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Conformal Coatings

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Curing Methods

After applying the coating by one of the processes above, it can be cured in one of the following conditions, depending on the product family being used.

Room Temperature Cure

A room temperature cure process can be used for either the RTV Elastomeric or RTV Elastoplastic Coatings.  After application, the coating is simply allowed to cure in ambient room conditions (roughly 70°F/21°C and 30-80% relative humidity).  These materials cure by using moisture in the air.  On exposure to the air, the coating will begin to cure.  During cure, roughly 3-6 weight % of methanol will be evolved.  Adequate ventilation should be provided.  In addition, the RTV Elastoplastic Coatings are supplied in solvent and provisions must be made for solvent removal.  Please contact Dow Corning's Solutions Unit for process design guidance.

The coatings will be handleable on the device in about 5-60 minutes depending on the product chosen and the thickness of the coating.  Full cure should occur in 24 hours in the typical thicknesses used for conformal coatings.  

If the coating is being dip coated, that is applied from a bath, it should be covered as much as possible, especially during downtime.  Blanketing with dry air or nitrogen is also helpful in extending bath life.  If material is being used from its original container, it should be kept closed when not in use.  

Simple room temperature curing processes are more appropriate for low to medium volume applications.  Some of the RTV Elastomeric Coatings are designed for fast tack free times and faster processing.  

Simple ambient curing is not possible for the Solventless Heat Cure Coatings.

Mild Heat Acceleration

All of the above considerations for room temperature curing apply for coatings which cure with mild heat acceleration.  However, after applying the coating and allowing a few minutes at ambient conditions, the coated part can then be elevated to modest temperatures up to about 60C for 5-10 minutes.  This will help achieve more complete cure in this surprisingly short time.  Temperature can be provided in a batch or belt oven.  

This process is more useful for volume production but is also not appropriate for the Solventless Heat Cure Coatings.

Heat Curing Above 100C    

True heat curing is done above 100C rather than at the milder temperatures described above.  The Solventless Heat Cure Coatings do not require moisture for cure.  All of the components needed for cure are included in the material as supplied.  After application, the coating simply needs to be brought to elevated temperatures in order to cure.  This can be done in a batch or belt oven.  

Heat curing at these elevated temperatures is not appropriate for the RTV Elastomeric or  RTV Elastoplastic Coatings.

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< back to Conformal Coatings Home Page  
Curing oven

  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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