Conformal coatings are all around us in everyday objects and still most people don’t know what it is. Electronics need to be protected from environmental threats such as dust, water, temperature, and chemicals. To protect the printed circuit boards (PCBs) that make these electronics run, they are covered in non-conductive film, otherwise known as a conformal coating.
Read on to learn how conformal coatings are used in military applications.
Commercial Off-The-Shelf Assemblies
PCBs used for defense and aeronautic applications undergo extreme conditions. Due to these circumstances, they benefit significantly from ruggedization (making a piece of equipment rugged or strengthening to resist wear or abuse). This process makes electronics suitable for extreme weather environments, intense vibrations, and high levels of dryness or moisture. A rugged coating will make the PCB durable and perform in versatile situations.
Defense electronics are expensive though and as such alternatives are sought out by military establishments. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) assemblies are often used in place of expensive defense electronics. Because they are not designed for military use, they require a custom design. Conformal coatings can add the extra layer of protection need for ruggedization. These conformal coatings will provide resistance to varying altitudes, temperature extremes, and vehicle acceleration.
Conformal Coating for Defensive Electronics
There are standards and specifications for an electronic to qualify as a reliable product ruggedization. Conformal coating applications used to ruggedize PCBs are office acrylic, urethane, and parylene. Parylene differs from the others as it is the only coating applied as a vapor. Industry experts favor parylene for its ability to thoroughly coat a PCB without leaving any uncovered surfaces. It meets all critical requirements for a COT as well. As a conformal coating, parylene increases the durability and ruggedness of COTs. When it comes to creating a versatile defense electronic, it’s the coating of choice.
For more information on conformal coatings and military applications, contact us today.