Conformal coatings are generally thin, nonconductive, dielectric layers that are used to protect devices and components from damage due to contamination, salt spray, moisture, fungus, dust and corrosion. While conformal coatings were first used to protect military and aerospace applications, their use has expanded over the last 5 decades to include medical devices, consumer electronics, transportation electronics and more. In recent years, the development of new materials and coating processes has enabled an even larger variety of items to be coated in production facilities around the world.
There are several types of conformal coatings; each coating family provides its own set of unique properties and characteristics.
- Consumer electronics
- Circuit boards (PCBs) and assemblies
- MEMS and wafers
- Elastomer components
- Medical devices and components
- Motor components
Benefits of Conformal Coatings
Electrical insulation properties: Due to their high dielectric strengths and low dielectric constants, conformal coatings provide excellent dielectric insulation properties. These properties are key to prevent arcing and electric failure as today’s electronics, which continue to increase in functionality, are being designed into smaller, tighter spaces.
Barrier protection: Conformal coatings are often used to protect components and assemblies from the damaging effects of moisture, fluids, solvents and chemicals.
Lightweight: While coating types vary in thickness, conformal coatings are generally applied in thin layers, usually measuring in the microns to mil range. Nanocoatings are even thinner, often measuring in nanometer thicknesses. Conformal coatings often weigh significantly less than alternative protective solutions such as mechanical seals and enclosures.
Prolonged device service life: By preventing premature failures, conformal coatings increase reliability and prolong device service life, lowering costs associated with warranty claims and repairs.
How to Get Started
- Plan ahead and contact SCS early in your development process device to ensure that board/device design is optimized for conformal coating protection.
- SCS’ experienced team of engineers will guide you through our process and answer any questions you have.
- If this is the first time you’ve used coating services, we will make sure you are well-informed and can make the best decision for your project.
A global network of coating centers ready for your application.
Specialty Coating Systems offers customers regionally-located coating facilities to handle their engineering and production requirements. To discuss the benefits and properties of conformal coatings and your protection needs with an applications specialist, contact us online or call +1.317.244.1200.