What standard should I be using for application and inspection of conformal coating?
First, you need to distinguish between application and selection of coating, and qualification and manufacture of coating. As a rule the first is for the user of the end coating product and the second is for the manufacturer of the coating.
The Interconnections & Packaging Conference (IPC) standards are very good for both these areas and their details can be found on www.ipc.org .
In your case, for production purposes you would need either the IPC A -610 standard or the IPC –HDBK-830. The first gives some minor references which are of limited help except for specifying acceptance criteria. However, the handbook is a compilation of the conformal coating industry’s practical knowledge and will help designers & users of conformal coatings to understand the practical implications of selection, application and inspection, explaining in detail how to achieve the best results.
Alternatively, review the Technical Bulletins, specifically from August 08 to February 09 which covered conformal coating defects and this will help in the inspection stages.