Silicone conformal coatings offer critical barrier protection to a variety of applications such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other components. These coatings protect applications against potential hazards like moisture, high heat exposure, dust, dirt, chemicals and corrosion.
Similar to other liquid conformal coatings, silicone conformal coatings are applied via a manual or automated spray, brush or dip process. Once applied, the coating cures to form a thin, protective film that conforms to the contours of the PCB and its components. Some examples of silicone conformal coatings include DOWSIL™ 1-2577, DOWSIL 3-1953, HumiSeal® 1C49 and MG Chemicals 422B.
Silicone conformal coatings offer a number of advantages over other types of conformal coatings, such as excellent moisture resistance, flexibility and high operating temperature protection. Silicones are highly resistant to moisture, making them ideal for protecting PCBs from corrosion and other types of damage caused by water. Due to their flexibility, silicone coatings can also withstand significant vibration and shock without cracking or peeling. Finally, silicones are best known for their ability to withstand operating temperatures up to 200°C, making them ideal for use in a wide range of applications in the electronics, defense and medical industries.
One drawback of silicones is that they can be difficult to remove if any repairs or modifications to the PCB are required. In addition, during the coating process, the potential exists for contamination that can cause de-wetting and other adhesion issues. SCS’ skilled coating operators can safely apply silicone coatings to customer products and mitigate the risks associated with cross contamination.
As concerns continue to grow surrounding the use and lasting effects of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), manufacturers around the globe are tasked with eliminating PFAS from their products. Numerous types of silicone coatings provide desired protective properties and are PFAS-free.