Conformal Coating – What Do You Know About It?

Conformal Coating – What Do You Know About It?

Jun 27,2017

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) often get damaged because of dust, salt spray, contamination, fungus, corrosion caused due to harsh environments, and moisture. Thus, in order to protect PCBs from getting damaged, a protective dielectric layer, called conformal coating is applied over them. This coating is of great help when products are to be used in heat- and moisture-prone conditions. Is it really important to do conformal coating to your product? What are the benefits of these coatings? What is the process of doing conformal coating? Questions like these might be popping up in your mind. Read this post to get answers to all these questions that might be bothering you.

Conformal Coating for the Protection of Pcbs

What are the Characteristics of Conformal Coating?

Just to have some basic understanding of this coating, just go through some key characteristics that the coating has.

  1. The coating can be removed, repaired and replaced easily.
  2. This coating is highly flexible.
  3. It is very easy to apply, which adds up to its popularity.
  4. It is a very light weight coating.

Why is it Important to Do Conformal Coating?

One of the most basic questions that arises into the minds of many is - why is it important to have a product conformal coated. Here are some benefits, which explain the importance of this type of coating.

  1. Conformal coating helps save a lot of space by reducing the PCB conductor spacing.
  2. Any damage to the product caused due to corrosive or chemical attack is avoided, thus protecting it.
  3. Applying this type of coating helps reduce the environmental stress on a printed circuit board assembly.
  4. There are a number of environmental threats that can affect the performance of a PCB. By doing conformal coating this potential degradation is eliminated.
  5. Printed circuit boards with conformal coating are not affected by mechanical and thermal shocks.
  6. This type of coating is sufficient of safeguarding a PCB assembly. Thus, the need for sophisticated and complex enclosures is eliminated.

Materials used for Conformal Coating

Conformal coating can be made from a wide range of materials. Following are the most popular materials used in conformal coatings:

  1. Epoxy
  2. Silicone
  3. Urethane
  4. Acrylic
  5. Paraxylene

How is Conformal Coating Done?

Now, that you have a fair understanding of conformal coating, you would be eager to know how this coating is done. Without beating around the bush, it’s time to come to the point. Conformal coating can be applied in following different ways to protect PCBs from potential damages:

  1. Dipping– This is used for materials that take a longer time to cure.
  2. Selective Robotic Coating – By using proper dispense head, selective robotic coating can be done by using all coating types.
  3. Spraying – Spraying can be used to apply coatings. Coating is applied using a hand spray. A spray booth or aerosol can is used for the purpose.
  4. Brushing – This technique can only be performed by experts and skilled personnel.

So, this explains the importance, characteristics, and process of applying the conformal coating. Do you want to do this coating to your PCBs as well? Do you wish to know more about the coating? For all these purposes, you can always consult an expert. You can consider contacting Sierra Assembly, which is one of the leaders in PCB assembly manufacturing and coating.