Conformal Coating

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What Does Conformal Coating Mean?

A conformal coating is a thin coating for electronic
materials that protects systems. Conformal coating is typically a polymer film
applied on the nanoscale (at 25-75 nanometers thick) that can protect against
dust, temperature changes and other wearing effects. The use of conformal
coatings to offer better protection against external environments has become a
common part of electronics manufacturing.


Techopedia Explains Conformal Coating

Experts may describe conformal coatings as providing “long-term surface insulation resistance (SIR)” – these materials can protect circuits and hardware pieces against corrosion and moisture. Conformal coatings are used in the design of microchips and circuit boards, and in specific industries like aerospace, wherever materials in systems need protection from elemental forces such as moisture and external contaminants.

Types of conformal coating include:

  • Acrylics
  • Polyurethanes
  • Silicon coatings
  • UV-cured coatings

Industry standards provide rules for using conformal coating in repairs after original designs require alteration. One is that it is best to “match” conformal coating as much as possible to make coating and shielding consistent. For some types of conformal coating, specific remediation and application processes nay be necessary, for example, the removal of UV-cured conformal coating through powder abrasion, and the re-curing of these materials with short-wave UV light.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.