Why do circuit boards fail due to poor conformal coating application?

Conformal coating defect on PCB leading to poor coverage

Conformal coating defect on PCB leading to poor coverage

When considering the long term reliability of Printed circuit boards (PCBs), it is important to understand that they can fail due to being exposed to harsh or extreme environments such as airborne contamination, salt spray, moisture, fungus, dust and corrosion.

By definition conformal coating is a protective non conductive dielectric layer that is applied onto the printed circuit board assembly to protect the electronic assembly from this damage. The coating when applied well gives added protection. So, if the conformal coating is poorly applied to the PCB then the circuit board is more likely to fail in the long-term.

Looking specifically at the application of the coating there are several defects that can occur during processing that can fundamentally impair the performance of the conformal coating. This can lead to reduced long-term reliability of the PCB. These defects can include Capillary Flow, De-wetting, De-lamination, Cracking, Orange Peel, Pin holes, Bubbles & Foam.

Logically, it is wise to avoid these effects in the process which can potentially improve the lifetime of the circuit board and limit problems in the field.

For further information click conformal coating defects and long-term reliability or contact us NOW at  +44 1226 249019 or email sales@schservices.com

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About Dr Lee Hitchens

Dr Hitchens has been working in the electronics industry and the area of conformal coatings for over 25 years in various areas including sales and technical support. He has also been training people for almost the same amount of time in all areas of conformal coating whether that is materials & equipment selection, process development or troubleshooting to help them solve their particular problem. Recently, he decided that the industry needed a specific place where all of the useful knowledge on conformal coatings could be collated for users to find easily and use in their own production process. So, Nexus was born and he began the Nexus eBook project.

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