What You Should Know About Conformal Coating

What You Should Know About Conformal Coating

Laura Davis, Manufacturing Tech Insights | Friday, April 24, 2020

Conformal coating is a cost-effective method to guard electronic products against water, chemicals, and dust, which could harm the PCB. In some cases, firms can save themselves a lot of money and anguish by using a waterproof conformal coating on a PCB rather than going through the significant effort of generating an IP65 waterproof housing. Here is more about conformal coating and the several application methods.

It was making a plastic housing waterproof needs a lot of skill and experience. Even then, a few iterations of testing and mold modifications will be required to get it right. It usually comprises adding a soft material like TPR between the mating surfaces. The cheapest method to do this is to friction-fit or glue a TPR o-ring in place, but this is a daunting and error-prone process. Better is to couple the soft and hard plastic into a single part, leveraging overmolding. For high quantity products, like toothbrushes, 2K molding is used technology, and injection machines

The molds and injection machines required for this technology tend to be around three times as expensive as a single plastic part. For order quantities about 50K, it is much more beneficial to use the “sneaker method” where an ABS part is taken out of the mold and walked to the machine where the TPR is given over it. Best is if the ABS section is still warm so that the other material will bond better to the first. Conformal coating bypasses all those additional investments in injection molds, engineering, and endless testing and mold modifications.

During the electronics product development comes the embedded electronic design stage, particularly the core of electronic products: the PCB. In consumer electronics, the failure of a device like a mixer merely means a costly RMA. But the reliability is even more essential in B2B industrial applications. Many electronic systems are critical can run production or service, while in some cases, electronic failures can be life-threatening.

Weekly Brief

Read Also