Waterproof PCBs with Parylene Coating

Posted by Jake Hinojoza on Sep 3, 2019 9:00:00 AM
Jake Hinojoza

A printed circuit board (PCB) supports and connects electronic components within everyday devices. There are water-resistant phones and waterproof watches, but how are the printed circuit boards protected?

Waterproofing the board by coating it adequately is extremely important. Any missed point is a potential shorting point. Here’s how you can waterproof a printed circuit board with parylene.

Waterproofing vs. Moisture Protection: An Important Distinction

When it comes to coatings, the distinction between waterproof and moisture protection matters. Most conformal coating applications are meant to provide moisture protection as part of its duty to seal out environmental threats. If an electronic is intended to be fully submerged in liquid and still functional, it is considered waterproof.

Deciding between the two classifications can change the way you approach protecting your printed circuit board. There is a difference in a PCB being splashed or exposed to a small amount of condensation versus being in liquid for an extended period.

Coverage Matters for Waterproofing

When it comes to waterproofing a printed circuit board, the crucial factor is coverage. There are thin and thick film options. Thick film is going to be difficult to repair in the future and it adds weight to the product. Alternately, thin film has the potential to miss coverage. Any area left uncovered, no matter how minuscule, will leave the whole board exposed. Therefore, applying the right thickness in the right way is of utmost importance. 

How Parylene Waterproofs

Parylene conformal coating is a thin coating applied in vapor form which adheres to all areas of the board. The final product is lighter, less bulky, and easier to repair. Because it is non-liquid, comprehensive coverage is easier. This process checks all the boxes for waterproofing: it is thin enough but offers complete coverage.   

The solution is simple. Parylene coating is your best choice when it comes to making a waterproof printed circuit board.

Want to learn more about parylene and its advantages? Looking for a new coating provider that understands the delicate nature of electronics? Get in touch!

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Topics: Parylene Conformal Coating, Waterproofing