Design007 Magazine

PCBD-Feb2016

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46 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2016 Introduction In case you're wondering who I am, here's a quick background: I joined Electrolube in May 2014 as technical director for the company's Conformal Coatings Division. I have exten- sive experience within the conformal coatings industry and I'm well versed in writing papers and presenting at forums around the globe on key issues. I recently conducted a study that resulted in a paper on increasing end-product lifetime and reliability. I discovered that one key driver is the understanding that a conformal coating only offers effective protection to surfaces when it is applied with perfect coverage. Any voids, bubbles, or cracks in the coating are likely to al- low the initiation of corrosion. Understanding this factor is a major step towards developing a reliable product. For this column, the first in a series, I will be taking a closer look at production issues, partic- ularly those that circuit designers are in a posi- tion to address at the earliest stages of a project. I'll provide some design pointers that will help you avoid some common pitfalls when apply- ing conformal coatings. In each column, I will list five essential facts about conformal coatings that will help you to streamline your produc- tion processes. Designing-Out Coating Challenges I have quite a few years of experience and knowledge of the coatings business, and I'm still learning. But there are certain production- related issues that cause problems time and time again, many of which could so easily have been resolved earlier at the design stage. In this column, I will highlight these issues and hope- fully get the PCB design guys fully on-side with their production colleagues. Initially, I would just like to give a very short explanation about the types of conformal coating chemistries commonly available and emphasise that they all have their own benefits by Phil Kinner electroluBe How to Design-Out Production Problems sensiBle design 46 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2016

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