What application methods are available for applying conformal coating?

 

Conformal coatings can be applied to printed circuit boards (PCBs) in the production process environment in many different ways.

Listed below are the common methods of applying conformal coating materials:

Click on each to review each conformal coating application technique in our free ebook online.

Nexus
Conformal coatings can be applied to printed circuit boards (PCBs) in the production process environment in many different ways including spraying selectively, batch spraying and dipping.

The holistic approach to conformal coating application methods 

It is possible to split the different application methods and their suitability in many different ways including:

  • Compatibility with the conformal coating material
  • Design of the circuit board
  • Suitability to low, medium and high volume
  • Manual versus automatic process
  • Type of method of application
  • Level of control required

Each of the various coating methods has different advantages and disadvantages.

This relates to the holistic approach to conformal coating processing. It states that you should consider the conformal coating material itself, the application process and the circuit board together and not as three separate entities.

However, when considering the application methods it is possible to make some assumptions that help in selection.


Need to find out more?

For further information on conformal coating application methods then contact us directly and we can help you.

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

 

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What are my options for conformal coating application methods?

This is a question I am asked time and again.

Of course most people know of the selective robot and how it applies conformal coating.

However, there are many different application methods available for both liquid conformal coatings and Parylene and listed below are the common techniques:

Click on each to examine individually for details or click conformal coating application techniques for an overview.

Note, each of the various methods has different strengths and weaknesses.

However, each of these application methods should be considered in relation to the holistic approach to conformal coating processing 

What is the holistic approach to conformal coating?

The holistic approach states that you should consider the conformal coating material, the application process and the circuit board together and not as three separate entities.

I consider this approach the most fundamental issue and crucial factor in all of conformal coating processing.

Ironically, it is ignored on a regular basis.

In fact, I find that the failure to apply the holistic approach at the beginning of the conformal coating selection process is normally the root cause of many conformal coating problems.

 

Click conformal coating application techniques to find out more.


Need help with your conformal coating process?

Contact Nexus now and let us show you how we can help you.


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.

 

Nexus Conformal Coating Video Library: A printed circuit board (PCB) being withdrawn from a Conformal Coating dip System

Nexus, the Conformal Coating Resource, have a section which has videos showing processes for conformal coating and also company video’s of which Nexus feels offer technical information to users of conformal coating.

This video shows A printed circuit board (PCB) being Conformal Coated using a Conformal Coating dip System. The video shows the withdrawal process.

Click through to see the full range of Conformal Coating Videos at the Nexus Website.

Ask The Expert: Gordon Watson, SMS Automation, Conformal Coating Equipment on Key Conformal Coating Material Challenges

“Our greatest Challenge is establishing good communication at an early stage with the key decision makers to determine the critical factors such as material specification, performance and requirements. Customers should also think of future needs when discussing conformal coating application systems rather than limit their choices to what is available on a standard machine.”

“Our skill is in combining machine building and automation skills with knowledge of the process of conformal coating and so it is important that we obtain a thorough understanding of our customers’ requirements and quickly formalise them into a  plan as quickly as possible.”

Visit the Nexus Associate Experts Section and read what other experts have to say about conformal coating material challenges.

Nexus Conformal Coating Video Library: A printed circuit board (PCB) being Conformal Coated using a Conformal Coating dip System.

Nexus, the Conformal Coating Resource, have a section which has videos showing processes for conformal coating and also company video’s of which Nexus feels offer technical information to users of conformal coating.

This video shows a printed circuit board (PCB) being Conformal Coated using a Conformal Coating dip System. The video shows the immersion process.

Click through to see the full range of Conformal Coating Videos at the Nexus Website.

Ask The Expert: Gordon Watson, Advanced Coating robotics, Conformal Coating Dip Systems on Key Conformal Coating Inspection Challenges

“When considering the finish of the circuit board and what the quality of the coating is like we find customers perceptions and ours can vary. This is generally down to preconceived ideas of what a good quality coating should look like.”

“The standards state that when dipped a PCB can have coating dripping at a corner and have bubbles within. However, many customers don’t like this. The problem is that to reduce the dripping effect tends to have a knock on affect on the rest of the quality of the PCB like conformal coating thickness. So, educating the customer on what they should be inspecting and what is acceptable is key for the conformal coating inspection process

Visit the Nexus Associate Experts Section and read what other experts have to say about conformal coating inspection.

Introducing Nexus Associate Expert: Gordon Watson, ACR (Advanced Coating Robotics Ltd)

Gordon is the Managing Director of Advanced Coating Robotics Ltd (ACR) and SMS Automation Ltd and has over 30 years’ experience of Control Engineering including machine automation and process control across a wide range of industries.  He has worked as an engineer, sales manager and business owner and has applied his expertise into generating complex inline dip coating systems for conformal coating of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the design and implementation of the machines and understanding customer’s needs.

Each Month as part of the Nexus Newsletter a panel of experts are asked their opinions on a challenging area in conformal coating. Their responses are published to help others solve their issues.

The Experts for Conformal Coating come from a range of backgrounds and areas allowing a wide scope for knowledge transfer.

Click here to View the Nexus Associate Conformal Coating Experts.

Please note that all of the Associate conformal coating technical experts express their own opinions free of charge and have no financial affiliation to Nexus.  Any opinions expressed by the experts is not the viewpoint of Nexus3c Ltd.