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Conformal Coatings


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Processing Options

Silicone conformal coatings from Dow Corning are easily applied by a variety of methods.  A general overview of these processes is given below.  For more specifics, see some of the application bulletins  on conformal coatings.

All of the coatings can be applied by the traditional methods of dipping, spraying or simple flow coating. For high volume, spraying or dipping is best.  In low volume, simple flow coating can be used.  Because of differences in curing mechanisms, special considerations must be made for removal of any solvents present or for curing higher thickness or curing under large area components.

Environmental compliance is globally creating some strong trends.  There is a desire to avoid solvents that are frequently seen in non-silicone materials.  This trend has generated a growing interest in the Elastomeric Heat Cure and Elastomeric Room Temperature Cure products.  Similarly there has been a growing usage of no-clean fluxes, making the compatibility with the conformal coating and the underlying  no-clean residues an issue to be considered.  Contact us for assistance in testing compatibility, or for samples of solventless conformal coatings.

Dip Coating

Dip coating offers complete encapsulation and represents the lowest process cost for high-volume applications. Boards are dipped into the liquid conformal coating, withdrawn, and excess material allowed to drip off before curing. With this method, masking is difficult. Board and tank temperature, withdrawal rate from the tank, cure temperature and amount of drip time affect applied thickness.

Dip Coating

Spray Coating

Spray coating is usually used for medium-volume production; at medium- or high-volume production rates, application costs are low to moderate. Masking is easier but spray application makes it difficult to coat under components, and requires slightly more maintenance. The type of feed system, line speed, temperature of the material and atomization pressure used will affect the applied thickness.  

Spray Coating

Select Coating  

Select coating can be used for moderate- to high-volume applications and often eliminates the need for masking because the material is dispensed only on selected areas of the circuit. It uses more expensive equipment for high volume processes and requires more maintenance than either dip or spray coating. Coating thickness is affected by material viscosity, temperature, pressures used and dispense head configuration.

Select Coating

Flow Coating or Brush Coating

Flow or brush coating is used for low-volume production or for making repairs. Equipment costs are very low. The coating is simply poured or brushed onto the boards and then cured.  

Flow Coating

All of Dow Corning's silicone conformal coatings contain additives that allow easy UV inspection to ensure complete coverage on the circuit board.

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< back to Conformal Coatings Home Page  
 
  1. Conformal Coatings Tutorial - What are Conformal Coatings?


  2. Conformal Coatings Tutorial-Options


  3. Key Conformal Coating Characteristics


  4. Conformal Coatings Product Families


  5. Comparison of Product Families


  6. Processing Options


  7. Curing Methods


  8. Packaging and Storage Considerations


  9. Repairability and Component Replacement


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