Protect Electronic Assemblies with ControlTek's Conformal Coating and Encapsulation Services


You put a lot of care into the design and assembly of your electronic products, but how can you continue to protect those printed circuit board assemblies after manufacturing is over?

Two services frequently employed to help you safeguard and protect your products are conformal coating and epoxy encapsulation (or potting as it’s commonly known). Both processes were created to maintain the quality and integrity of your electronic products, but the processes themselves are quite different. Below we provide a quick guide to help you understand the processes and to help you prepare for these as early as the design stage of your next electronic assembly project. By doing so you will most likely discover new opportunities to ensure the quality of your products while also reducing costs and cycle times.

Conformal Coating: Conformal coatings are used to protect electrical components from dust, moisture, chemicals, or heat. These can all break down the integrity of the circuit components and lead to defect or even product failure. Conformal coating works exactly as the name suggests. A thin layer of clear coating is applied to the electronic assembly by brushing, dipping or spray painting.

Conformal coating is used for electronic assemblies across a variety of industries (consumer electronics products, medical device manufacturing),  although it was originally created mainly for use for Aviation / Space and Defense (ASD) products as a way to alleviate some of the stress experienced by equipment that operates in the rugged conditions of Aerospace.

Epoxy Encapsulation (Potting): Potting is a process that is employed in order to protect your electrical components, but the process itself is quite different from conformal coating. Potting protects against environmental, chemical, and thermal conditions by filling an electrical assembly with an epoxy compound that actually fills an electronic assembly’s cavity to reduce shock, vibration, and moisture effects.

Of the two, conformal coating is popular because it is easier to rework when needed, and is often a lighter weight solution. Potting can be a good choice for electronic circuit boards that will experience higher potential wear and tear as the encapsulation is complete and all components protectected.

Questions on which method is right for you? Talk to one of our knowledgeable staff today to learn more.

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