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What is Semiflex PCB?
Semiflex PCB is different from ordinary PCB and Flex PCB. It is a particular PCB, and this unique process is achieved by thinning the milling thickness of Rigid PCB. Its characteristic is that, unlike ordinary FR4 PCBs that cannot be bent, they can be bent, but the number of times is limited. In contrast, the number of times of flex board is almost unlimited, so Smiflex is mainly used in product designs that require a small number of times of bending and embedding.
The material of semiflex PCB is entirely different from that of Flex PCB. The material of semiflex is FR4. In terms of material, compared with Flex PCB, the cost is significantly saved, and it is very cost-effective.
Although the material is different, it can also achieve the bending effect of a Flex Board. The difference is that the number of bending of semiflex is limited, but it is suitable for some specific products. Therefore, FR4 semi-flex PCBs not only achieves the effect of saving installation space but also further saves cost.
Based on Viasion’s experience, the bending times of the semiflex board is less than nine times, which can be designed according to the needs of the product. Furthermore, regarding the degree of bending, semi-flex PCBs can usually be bent to a horizontal angle, which can meet the space installation requirements of most products.
The similarity of the FR4 semiflex board makes it suitable for most products. Another advantage is that the bending of the semiflex PCB will not affect the transmission performance of the PCB and the performance of components, which is very good.
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Viasion’s Advantages as A Reliable Semiflex PCB Manufacturer
Advantages of Semiflex PCB
According to Viasion’s many years of production experience, the first thing to mention is that the stability of the semiflex PCB is excellent because it is made of FR4 material, and the thickness of FR4 is reduced as much as possible to achieve flexibility.
During PCB production and subsequent component assembly, Viasion often encounters some problems during the production process. There are usually some things that could be improved with standard Flex Board and Rigid-Flex Board. For example, some connectors are prone to entanglement when the components are too complicated. In this regard, the FR4 semiflex PCB can ideally exert its stability. In addition, it can significantly avoid the physical impact on the space between components, such as the winding problem of the connector mentioned above. In contrast, Viasion believes this will substantially improve the PCBA process.
It is very stable in terms of PCB. In terms of components, it avoids the physical interaction between components during assembly, which significantly improves PCB assembly quality and the final product stability. So semi flex pcbs are used by lots of customers.
Flexibility is an essential feature and advantage of semiflex board. According to Viasion’s more than ten years of production experience, with the further development of technology, customers’ products are increasingly pursuing portability. As a result, the number of PCB layers is getting higher, and the size is getting smaller, the components’ density and design difficulty are getting higher and higher.
Similar to communication products, the requirements for portability are very high. In this case, it is a challenge for PCB embedded in the shell, and the advantages of the semiflex PCB are very suitable in this respect. It does not require the shell to be designed according to the shape and size of the PCB. On the contrary, its good flexibility allows it to adapt to various shells and perfectly embed them, which can significantly meet the high portability requirements in product design.
The low cost of the FR4 semiflex board is also one of the most important advantages. As mentioned above, the material of semiflex PCB is made of ordinary FR4 material, which is different from Flex Board and Rigid-Flex Board, and their material cost is much higher than that of FR4 material of semiflex PCB. Viasion likes challenges very much, which is also an important reason why we have been able to stand firm in the PCB industry for more than ten years, and the characteristics of FR4 semiflex PCB are perfectly in line with our philosophy.
Through the low cost of semiflex circuit board, Viasion uses its own rich products knowledge and superb production technology to meet the customer’s product needs to the greatest extent by thinning the thickness of FR4 and, at the same time, saving the cost to the most significant importance, and finally have excellent cost-effectiveness, FR4 semiflex board is a perfect fit With this feature while meeting the needs of flexibility and embedded type, it also provides a much lower cost. Moreover, viasion has extensive experience in semi flex pcbs fabrication.
Semiflex PCB not only has a highly cost-effective advantage but also saves time. As we all know, the difficulty of Flex Board and Rigid-Flex Board is often higher than that of ordinary FR4 board. Hence, the semiflex board also highlights its outstanding advantages in this respect. It is far superior to Flex board and rigid-flex board in design.
