The Increased Popularity Of Waterproof Resin Coating

  •   With the increased popularity of miniaturized electronics and circuitry, conformal Waterproof Resin Coating suppliers use has skyrocketed to solidify its relevance in a wealth of modern PCB-related applications . Choosing the ideal type of coating and application methods for your electronics is crucial. However, processing the vast amount of information online can often present a daunting task.

      In this article, you’ll be given all the information that you need to identify the ideal conformal coating for your application’s requirements. If you are searching for something specific, feel free to use the index for a more selective approach. Otherwise, this article is helpful both for beginners who seek to understand conformal coating methodology and use, and for seasoned applicators and businesses who wish to confirm their knowledge-base and procedural legitimacy.

      Types of Conformal Coating

      Application Methods

      Thickness Measurement

      Curing Methods

      Removal Methods

      Certifications

      Regulatory Considerations

      Conformal coating is a special polymeric film forming product that protects circuit boards, components, and other electronic devices from adverse environmental conditions. These coatings ‘conform’ to inherent irregularities in both the structure and environment of the PCB. They provide increased dielectric resistance, operational integrity, and protection from corrosive atmospheres, humidity, heat, fungus, and airborne contamination such as dirt and dust.

      TYPES OF CONFORMAL COATING

      There are several options for coating technologies, and the best option for your particular application should depend primarily on your level of necessary protection. The application method and the ease of rework are also important factors, but should generally be considered secondary to the necessary protective performance.

      Traditional Conformal Coatings

      What we call “traditional” conformal coatings are 1-part systems that have a resin base and can be diluted with either solvent or (in rare cases) water. Traditional coatings are semi-permeable, which is why they are not fully hermetic nor do they seal the coated electronics. They provide resistance to environmental exposure, which increases PCB durability while keeping application and repair processes in practice. However, they are NOT fully water-proof.

      The following categories are based on the basic resin of each coating. The chemical composition of each conformal coating determines its major attributes and functions. Choosing the proper conformal coating for your application is determined by the operational requirements of your electronics.

      APPLICATION METHODS

      Once the type of coating is selected, the next question is how to apply the conformal coating. This decision should be based on the following variables:

      Production throughput requirements – The necessary prep work, the speed of the coating process, and how quickly the boards can be handled after the coating process.

      Board design requirements – Connector-laden designs, solvent-sensitive components, and other issues impact your decision.

      Equipment requirements – If a coating is only sporadically required, tying up capital and floor space with additional equipment may not make sense.

      Pre-coating processing – Some processes require masking or taping before coating in order to prevent coating of unwanted surfaces.

      Quality requirements – Mission critical electronics that require a high degree of repeatability and reliability will generally require more automated application methods.

      The following are the application methods for traditional conformal coatings:

      Manual spraying - Conformal coating can be applied with an aerosol can or handheld spray gun. It is generally used for low volume production when capital equipment is not available. This method can be time-consuming because areas not requiring coating need to be masked. Also, quality and consistency of outcome are operator-dependent, so variations are common from board to board.

      Automated spraying – A programmed spray system that moves the board on a conveyor under an alternative spray head that applies a conformal coating.

      Selective coating - An automated conformal coating process that uses programmable robotic spray nozzles to apply the conformal coating to very specific areas on the circuit board. This process is used in high volume processes and can eliminate the need for masking. An applicator may have a built-in UV lamp to cure coating immediately after it is applied.

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