Choosing the right conformal coating application process

Choosing the right process for your conformal coating production line is a complicated and involved process.

It normally is a case of balancing a number of factors and making compromises.

This is because of the three major parts of the complete conformal coating process that can offer different options and create difficult choices.

These parts are:

  • The conformal coating material
  • The application method
  • The circuit board design

When you consider these three points you have many factors to consider.

You have to balance them to create the best compromise solution that suits your requirements.

Nexus, the independent conformal coating information source, describes this as the holistic approach to choosing a conformal coating production process.

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Choosing the right conformal coating process normally requires compromise between the material and equipment selected when considered against the circuit board design.

The holistic approach to selecting a conformal coating process

For a successful production process you should consider all three parts as a whole rather than separate decisions to be made.

Nexus considers this an extremely risky process to consider one of these parts in isolation since the wrong choice can be devastating to the process as a whole.

To identify the best conformal coating material and application process there are several key factors that you need to address that if you are lucky will add up to at least one sensible process choice.

The factors to be considered include:

  • Temperature operating range
  • Volume of circuits to be coated
  • International, customer or National standards
  • Environmental factors for the circuit
  • Ability to rework the coating
  • Conformal coating material type
  • Application process Considerations
  • Curing of the conformal coating
  • National, State, Regional Legislation and Insurance
  • Supplier performance
  • Price

Each of these factors can have a minor or major impact ultimately on both the reliability and success commercially of the circuit board.


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