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Past missions to the “final frontier” might have been more successful if the coating on the electronic assemblies had been measured using our novel inspection technology for the dispensing process. While this is just a hypothetical statement, it is highly likely that in a harsh environment like outer space, some effects such as crystal growth and surface contamination can occur. As such, sealing the electronics assembly from environmental contaminants is particularly important because any debris or moisture can form the breeding ground for crystal dendrite growth.
Harsh environments are not limited to space; electronics need protection on earth too. Consider the engine compartment of your vehicle, or the drive in an offshore wind turbine, the motor on an e-bike, or your mobile device. The assemblies must be protected to prevent damage from environmental elements; yet the protection process itself can become the challenge or even the reason for product failure in the field.
On an unprotected electronics assembly, debris and moisture form a conductive mixture that shortens the insulation distances and causes failure. Moisture also causes corrosion. Conformal coating is intended to protect the assembly from these dangers. However, if the debris or moisture is captured within the conformal coating, the danger lies dormant under the supposed protection. Bubbles and air pockets are also predetermined breaking points in the protective layer. Koh Young now provides a solution to these failure opportunities with its proprietary dispensing process inspection (DPI) solution called Neptune (see Inspection Solutions sidebar).
Conformal coatings isolate and protect electronics from moisture, debris, corrosion, and shock, and add mechanical stability to reduce failures and improve reliability in harsh environments like automotive, LED, military, aerospace, medical, mobile, and more applications. But what if the coating is too thin or defective? Failure may result.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the November 2021 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.
Be sure to check out this additional content from Koh Young:
- The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to… SMT Inspection: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond by Brent Fischthal (a free eBook available for download)
- “Converting Process Data Into Intelligence” by Joel Scutchfield and Ivan Aduna, a free 12-part micro webinar series
- You can also view other titles in the full I-007e Book library here