Flex Circuit Stiffeners

When it comes to flex circuits, stiffeners are a common and important requirement in many designs. They provide a mechanical function for the flexible area and are not part of the electrical requirements of the overall part.

Flexible PCB stiffener requirements fall in the following usage categories:

  • Rigidizing Component / Connector areas
  • ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) Thickness Requirements
  • Localized Bend Constraint(s)

For more information see our blog post on the purpose of a flex circuit stiffener.


Component / Connector Stiffeners

Function:

  • Creates a localized rigid area where components / connectors are attached.
  • Protects solder joints by preventing bending of the flex in component area.

Material Options:

  • FR4, Polyimide, Aluminum, Stainless Steel
  • Variety of thicknesses available
  • Attachment methods:
    • Thermally bonded with flex adhesive
    • Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA)

Flex PCB with Ccomponent Stiffeners


ZIF Stiffeners

Function:

  • Localized thickness increase at contact fingers to meet specific ZIF connector specifications.

Material Options:

  • Polyimide Only
  • Variety of thicknesses available to meet specific design requirements
  • Attachment methods:
    • Thermally Bonded with flex adhesive only

Flex PCB with ZIF Stiffeners


Localized Bend Constraints

Function:

  • Restrict bend area(s) to specific location(s) in a flex design to either facilitate final assembly, achieve specific bend requirement(s) or other end use requirement.

Material Options:

  • FR4, Polyimide
  • Variety of thicknesses available
  • Attachment methods:
    • Thermally Bonded with flex adhesive
    • Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA)

Flex PCB with Localized Bend Constraints

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