There are many fascinating aspects of parylene that can be studied to further appreciate the countless applications and numerous benefits of this unique coating, but one element that should never be overlooked is the deposition process. This process is crucial to the longevity and reliability of parylene, and, as you'll see, it is just as much an art as a science.
The artful part of the parylene deposition process must be built on a sturdy foundation of science. This unique process begins when specialized equipment is used to heat the raw material "dimer" to vaporization when it becomes a dimeric gas. This gas then undergoes more molecular-level processes; wherein it is reduced to a monomeric form that allows it to be placed with precision and confidence. At this point, both the monomer gas and the surface in need of coating are placed into a temperature-controlled chamber, and the gas is deposited in the malleable, pinhole-free polymer coating that is parylene's most recognizable identity. This process is crucial in giving parylene its reliability and longevity; because it is applied as a gas, parylene can coat even the most challenging corners and crevices with a wide variety of thicknesses.
Our parylene coating experts know that, while "the science side" of the deposition process is important, there is a necessary artistic touch that's just as crucial. Here's a quick look!
- Substrates. Each unique substrate material to which parylene can be applied--including metal, plastic, paper, and more--has its own specific needs. Although parylene can cater to all of these needs, it often requires a bit of help in the form of A-174 silane applied before coating. Experts have perfected the art of deposition to the point where any substrate material can be coated with all the reliability and precision expected of parylene coatings.
- Cleanliness. The artistic side of parylene's deposition process demands a high level of cleanliness. Anything that is not part of the substrate--from human oils to dust particles--can interrupt the deposition and impact the performance and safety of the parylene. As a result, there are countless standards in place to ensure purity.
- Preparation. Parylene is a strong and reliable coating, but it can be a bit too strong when it's applied to anything but the substrate material--which is why experts know that the art of preparation is crucial. The inside of the temperature-controlled chamber must be carefully prepared before deposition to protect from an accidental application.