Conformal coating: a must-have for electronic devices in harsh environments

Conformal coating is a thin layer of insulating material that is applied to electronic components to protect them from moisture, chemicals, dirt, and other environmental factors. It can be particularly effective when applied to the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electrical components to enhance their durability and reliability in challenging environments. Rockwell Automation continue to expand their range of products with conformal coating, including PLCs, Drives, HMIs and Kinetix® motion servo drives.

It is especially beneficial in highly-polluted atmospheres, where it can help to extend the product life cycle and maintain long-term surface insulation resistance. This ensures the operational integrity of the assembly, even when exposed to corrosive environments. Products with conformal coating are typically used in applications in the following industries: water and waste water, mining, pulp and paper, metal, and food and beverage.

Below is a summary of the benefits conformal coating on electrical components, including printed circuit boards, can offer:

Environmental Protection

Conformal coatings provide a barrier against moisture, dust, dirt, chemicals, and other environmental contaminants that could potentially damage or corrode PCBs. This is particularly important for electronic devices used in harsh or outdoor environments.

Improved Reliability

Coating PCBs can significantly increase their resistance to factors like humidity, temperature variations, and chemical exposure. This helps prevent failures and extends the operational lifespan of the electronic device.

Dielectric Properties

Conformal coatings often have excellent dielectric properties, which means they can insulate and protect sensitive electronic components from electrical interference and short circuits, thus enhancing overall circuit reliability.

Reduced Risk of Short Circuits

The insulating nature of conformal coatings can prevent conductive materials, like dust or debris, from coming into contact with exposed conductive traces on the PCB, reducing the risk of short circuits and electrical malfunctions.

Vibration and Shock Resistance

Conformal coatings can provide a degree of mechanical reinforcement to PCBs, making them more resistant to vibration, shock, and physical impact. This is particularly important for applications like automotive electronics, aerospace, and military equipment.

Increased Thermal Performance

Some conformal coatings have good thermal conductivity properties, which can help dissipate heat away from sensitive components and prevent overheating, improving the overall thermal performance of the device.

Find out more about conformal coating

Conformal coating is a valuable tool for protecting electronic circuitry from a variety of environmental hazards. It can help to extend product life cycles and  ensure the operational integrity of electronic assemblies.

Please contact your Routeco account manager, or use the form below to get in touch, to learn more and if you should be using products with conformal coating in your applications.

Posted: 25/08/2023 15:06:30 by Leah McLaurin | with 0 comments