Three key facts you should know about conformal coating masking boots versus masking tapes
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.
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Dr Lee Hitchens, Author of Nexus
Dr Lee Hitchens is the author of the Nexus conformal coating website and eBook.
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