Knowing Your Tech: What Are the 6 Types of Conformal Coating?

Conformal coating is a protective material used in electronic circuitry. The coating shields the electronic wires against airborne contaminants like moisture, dust, and other debris that may interfere with the circuits. If the wires of your electronic appliances do not have this coating, they would probably fail to function optimally because of the contact with the aforementioned pollutants. If you realize that electronic units like those on a circuit board need a coating, a transparent conformal coat might be an ideal solution. Most conformal coats are sprayable, making it possible to eject any moisture trapped in the circuit board.

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Conformal Coating Types

Coating technologies come with several options. You can easily choose whatever works for you, depending on your required protection. The conformal coating types are categorized based on their basic resin. They include the following:

    • Parylene conformal coating. This is commonly known as PCT conformal coating, and its application is made by vapor phase displacement. It offers unmatched dielectric strength. Parylene conformal coatings, even when applied in thin layers, still turn out to be resilient.
    • Silicone resin. This type offers exceptional protection in environments with changing temperatures. Because of its rubbery material, silicone is not resistant to abrasion. You may have seen silicone-based signage that lasts longer than the others, even in high humid areas. However, removing the coating is not easy and may require special solvents.
    • Epoxy resin. Epoxy is known for its resilience and resistance. It is a composition of two compounds, and it’s also resistant to humidity, chemicals, and abrasion. Removing the coat is not easy and might require the use of a knife.
    • Acrylic resin. Acrylic conformal resins shield wires from attack by fungus and other related pollutants. Applying a cover is easy, and it also dries up within minutes. Acrylic is highly resistant to abrasion and moisture, making it an ideal choice during extreme weather conditions.

  • Urethane resin. It is also known as polyurethane. It is popularly known for its resistance to moisture and chemicals. Its significant resistance to moisture, abrasions, and solvents makes it a good option, especially for aerospace applications.
  • Thin-film coatings. Thin-film coatings are popularly used in biomedical, military, and industrial areas. They enhance hardness, resistance, reflection, and transmission. Manufacturers use thin-layer coatings to make electric devices due to their unique properties.

Who Uses Conformal Coatings?

The industries that employ conformal coating technology include military, marine, aerospace, lighting, and automotive. Nowadays, this technology is slowly creeping into homes through electronic devices meant for domestic use.

How Do You Select a Conformal Coating Type?

Cost is a factor you will consider when making your choice, but you must prioritize choosing the right material. Also, you need to assess your environment to select a coating type that will provide the maximum level of protection. If you operate a business in the above mentioned industries, it is imperative to consult an experienced specialist in the field to guide you through the selection.

The application of the conformal coating is as critical as the selection of coating type. There are conformal coating standards that each coating type must meet to qualify to be used in its environment. When choosing the coating to invest in, bear in mind that each has its pros and cons. It is advisable to evaluate them to determine the one that best suits your needs.

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