To be relatively simple further saves time. In addition, as mentioned above, in addition to the advantages of design, another point is the excellent embedded type and flexibility of the FR4 semiflex PCB. Viasion can always perfectly embed it into the shell of the final product, including when shipping. The packaging can also significantly save time and cost.
The last advantage of the semiflex board is its operability. It is different from ordinary flex boards and rigid-flex boards. The unique feature of the semiflex board is its partial operability. Viasion can customize it according to the special needs of customers. The semiflex PCB is partially bent, significantly meeting customers’ unique needs and product requirements.
Applications of Semiflex PCB
The Differences between Flexible PCB and Semiflexible PCB
According to Viasion‘s many years of production and cooperation experience, One of the great benefits of flexible boards is that they can be installed in a smaller space by bending, which saves a lot of space. The advantages of this point also affect the design. For example, when talking about the benefits, it was mentioned that the flexibility of flexible and semi-flexible circuit boards would make the design more convenient. Based on Viasion’s years of production experience, the following are the differences between these two PCBs.
As Viasion mentioned above, the most significant difference between flexible PCB and semi-flexible PCB lies in the material problem. The material of flexible PCB supports flexible PCB to be bent multiple times, but semi-flexible PCB cannot be bent numerous times due to material problems. For flexible PCBs, conductive materials are used to build the circuit pattern into the film, and a thin coating is added to protect the circuit. Based on Viasion’s experience, The film makes the entire board flexible, allowing it to be easily bent and manipulated without damage.
In contrast, a semi flex pcbs can only bend in certain areas where it is already bent. Therefore, the PCB will only bend at specified points in a predetermined manner.
Except for the thinned FR4 part that is flexible and bendable, the rest of the semi-flexible PCB is made of ordinary rigid FR4 material, similar to another standard Rigid Board. The main reason has been mentioned in the above part. The material of semi-flexible PCB is utterly different from that of flexible PCB.
Based on Viasion’s experience, The most conventional FR4 material is used, and the bendability is achieved by thinning FR4, including the number of playing times. It will break if the product needs to be bent multiple times during use. Based on Viasion’s experience, Although we will carry out the processing technology to prevent cracking during production, the bending times are still limited. Therefore, it cannot be entirely like a flexible PCB.
According to Viasion’s experience, from a design point of view, semi-flexible PCBs can only be bent a limited number of times. Standard flexible PCBs can be bent many times without damage, but semi-flexible PCBs have a limited number of bends. Based on Viasion’s experience, If they are bent during use, they will easily break if they are too many times.
Therefore, semi-flexible PCBs are more suitable for flexible installation applications, which do not require changes and modifications after installation. However, semi-flexible boards can usually be bent about ten times. Based on Viasion’s experience, This minimizes the risk of damage during installation and future maintenance, as long as the PCB is not stressed by frequent flexing.
With the development of society, semi-flexible boards are more and more widely used in the market, especially in portable products. Viasion has extensive production experience here.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Semi-flex PCBs are made with semi-flex rigid materials like FR4 or high-temperature polyimide (PTFE). The most common material is semi-flexible thin FR4 material.
The TG value of the base laminate decides the usage temperature of Semi-flex PCBs. Usually, FR4 semiflex PCBs are not suitable for very high-temperature applications. So, if we need to use our devices in high-temperature applications, we had better use flexible PCBs produced by polyimide material.
Important considerations include the usage environment of our applications, the flexibility of semi-flex PCBs, component placement, trace routing and insulated layers.
Controlled depth routing is a fundamental manufacturing technique used in semi-flex PCB manufacturing.
The following testing methods will be performed on semi-flex PCBs to ensure the quality of semi-flex PCBs.
- Electrical Test
- Automated Optical Inspection
- Flying Probe Testing
- Functional Testing
- Flexibility Test
- Thermal Test
- Solderability Test
Semi-flex PCBs are usually more expensive than standard PCBs due to their unique properties.
We can use semiflex PCBs if the device will only be bent to a certain degree or only be bent one time.