ICSR (Soldering and Reliability) Conference Proceedings

UV Curing to Accelerate Innovative Silicone Conformal Coatings

Authors: Torrey Clark and Brian Chislea
Company: Dow Chemical
Date Published: 6/5/2018   Conference: ICSR (Soldering and Reliability)

Abstract: Specialty electronic material customers and end users of electronic devices are demanding an increase in device reliability, and environmental protection. Conformal coatings are commonly used for protection at the board level, helping to improve device reliability. For decades, designers have grown comfortable specifying conformal coatings in electronic applications. There are several key industry needs driving new innovation in this long-standing conformal coating segment, including two of growing importance: 1) the ability to increase manufacturing speeds, and 2) advancements in the environmental, health and safety attributes of the material. New, innovative, ultraviolet-cure silicone conformal coatings look to meet these needs.

Conformal coatings are typically applied in a liquid form during the board fabrication process. The time it takes after the conformal coating has been applied, to when an assembly may be handled, can be a serious limiting factor of the fabrication process. Thermal curing, or roomtemperature curing, for example, can add hours to the manufacturing process. Ultraviolet curing has become one of the fastest methods to move a coated assembly through a manufacturer’s production line, providing a tack-free surface in minutes or less.

Global health and safety concerns are driving a push to reduce or eliminate solvents used in the fabrication process. Historical aromatic hydrocarbons, specifically benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX), are being regulated out of many manufacturing-dense regions of the world.

Imagine - how would your business benefit from a silicone conformal coating, with all the traditional material benefits of silicone - including environmental stability, low-stress, and good adhesion, with two new benefits: rapid production speed and the elimination of BTX? UV-cure, silicone conformal coatings are under development to address these two needs.

Key Words: 

Conformal, Coating, UV, Ultraviolet

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