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Conformal Coatings Provide Critical Moisture Barriers

Feature Article by Specialty Coating Systems
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Specialty Coating Systems (SCS) discusses how conformal coatings provide a critical moisture barrier for electronic applications, and explores different types, benefits and uses.

Conformal coatings critical moisture barriers SCS

In today’s technology-driven world, exposure to moisture is one of the leading factors that can impact electronics’ ability to function as designed. 

When moisture comes in direct contact with the electronic circuits of a device, it can cause a short, resulting in device failure. Condensation inside of an enclosure, corrosive humidity in coastal regions, rain and direct water contact are a few examples of moisture-rich environments that can prove challenging when protecting electronic applications.

Engineers commonly look to design products that achieve ingress protection ratings such as IPX4-IPX8. Conformal coatings are well known for providing a moisture barrier and are commonly used to meet the desired IPX rating. Acrylic, epoxy, polyurethane, silicone, Parylene and plasma coatings provide a wide range of moisture barrier properties to protect electronics and electrical components.

When comparing conformal coatings, understanding the level of protection required, design considerations and long-term operating environment will help determine which coating would be the best moisture barrier for a given application. Parylene conformal coatings protect against moisture ingress and are an integral design component to achieving IPX7 and IPX8 ratings. New SCS PlasmaGuard coatings have also been tested and meet the needs of IPX7 and IPX8 designs. Finally, liquid silicone coatings can provide the necessary moisture barrier properties to protect a refrigeration unit from condensation.

Regardless of the end use of an electronic device, moisture is present in many types of operating environments. Conformal coatings are designed to protect against various degrees of moisture and are a key design element to achieve IPX ratings.

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Posted by Joe Macey Connect & Contact