Getting to Know Circuit Board Protection Methods


Conformal coating is a type of non-conductive, protective chemical coating that is applied directly to modern circuit boards. The purpose of this coating is to help protect all electronic circuits from any damage caused by a fungus, moisture, salt spray, corrosion, dust, or contamination resulting from extreme or harsh environments.

When the coating is applied, the boards are electrically insulated. The coating will maintain surface insulation resistance, or SIR, while ensuring the long-term integrity of the assemblies. It also offers a barrier against any contaminants while preventing corrosion. Other benefits offered by these coatings is that they protect against rough handling, installation stresses, and more. When applied properly, the coating can prolong the product’s life.

How Does a Conformal Coating Work?

Protective barriers can be applied to all types of sensitive electronic components, providing more protection against the harsher environmental conditions a product could face, including vibration, debris, chemicals, and moisture. They do not provide a complete sealant, but instead, offer a protective, breathable layer.

Most conformal coatings are used in aerospace, automotive, and defence industries where protection from mechanical vibration, salt spray, vapor, chemicals, and moisture is essential. This conformal coating will not only provide protection but can also help to enhance the reliability of products and reduce the possibility of future failures or expenses.

Application of Conformal Coatings

There are three main options for applying conformal coatings to protect circuit boards. These are found here.


This is the highest-volume technique. The boards are going to be dipped into the conformal coating, and it will penetrate everywhere. The application has to be perfect to provide the desired benefits. Because of the design, there are some PCB boards that are not suited for this method. However, if the PCB is designed with this coating in mind, it is possible to use the dipping process during high volume manufacturing processes.


This is another application method. It is suitable for lower-volume manufacturing, finishing, and repairing units. The strategy requires the use of more skilled operatives to help get the suitable levels of protection.


With this method, the coatings are going to be applied using a dedicated spray booth or a spray aerosol gun. These methods are considered the best options for lower- or medium-volume manufacturing. This is the most popular method of application.

Once the boards have been coated with the coating material, they have to be cured. This is done by a UV light cure, oven, or the boards can be left to air dry. After the coating process is complete, it will be visible as a shiny and clear material. There are some that will be hard white in appearance, while others have a rubberier texture.

When it comes to conformal coatings. There are many things to know and understand. Keep the tips and information here in mind to know what to expect from this coating and why it is so beneficial. By knowing these things, it is possible to get the desired effects, no matter what they are.


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