Understanding which conformal coating process is right for your PCB is essential to properly shielding components from unwanted debris and heat. Learn more about the different types of coating processes and the innovative technique offered by Invention House’s Raphael 4040.
The Manual Brush on Conformal Coating Method
What Is Brush Conformal Coating?
Brush-on conformal coating is one of the most common methods for safeguarding surfaces and components from corrosion, extreme temperatures, and other environmental factors. It involves an operator applying a thin layer of coating onto a circuit board using a small brush.
What Is the Manual Brush on Conformal Coating Process?
Pre-treatment is the first step in the brush conformal coating process. This involves the operator ensuring the surface is clean and debris-free. Once completed, the correct brush applicator is selected; a soft-bristled brush is ideal for thin-film coatings, while a stiff-bristled brush is recommended for thicker coats. Testing the brush for compatibility is essential for getting the best results.
After finding the right brush, the operator applies the conformal coating layer. This step includes dipping the brush in the material and carefully applying it to the substrate, ensuring the correct areas are covered. Sometimes multiple coats are required to achieve even coverage and maximize protection. After application, the user uses a clean cloth to remove any excess material from the PCB.
Finally, the operator cures the PCB to meet their exact specifications. This process is done by baking or air drying the components at high temperatures to verify the coating material is dry and adequately protects the board.
Is the Manual Brush on Conformal Coating Method Effective
This manual brush method is an effective technique for coating PCBs and other equipment. However, it requires high levels of skill and careful application to ensure the right components are covered.
The Dip Coating Method
What Is Dip Coating?
Another common method of applying coating materials is the dip coating technique. This is an ideal practice for protecting PCBs and other equipment from corrosion, abrasive material, electrical elements, water, and other unwanted debris. It also allows the operator to apply a thin layer across a large surface.
What Is the Dip Coating Process
The dip coating process involves submerging the board into a tank filled with the preferred coating material. Once withdrawn from the coating tank, excess material is removed, and the PCB is hung to dry. The dip coating process allows operators to apply a uniform coating layer, eliminating many of the problems of over-spray, including pollution.
Is the Dip Coating Technique Effective?
The dip coating technique is effective when coating various materials; it safeguards against corrosion and water and allows operators to increase efficiency. However, it’s not recommended for jobs that require selective coating applications.
The Conformal Coating Spray Method
What Is the Spray Coating Method
The spray coating method is a good choice for operators that want to increase production while reducing waste. It involves applying a thin layer of coating on a PCB using a specialized spray gun or nozzle.
What Is the Conformal Coating Spray Process?
The first step in the spray coating process is verifying the PCB’s surface is clean and debris-free to ensure that an even layer of material is applied. After determining the right coating type, the operator adjusts the spray gun settings, including pressure, nozzle, size, and flow rate to optimize performance. The user then applies multiple layers to maximize coverage, removes excess material, and allows the PCBs to dry.
Is the Spray Coating Technique Effective?
Overall, the spray coating method is an effective technique that allows operators to reduce costs and minimize waste. However, like dip coating, this is not recommended for tasks that require careful applications in tight spaces.
See Our Automated Conformal Coating Brush in Action
Want to see our conformal coating equipment in action? Check out our case studies and see the benefits of working with the Invention House team.
Reduce Waste and Maximize Protection With Invention House’s Automated Conformal Coating Brush
While traditional coating methods are effective, they require manual labor, and the overall effectiveness is heavily reliant on the user’s experience and knowledge. Streamlining operations by using an automated conformal coating robot is the best approach to getting a consistent product while minimizing costs.
Invention House’s Raphael 4040 is an automated conformal coating machine that allows operators to reduce costs while increasing efficiency and productivity. Our innovative equipment combines 3D automation and a robotic brush to precisely coat boards to your specifications. Utilizing Raphael 4040 in your operations provides the following benefits:
- Enhanced quality: The Raphael 4040 increases quality by requiring fewer passes while eliminating overspray
- Increased productivity: Operators work at a faster rate with the Raphael 4040 because it minimizes board touches and reduces coating time.
- Reduced costs: Traditional conformal coating types can increase material waste; the Raphael 4040 doesn’t require masking and allows operators to reduce costs associated with overspray.
Step One: Create Board Layout
Our process starts by programming the path by importing a Gerber file or board image into Raphael Suite, our proprietary software program. Once uploaded, the user sets the PCB’s X, Y, and Z dimensions.
Step Two: Create the Coating Path
The operator uses the joystick, keyboard, and click-and-drag actions to implement a series of coating segments. This path is created as a dry run, which allows the user to make adjustments until the optimal path is finalized.
Step Three: Wet Run
After finalizing the optimal path, the operator then selects a single PCB, activates the pumps, and performs a wet run. We recommend paying close attention to flow and brush movement to ensure coating accuracy.
Step Four: Production
Once everything is set, full production can begin. Be sure to inspect early samples to make sure it’s meeting your specifications and make small tweaks when necessary.
Streamline Processes With Invention House
Invention House takes pride in helping our clients enhance productivity with innovative equipment. Along with our Raphael 4040 conformal coating robot, we also offer single-phase, 3-phase, and 400 Hz motor drives that are military-grade and can withstand extreme conditions. Contact our team today to learn more about our modern equipment.
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Engineering reliable, efficient, and economical motor control products for our customers. Our machines are American-made, operating in challenging environments, and meet strict military-grade compliance.