Extended Life Benefits of Conformal Coatings

 

What are Conformal Coatings?

Conformal coatings are materials applied in thin layers (typically a few mils or a fraction of a mm) onto printed circuits or other electronic substrates. They provide environmental and mechanical protection to significantly extend the life of the components and circuitry. Conformal coatings are traditionally applied by dipping, spraying or simple flow coating, and increasingly by select coating or robotic dispensing.

Conformal coatings protect electronic printed circuit boards from moisture and contaminants, preventing short circuits and corrosion of conductors and solder joints. They also minimize dendritic growth and the electro-migration of metal between conductors. In addition, the use of conformal coatings protects circuits and components from abrasion and solvents. Stress relief is also provided, as well as protection of the insulation resistance of the circuit board.

Conformal coatings are particularly useful for protecting circuitry in severe service environments, while maintaining a low stress environment for components and connections. These severe conditions range from every day temperature and humidity extremes seen in consumer electronics, to the more harsh automotive under hood applications, up to the extremes demanded in military or industrial applications. They are supplied in a variety of forms that can be cured at room temperature or very significantly accelerated by heat.