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76 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 In this month's column, I will examine why coatings sometimes fail in service and the steps you can take to avoid failure in the first place. At Electrolube, we take great care in our research, product formulation, and develop- ing the appropriate processing and application techniques for our products because we know that, on occasion, conformal coatings can fail and it is our business to understand why. Our investigations are thorough, and to list our findings here in any detail is somewhat beyond the scope of this column. However, some of the more common root causes of failure pop up frequently, and I'd like to run through these issues, offer some tips, and bust the odd myth. As in our previous col- umns, they will be presented in a question- and-answer format. Are some PCBs impossible to coat due to their design? Nothing is impossible if you have enough time and money, but design is important in determining suitable application methodology and, therefore, the cycle times and the costs involved. Some simple things, like trying to keep connectors or other no-coat areas on the same edge of the assembly, can make a huge difference to the ease of coating an assem- bly, the cost of coating that assembly and, of course, the overall reliability of that assembly. Why Some Conformal Coatings Fail in Service Sensible Design by Phil Kinner, ELECTROLUBE

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