I am regularly asked how I would go about choosing a conformal coating?
I normally respond to the person involved by asking an awful lot of questions and they wonder what they got themselves in to!
Why do I have to ask a lot of questions?
The questions are there because choosing a conformal coating process is a complicated process usually balancing a lot of important trade-offs and compromises.
When I consider the question I actually see three major parts of the complete process.
These parts are:
- The conformal coating material
- The application method
- The circuit board design
When you consider these three points you have to balance them to create the best compromise process solution that suits your requirements.
This is what I call the Holistic Approach to conformal coating.
So, what should you do next?
It is tempting to consider one of these parts in isolation.
However, this could be a mistake.
After all, the wrong choice can be devastating to the conformal coating production process as a whole and even worse, the reliability of your product.
I feel that to identify the best conformal coating material and application process there are several key factors that you need to consider that, if you are lucky, will add up to at least one sensible process choice.
Factors to be considered include:
- Temperature operating range
- International, customer or National Standards
- Environmental considerations of the circuit board
- Requirement to rework the conformal coating
- Conformal coating material type
- Application process considerations
- Curing the conformal coating
- National, State, Regional Legislation and Insurance
- Supplier performance and availability
To find out more about these factors visit Nexus and see how we recommend you select a conformal coating through the holistic approach.