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Industry Applications: Conformal Coating in Electronics

Elemental Threats to Circuit Boards

Today, the range of when and where we use electronics broadens constantly. Consequently, electronics encounter threats such as water, extreme temperatures, shock, and contaminants. A circuit board, the core of  any electronic, makes it highly sensitive to these threats that cause damage and failure. Manufacturers protect the board’s components with conformal coating. Conformal coating, implemented in the manufacturing of circuit boards, provides protection against threatening contaminants, moisture, and even extreme temperatures. Conformal coating comes as either a specialized coating or a polymer film that conforms to the topography of a circuit board, thus forming a protective shield.

When coating anything, the surface must show a level of surface cleanliness for the coating to bond successfully. Furthermore, circuit boards in particular, require highly cleaned surfaces, because of their sensitivity to contaminants. So, managing surfaces in circuit board manufacturing is doubly important. The surface must be clean for the sake of the circuit board and for the success of the coating.

Ensuring a Successful Conformal Coating

Circuit board protected by conformal coating. To accurately measure the surface of these circuit boards in preparation for coating applications, BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst™ is the ideal solution. Using a highly purified drop of water, the Surface Analyst produces a contact angle measurement or a pass/fail grade. This measurement precisely determines whether or not the circuit board is clean and ready for coating. This method is objective and non-contaminative.

As electronics become more and more implemented in different applications, knowing they will withstand any potential contaminants that challenge their success, becomes more important. Conformal coating is a step in knowing that the circuit boards, a main component in electronics, will be protected. The Surface Analyst is a crucial step in guaranteeing that the conformal coating will succeed in protecting these circuit boards to reduce product failure and waste.

To learn more about validating cleanliness in production processes, download the Predictable Adhesion in Manufacturing Through Process Verification eBook.

Predictable Adhesion in Manufacturing Through Process Verification