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72 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 In my last column, I gave a summary of es- sential factors to consider when embarking on conformal coating selection and looked at those all-important considerations to get the best performance for your application. In this column, I cover six commonly asked questions about conformal coatings that every design en- gineer should be mindful of when specifying the coating process. Identifying potential pro- duction problems at the design stage will al- ways be favourable and far easier than trying to fix problems or concerns following the con- clusion of the engineering drawings. So, let's return to our trusted Q&A format and explore these key points in more detail, which I hope will help you achieve the best outcomes for your coating processes and make new produc- tion friends in the meantime! 1. How Important Is the Reworkability Characteristic of a Coating? Believe it or not, the reworkability of a coat- ing can often be a very important consider- ation in the selection of a conformal coating, especially when boards are of high value and have long service-life expectancies (e.g., mili- tary and aerospace assemblies). A coating may display many favourable characteristics that make it superior for assembly protection in the field, but it might also make the assembly very difficult to rework in the factory or repair in the field. A difficult-to-rework coating will not only make repairs and upgrades time-consum- ing but also add cost and complexity to the product. If the assembly is likely to require repairs, modifications, or upgrades, then consideration Six Key Points for Designing a Defect-free Conformal Coatings Process Sensible Design by Phil Kinner, ELECTROLUBE

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