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70 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2022 Electronic circuits are abundant in modern life and will continue to surge in growth as former manual processes increasingly become automated. e rapid advances we see in tech- nology are driving electronic circuitry to per- form faster in harsher environments, in the smallest form, and with the lightest weight. Circuitry failure is not only inconvenient and expensive but as electronic infrastructures become more interconnected, individual fail- ures will put an entire system at risk, which could ultimately put lives in danger for criti- cal applications. It is so important to factor in careful consideration for conformal coat- ings. In this month's column, I will cover some important areas to help you steer clear of coating disasters. Get It Right at the Design Stage e earlier the coating is factored into the design process, the more likely there will be a successful coating outcome. It saves time and expense in rectifying any problems that may occur later. Important considerations include specifying: • "Must-coat" areas of the PCB • "Must-not-coat" areas • Transition areas, sometimes referred to as "can-coat" or "don't care" areas Check how close together the compo- nents are and whether there is a sufficient gap between the components. If the gap is insuf- ficient, it can lead to the coating bridging the gap rather than correctly conforming to the Avoiding Conformal Coating Pitfalls Sensible Design by Saskia Hogan, ELECTROLUBE

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