Three key reasons to use a Molecular Vapor Deposition (MVD) process to protect a circuit board instead of conformal coatings

MVD

Molecular Vapour Deposition (MVD) is a new process introduced to the electronics coating market.

MVD is a hybrid coating technique using ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) and CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) coating processes in combination.

The method uses multiple layers of ultra-thin coatings with differing properties to build a completely protective coating with a final hydrophobic Nano coating as a top layer.

Click here to read more about the Three key reasons to use a Molecular Vapor Deposition (MVD) process to protect a circuit board instead of conformal coatings

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Nexus article on, “Outsourcing your conformal coating project – The key points”

Nexus

Nexus, the independent conformal coating resource, recently published an article on subcontracting your conformal coating services out to a third party.

I thought it would be useful to signpost people to this article and republish the points they raised since getting it right can be so critical in outsourcing.

Nexus identified that there are, “three key points to consider when choosing a subcontractor”.

Click here to read more about Nexus’ article on, “Outsourcing your conformal coating project – The key points”

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What is a fluoropolymer nano coating and how can it protect my circuit board?

A fluoropolymer Nano-coating is an ultra-thin film comprised of fluorocarbons and characterised by carbon-fluorine bonds.

Chemically inert, fluorocarbons are not susceptible to Van der Waals force. This means that films formed using these materials are non-stick (hydrophobic and water repellent) and friction reducing.

Also, due to the fluorine bonds, these Nano-coatings demonstrate a high level of chemical resistance to acids, bases and most solvents.

This makes them interesting materials for protecting electronic circuits. 

Click here to read more about Fluoropolymer nano-coatings.

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Do you need UL qualification for your conformal coating?

UL are the Underwriters Laboratories and are a global safety certification body for consumer electronics.

They are a 3rd Party test service. There is no self-certification available.

A qualification to UL can be used as a sign of quality control and testing independently of the coatings protective ability.

When do you need UL?

Sometimes it may be required that the conformal coating needs UL approval to be applied to a circuit board. It will depend on the market the electronics goes into.

UL approved coatings can be used on electronics in many diverse sectors such as the domestic home, industrial controls, telecommunications and aerospace.

In fact, in nearly all areas conformal coatings tend to be used for protection.

UL approved coatings can be requested in nearly all areas conformal coatings tend to be used for protection for electronics including domestic home, industrial controls, telecommunications and aerospace.

Click here to read more about UL qualification for your conformal coating

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How do I selective apply my conformal coating?

Selective application of conformal coating is this case is applying the conformal coating without using masking to shield components from ingress.

Technically using masking tapes, latex and boots is a selective process. But, we want to look at coating application without masking.

This leaves a couple of different options.

The first is brushing. This is a simple selective process that can be highly effective.

The second, and the more obvious option, is selective robot.

This process uses a small spray valve (there are many conformal coating spray valve types) that is attached to a robot that follows a set pattern applying the conformal coating selectively to the circuit board.

To read more about how to selective apply conformal coating, click here…

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How do conformal coating masking boots save money in your production process?

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Three reasons conformal coating masking boots save you money

Here are three reasons that can save you up to 80% of your costs compared to masking tape:

  1. Masking time is reduced. Masking boots can be 4-5 times quicker than masking tape.

Click to read more on about how do conformal coating masking boots save money in your production process

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Are there design rules for the conformal coating dip application?

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There are design guidelines that can be used to help make conformal coating of circuit boards using the dip process a lot easier.

Having these specific design rules for dipping conformal coating can help save a lot of time, money and trouble on the production line.

Click to read more on about design rules for the conformal coating dip application

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What application methods are available for applying conformal coating?

What application methods are available for applying conformal coating?

Conformal coatings can be applied to printed circuit boards (PCB) in the production process environment in many alternative ways.

Listed below are the common methods of applying the conformal coating materials.

  • Brushing
  • Aerosol spray
  • Batch spray
  • Selective spray
  • Dipping
  • Vapour deposition

Click to read more on about application methods available for applying conformal coating

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What is a hydrophobic acrylic conformal coating?

There are several reasons for using a conformal coating or Parylene to protect a printed circuit board (PCB).

They include:

  • High insulation protection
  • High moisture and humidity protection
  • Chemical and temperature resistance
  • Ruggedisation
  • Improve dielectric properties
  • Barrier protection against particulates

However, one property that most liquid conformal coatings do not possess that is extremely useful to have is being water repellent or hydrophobic.

Click to read more about hydrophobic acrylic conformal coatings.

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How do I spray coat my conformal coating?

Batch spraying is one of the widest used techniques used in low and medium volume conformal coating processing.

Whether you are using a compressed air spray gun or an aerosol can, the conformal coating is sprayed across the whole of the circuit board.

It can produce a high quality coating finish that gives the best protection due to good edge coverage.

However, it is not a selective process. All parts are coated on the circuit board.

Therefore, masking may be required to protect components that must not be coated.

Click to read on How do I spray coat my conformal coating

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