Roundup: PCB protection/coatings

-January 22, 2014

Conformal coatings are applied in thin layers to printed circuit boards (PCBs) to provide environmental and mechanical protection against elements such as moisture, dust, chemicals, and extreme temperatures. Conformal coatings extend the useable life of a PCB by protecting against contaminants and preventing short circuits and corrosion. Selecting the right coating and method of application for a particular industry such as military/aerospace, industrial, automotive, etc. will also help extend the life of the PCB. Here is a quick roundup from several PCB coatings suppliers.

Coatings for improved safety and environmental compliance
Cytec’s CONAP conformal coatings for PCB applications aim to provide specific focus on improved safety, environmental compliance and faster processing.  The CONAP product family of acrylic and polyurethane conformal coatings provide humidity resistance, hydrolytic stability, and UL94 V0 fire rating. Qualified for military and IPC specifications, Cytec’s CONAP conformal coatings are designed for high reliability applications used aerospace, biomedical, electronics and automotive industries. Cytec can also formulate custom materials to meet specific performance and quality standards.

Also see:
Conformal coatings product reference guide

Dow Corning

Circuit protection in severe service environments
Dow Corning coatings are well suited to protect electronic circuitry in severe service environments, ranging from every day temperature and humidity extremes seen in consumer electronics, to the harsher automotive under-hood applications, up to the extremes demanded in military or industrial applications. Dow Corning aims to provide a variety of conformal coatings and processing options, including several environmentally friendly products, to protect circuitry against diverse operating conditions and applications. All conformal coatings contain a UV indicator enabling black light visualization of the coating.

Also see:
Conformal Coatings Tutorial


Light-curable coatings for streamlined manufacturing
Conformal coatings from Dymax  are designed to cure quickly upon exposure to UV/visible light and aim to streamline manufacturing assembly processes. The goal of Dymax’s light-curable coatings is to increase throughput by eliminating time-consuming steps of traditional thermal-cure and room temperature-cure conformal coatings. They are electrically insulated so they can be applied over the entire PCB surface or in select areas to provide protection from service environments. Their solvent-free conformal coatings require no mixing and contain low VOCs to help improve worker safety and minimize environmental impact.

Also see:
Product selector guide
Flexible conformal coating meets ISO 10993-5


Eco-friendly materials for harsh environments
Henkel’s conformal coating materials  are well suited to protect electronic circuitry from a variety of adverse conditions such as thermal shock and moisture corrosion and aim to address long product life cycles in harsh marine, automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics applications. Henkel's product range of conductive, dielectric and other functional polymer thick film inks have been used to apply selective coatings on a variety of flexible and rigid substrates, via screen, flexographic and rotogravure printing methods. Henkel has migrated to solvent-free, low-VOC materials and processes and their conductive coatings and inks can be effectively dried or cured through heat or UV radiation.

More information:

PCB protection process video

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