What is Conformal Coating?

Conformal coating is a type of coating with special ingredients used to protect printed circuit boards (PCB’s) and concerning equipment from damage. It prolongs product shelf life and assures security and reliability. Without conformal coating a PCB board can suffer from issues such as erosion, softening, deformation, mould and moisture. Being exposed to extreme high temperature could also cause the circuit board to suffer from defects or failure.

The conformal coating process leaves a protective film on the PCB providing insulation, anti-cracking shake proof, dust proof, anti-corrosion, anti-aging, corona resistance etc. It also protects the PCB from moisture. Moisture is the most common and destructive factor for causing damage to PCB boards. Too much moisture will dramatically decrease insulation resistance and get conductors eroded.

Additionally, It's hard to believe that hundreds of pollutants can be found on the surface of printed circuit boards when conformal coating isn't applied on them. These pollutants can be hazardous to the reliability and functionality of PCBs. Similar with moisture or high humidity, pollutants contaminated on circuit boards can also lead to bad results such as electronic failure, conductor erosion, or even irretrievable shortcuts. Majority of contaminants left on circuit boards derive from residues during manufacturing process including flux, solvent parting agent, clipped wire and marking ink. Moreover, some contaminants result from manual residue when boards are touched by operating people.


 Conformal CoatingTypical applications for conformal coating are:

Consumer Electronics: Conformal coating provides protection for circuits serving for home appliances.
Automotive: Automotive industry calls for conformal coating in order to keep from the petrol vaporisation, salt fog or brake fluid.                            
The aerospace environment sets extremely rigorous needs for electronic devices to be protected.
Both fresh water and salty sea-water tend to cause damage to the circuits in sailing equipment.
Medical devices: 
Medical device performance is so critical, reliability assurance is essential.

Interested in conformal coating? Hawker Richardson works closely with each customer and our product partner PVA, to evaluate the customers applications, requirements, working environment and budget to recommend and implement a highly-customisable dispensing and conformal coating solution. Give our sales representatives a call today on 1300 360 031 or to view our range click here

Image: Our customer Gallagher Group in New Zealand using our PVA's on their printed circuit boards.