Three key points you should know about conformal coating before deciding to use the material

What is a conformal coating?

conformal-coating-key-facts

A conformal coating is a transparent varnish or paint applied to circuit boards to provide a protective film against the environment.

The coating is a thin, protective film that literally conforms to the surface of a circuit board assembly.

Applying a conformal coating may protect a printed circuit board from damage due to contamination, salt spray, moisture, water, heat, chemicals, fungus, dust and corrosion caused by harsh or extreme environments.

What does a conformal coating look like?

Conformal coatings are similar to transparent varnishes and paints.

They can be clear, glossy, translucent, opaque or undetectable. They do not hide the circuit board below.

Generally, most conformal coatings have a UV trace within the material that fluoresces under UV light.  This allows the coating to be inspected easily.

How are conformal coatings applied to circuit boards?

Liquid conformal coatings can be applied using spray, dip or brush methods. This can be manually done or be far more sophisticated for high volume applications. Materials like acrylics, polyurethanes, silicones, fluoropolymers and epoxies, are usually applied in a liquid state.

Other specialist types of conformal coatings such as Parylene are applied differently. They are not liquid based. They are applied in a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process.


Need to find out more?

If further information on these topics and the key question you can go to our free eBook by clicking conformal coating design now.

If you are new to Nexus and our work on conformal coatings then a good place to go is our Start Here page.


Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus

Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus website and ebook
Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus

Dr Lee Hitchens is the author of the Nexus conformal coating website and eBook.

Send me an email at lhitchens@nexus3c.com and let me know what you think?

 

 

 

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Three key facts you should know about conformal coating masking boots versus masking tapes

Three key facts you should know about conformal coating masking boots versus masking tapes

conformal-coating-masking-boot-versus-masking-tape

A conformal coating is an insulating material applied to circuit boards to protect them from the environment. However, the coating will generally damage components like connectors if allowed to get inside onto connections.

Conformal coating masking materials like tapes and boots can be used to prevent the coating penetrating into the components.

Masking tapes are wrapped around components to shield them.  Masking boots are placed over components such as connectors, plugs and sockets that require protection from the conformal coating applied. Both methods can protect both simple and complex parts and components.

Here are four key facts to consider when comparing masking tape and masking boots.

Faster – Masking boots are normally much quicker to apply and remove than masking tapes. It does depend on the complexity of the component to be masked but this correct in the majority of cases.

More reliable and simpler – Since the masking boot is a complete shield then there is less chance of the conformal coating leaking through a gap compared to masking tape. Tapes rely on an operator’s skill in applying them. Masking boots remove some of this risk and the process is much easier.

Lower process cost –Where there is a medium volume of circuit boards to be masked with repeat components then typically masking boots can provide an excellent return on investment.  The balance of masking boots purchased versus operator time saved will vary with labour cost but in most cases is very cost effective. However, in low volume the cost balance may not be effective.

Need to find out more?

If further information on these topics and the key question you can go to our free eBook by clicking conformal coating design now.

If you are new to Nexus and our work on conformal coatings then a good place to go is our Start Here page.


Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus

Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus website and ebook
Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus

Dr Lee Hitchens is the author of the Nexus conformal coating website and eBook.

Send me an email at lhitchens@nexus3c.com and let me know what you think?