Where are conformal coatings used?

Co-Authors and contributors

  • Dr Lee Hitchens, Nexus

The conformal coating is designed to improve the lifetime of the circuit. However, it can detrimentally affect the performance of the circuit.

Conformal coatings are being used as protection in ever increasing electronic applications across a wide range of market sectors.

Due to the fact that conformal coatings provide several key benefits including moisture and insulation properties, chemical resistance and particulate protection, this means they are used anywhere there is a need for a higher reliability than that which is achieved without the coating.

It is possible to identify traditional and emerging sectors where conformal coatings are being applied. These include sectors such as:

  • Aerospace
  • Defence
  • Automotive
  • Telecommunications
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Transport
  • White Goods
  • Geothermal
  • LEDs
  • Solar Panels
  • Marine and Coastal Environment
  • Space
  • Medical

Each market sector has a distinct set of requirements in terms of standards, operating environments as well as other factors.

In the past, conformal coating was only applied to military and safety critical products like medical devices as the cost and the process of doing this was high.

In recent years, the development in material and new processes has enabled consumer electronics products to be coated as well.

This will be becoming more common and will become a norm as circuitry and electronic components continue to shrink in size and dimension.