Should You Coat Your Printed Circuit Boards With Conformal Coating?


Should You Coat Your Printed Circuit Boards With Conformal Coating?

Printed Circuit Boards or PCBs are made up of innumerous components that also include delicate traces and wiring, which can result in damaged insulation if exposed to harsh chemicals, excess moisture, and other contaminants. To avoid such damage and failure of your entire electrical component, you need to keep your PCB assembly from India protected and safe. This is where conformal coating comes to the rescue.

Conformal coating is a light chemical coating applied on the PCB, which acts as a shield to protect the components from elemental dangers. It is a thin film that can insulate your circuit boards not only from external heat, but also from the heat that the product produces while operating. It is a protective non-conductive layer that protects the PCB from all kinds of environmental stresses like heat, moisture, corrosion, dust, salt sprays, fungus, and other contaminants. All the circuitry within is protected against all kinds of abrasion and solvents.

The coating can be brushed on or sprayed over the PCB, or the PCB can be dipped into the coating. Different types of conformal coatings and different methods are used to protect the PCB against specific environmental threats, depending upon their construction and environment in which they are to be used. However, the most common types of conformal coatings used include those made up of silicone, acrylic, and urethane. Applying such coating on your PCB limits the damage that different environmental contaminants can do to the circuit board, thus resulting in the PCB to function better and last longer even under stressful conditions. Such PCBs can thus be used for various purposes that require longer and better performance, which is not likely possible with PCBs without conformal coating.

Other than providing protection, and helping PCBs and the equipment they are used in to perform better and last longer, conformal coating also protects the equipment against thermal and mechanical stress, and significantly reduces conductor spacing. Moreover, the coating is so light in weight that it allows for smaller and lighter PCBs, thus eliminating the need for complex exposures to protect the circuit boards. The conformal coating also increases the dielectric strength between conductors, thus making the PCB small and compact.

Whatever the method used for applying conformal coating (brushing/spraying/dipping), the coating is applied over the entire PCB assembly, including all the elements like the sharp edges and contours. Before coating, the PCB must be thoroughly cleaned and de-moisturized within 8 hours of coating, which can be done in an oven with a temperature set between 88°C and 98°C for 4 hours. In addition, all elements like terminal pins and connectors are masked off or removed. After the coating is applied, the masking is removed, and the removed parts are reassembled. The circuit board is then dried/cured, which can be done through air drying, over drying, or UV light curing. The board then undergoes complete testing to ensure the functionality of the board.

Thus, always try to opt for a PCB assembly that is protected with conformal coating to help your equipment perform better and last longer. You can have your PCB customized from reputed and reliable manufacturers like Miracle Aerospace, the leading manufacturers of the finest kind of PCB assembly from India.