Where are conformal coatings being used?

Conformal coatings are being used as protection in ever increasing electronic applications across a wide range of market sectors.

In the past, conformal coating was only applied to military and safety critical products like medical devices as the cost and the process of doing this was high.

However, the emphasis on reliability has changed.

In recent years, the development in materials and new processes, linked with the customer requirement of a reliable electronic product that isn’t safety critical, has meant consumer electronics products must now be protected¬†as well.

With the new technologies like wearable electronics becoming more popular then this trend will only increase and protecting the electronics with a coating of some description will become even more commonplace.

Traditional markets like aerospace, automotive and military sectors still use conformal coatings. However, the growth in use across many other sectors is significant due to customers requiring reliable products for consumer electronics

So what sectors are using conformal coatings and other thin film technologies?

Due to the fact that conformal coatings provide several key benefits including moisture and insulation properties, chemical resistance and particulate protection, this means they can be used anywhere there is a need for a higher reliability than that which is achieved without the coating.

It is possible to identify both traditional and emerging sectors where conformal coatings are being applied.

These include sectors such as:

  • Aerospace
  • Defence
  • Automotive
  • Telecommunications
  • Wearable technologies
  • Consumer electronics
  • Tablets and computers
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Transport
  • White Goods
  • Geothermal
  • LEDs
  • Solar Panels
  • Marine and Coastal Environment
  • Space
  • Medical

Each market sector has a distinct set of requirements in terms of standards, operating environments as well as other factors that impact on the requirements.

The challenge is for the engineer to define the requirements and the suppliers to provide the protection at a commercially effective price.

To find out more click conformal coating basics to discover why conformal coatings are used and what they actually do to protect the circuit boards and products.

Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus website and ebook

Dr Lee Hitchens is the Author of the Nexus eBook and a main contributor to Nexus.