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110 SMT Magazine • September 2015 It is not unusual for automotive MEMS appli- cations to be situated in areas of high performance activity and stress. Protection from prevailing environmental factors—caused by the combined and often overlapping presence of brake/trans- mission fluid, corrosive liquids, or gases like eth- ylene glycol, freon, gasoline, or oil, engine hu- midity, fluctuations in temperature, or similar conditions (either predictable or unexpected)—is necessary. Individually or in tandem, these con- ditions may generate product degradation or sys- tem malfunction. Products conformally coated by paralyne are far better equipped to successful- ly surmount these conditions and assure depend- able function and performance. However, as de- scribed above, the appropriate coating material must be used to assure best-practice protection of MEMS' parts and functionality. Of conformal coatings, paralyne best safe- guards micro-machined circuits from the po- tentially deleterious effects of aggressive auto- motive environments. Maintaining the func- tion of sensors and other engine assemblies through these often abrupt changes in engine conditions requires their dependable and ongo- ing protection, best generated by paralyne. To a lesser extent, silicone is also appropriate for some MEMS functions. Automotive ruggedization Created for dependable use under ex- treme conditions, ruggedized automotive sys- tems are required to function through extreme temperatures and high levels of vibration. Rug- gedized automotive parts include motion con- trollers, a range of detection switches, door switches, limit/safety switches, tactile switches and rocker switches, among other components. These are parts and assemblies whose constant use and placement in the automobile necessi- tate extended protection. Because paralyne generates superior resis- tance to shock, heavy vibrations, and internal disruption within the engine, it is applicable for specialized, highly refined purposes, where sen- sors and components need to be appropriately insulated. Its other capabilities include: • Withstanding the impact of the effects on efficient functioning of dirt, hazardous chemicals, heat, moisture and a variety of additional potential contaminants • Exceptional dielectric strength • Reliable physical/mechanical properties • Sufficient environmental protection dur- ing operation to minimize degradation of performance factors usually caused by hu- midity within the unit, or contamination from debris or other sources Other Automotive products benefiting from paralyne Conformal Coating Automotive sensors, controls, and polymer/ elastomer seals are normally confronted by harsh operating conditions. Dependable per- formance, even ruggedization of components, results in functional upgrades and enhanced operational efficiencies. Paralyne conformal coatings significantly diminish the likelihood of malfunction or breakdown in automo- tive environments characterized by changing thermal conditions and exposure to a variety of potentially corrosive engine liquids. They also provide superb component protection for auto- motive computers. They are especially valuable protecting com- ponents for high-mileage vehicles requiring reli- able GPS communications; voice/data commu- nications (Wi-Fi/Bluetooth); and vehicle telem- etry also benefit from automotive conformal coating. Rapidly evolving products for automo- tive information technology (IT), electrical sys- tems, engine components and sensors increas- ingly depend on parylene and silicone coatings to assure ongoing performance through all con- ditions. In addition, automotive LED lights, es- sential to safe driving, benefit from conformal coating protection, which extend the function- al life of the LED light itself, while enhancing its performance. Conclusion Automotive conformal coatings are fun- damental to sustaining robust engine perfor- mance. Further improvement of the capabilities of conformal coatings is expected in the future, with the resolution of present developmental/ manufacturing issues. A wider range of smart as- semblies, components and sensors will add to the performance of current automotive systems. FeAture beNeFIts OF pArALyNe CONFOrmAL COAtINGs IN AutOmOtIve AppLICAtIONs continues

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