By Jon Urquhart
The conformal coating process has evolved greatly from the days of hand masking electronic assemblies and placing them into high pressure spray booths and dip tanks to apply liquid coatings. Machine developments have provided the ability to use multiple applicators, and sometimes multiple fluids, to meet the target result. As coating equipment became more sophisticated, so have the circuitry designs which have created tighter coating requirements and smaller process windows. The fluids used for coating and masking have also developed and have enabled the use of new process techniques not typically employed in conformal coating. Not all end users have the same requirements, defining the end goal of a conformal coating process and understanding the equipment capability with various application techniques will be discussed plus additional tips on identifying process issues.