between two metal layers. The double-sided rigid printed circuit boards have become an industry staple. Their applications vary from low to high-temperature, fine line surface mounting, solder coatings, and high copper builds.
Basic Difference between Rigid and Flexible PCBs:
Most of the electronic devices made use of traditional rigid PCBs. However, technology brings a lot of changes, and many products have rigid PCBs because of their inability to get folded. This give the idea of flexible PCB, and soon it became the prerequisite for most of the professionals in the market. The manufacturing process of rigid and flexible printed circuit boards is identical, with some exceptions in their flexibility, softness, and prices. Some extra steps are required for processing Flexible PCBs when it comes to flexible material handling.
Also, proper specifications are needed to avoid any cracked solder joints when the board is bent. Flexible PCBs are most costly than rigid PCBs. However, we are referring to here individual cost of the flexible PCB, and it may happen the overall cost of the project using rigid PCBs are higher than the cost of the flexible PCB. individual price of flexible PCB will be higher. Many cheap electronic components use rigid PCBs, including audio keyboards, desktop devices, solid-state drives, toys, and many electronic gadgets.
However, flexible circuits are observed in top-performance devices because they don`t involve connectors thinner than a rigid circuit board and can be used in smartphones, cameras, tablets, and GPS. Both traditional rigid PCB and flexible boards can work together to construct a unified product with both strength and flexibility. Some flex PCBs follow the same design as rigid circuit design, but they are not identical to rigid-flex circuit boards.
Applications of Rigid PCBs:
· Industrial Automation and Electronics
We can use rigid boards for supporting industrial applications. Then we can use a multilayer PCB to create buried connections and they provide controlled impedance. So we can use them in applications in multiple electronic components that involve high frequency, high power, and high voltage. Some common examples include automation in robotic arms, conveyor belts, pressure controllers, gas tank monitors, and temperature controllers.
· Medical Applications
We can also use them in a great number of medical applications. However, they have restricted use in this sector as we only use them in large equipment. Some prominent examples include EMG (electromyography) equipment, tomography machines, and MRI systems in the medical field.
. Aerospace Applications
The aerospace sector is known for its extreme environment and conditions. They face some major challenges that include high temperature, friction, and high pressure. So, in this case, rigid circuit boards are very beneficial to use. This is because we can design them with premium substrates and laminate them with high-quality laminators. Some prominent examples include cockpit equipment, temperature sensors, control mechanisms, routing equipment, dashboard instrumentation, black box equipment, etc.
· Automotive Applications
We can use rigid circuit boards in automobiles. However, we have to deal with some extreme conditions when it comes to vehicles. So, we tend to rely on rigid circuit boards because they have lamination.
This lamination can protect them from the high amount of heat generated by the engine while driving. Along with this, we can also use a rigid printed circuit board in the dashboard of the vehicle and as an AC/DC power converter. They are also very useful as transmission units, junction boxes, electronic computer units, and power distributors.
Advantages of Rigid printed circuit boards:
- These are compact and lightweight. Hence, it is much easier to use and pack.
- They are more reliable and durable so we can use them in dealing with high-end applications.
- These have high thermal stability. Therefore, these boards are more preferable for aerospace and nuclear applications.
- They show good resistance to chemicals, radiation, and aggressive oils. Hence, we can readily use them in hostile environments.
- We can design them in such a way that they mount from both sides.
- They have a wide range of options available for material selection while designing. So, it is very easy to meet customer requirements.
- We can enhance and change their properties to meet vibrations, stresses, and shocks. Hence, they are considered ideal for vast industrial applications.
EuropePCBis a reliable Rigid PCB Manufacture:
When it comes to printed circuit boards manufacturing then EuropePCB is a world leader and pioneer. Our PCB boards are of the highest quality and are very durable when it comes to the uniqueness or quality of the material. So, our PCB offerings include Rigid PCB, Multilayer Flex PCB, and Rigid-Flex PCB.
We have a very advanced technological setup that allows us to ensure customer satisfaction. Additionally, we have a dedicated R&D staff and our customer support is always available. So, if you decide to work with us then you will have access to our valuable resources. Hence, you can manufacture electronic products by incurring minimum costs and saving a lot of valuable time.
As a rigid PCB supplier, we can help you with the following:
1) Project Evaluation
Our experienced engineers will extensively review and analyze your requirements. Afterward, we will help you with component selection, cost reduction, and feasibility reporting. So we are the best choice for years in developing PCBs of your choice at a low cost
2) Development of Hardware
We have years of experience in developing complex hardware. So, our team will diligently develop the hardware and firmware that you need.
3) Industrial Design
Our team will come up with pragmatic PCB designers for your product architecture. So, for this purpose, we will leverage our superior CAD technology.
Relevant testing is empirical when it comes to rigid circuit boards. So, we offer in-house testing and inspection services for all of our products.
We comply with international standards and we have relevant industrial certifications. So, as per your needs, we can readily offer RoHS, CE, and FCC certifications.