Learn About PCB Waterproofing Coating Your Gadgets

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When designing a PCB board, we are inevitably confronted with the issue of a wet environment, such as rainy days or steam in the factory. The circuit board is quickly destroyed in this situation. Previously, we had to pay close attention to design and use PCB waterproofing coating materials and unique computing technology to make them waterproof.

 However, due to the complex process and high cost, the PCB sales price is higher than others. There are many high-reliability techniques available today for making a PCB board waterproof.

Do you have any knowledge of how to make a PCB waterproof? Will you be processing the waterproof PCB? If you are looking for proficient knowledge on making a PCB waterproof, please read the following progression.

Process of Waterproofing Your Electronics or PCBs:

It is always recommended that PCB boards be protected and stored in a dry place. Putting the PCB boards in a sealed bag is a brilliant idea. As a result, even if it rains heavily outside, PCB boards will not be affected by water and will not become wet. There are numerous methods for waterproofing PCB. We can select one based on our requirements.

1. Use waterproof content on the PCB board

This method is used for PCB waterproofing coatings, such as making ship or submarine control systems PCBs. In this way, you can add a particular material, such as Parylene C or Parylene N, to the surface of the PCB board to make it waterproof. Parylene C and N are interchangeable.

 Both are high-density polymers that are formed into thin layers. When we apply them to PCB boards, they are usually in liquid form. After a certain period, they will solidify and become waterproof. Parylene C has a thickness of about two miles (0.05mm), much thinner than traditional varnish (such as epoxy resin). If you need to start making your Circuit board ( PCB waterproof, you can use Parylene C or Parylene N.

2. Seal the connectors with waterproofing particles

If you want to make a waterproof PCB for no particular reason, you can use the raw material to seal the connectors. Connectors are primarily used to connect wires and other components such as terminals and sensors. When in use, the connectors will come into direct contact with water. Water will penetrate your PCB board if they are not carefully sealed. When this happens, your electronics or PCBs will be easily damaged.

3. Dipping Procedure

The PCB board will be coated with the paint liquid during this process. It is a standard procedure in the industry. However, using the dipping procedure when making PCB boards and devices is not recommended because PCB boards should have some thickness. When you dip your PCB boards in a clear coat, most of the clear coats will adhere to the surface of the PCB board. And some will remain in the paint cylinder. That will result in uneven clear coat PCB coating on the PCB board.

3. Paint the PCB board with a particular waterproof coat

You can use paints to make a waterproof PCB if you don't want to use unique materials. They are typically applied as a protective layer. You can easily apply them to the surface of the PCB board. The primary function of these paints is to protect and smooth the surface of the PCB board. They can, however, be used on a PCB board with high quality and at a low cost. If you use this method, it is recommended that you choose the best waterproof paint for your PCB board. There are many types of waterproof paints on the market, but not all are reliable and efficient.

Is there an alternative to conformal waterproof coatings?

The conformal waterproof coating is one of the most useful and widely used materials for protecting PCB boards. It is a thin, elastic protective material that can be sprayed on the PCB board to waterproof it. It is used to protect PCBs in a variety of settings. Despite their widespread use, conformal waterproof surfaces have some drawbacks. Under certain conditions, they are insufficient to protect PCB boards. There are factors responsible for this scenario:

Due to its low adhesion strength, the conformal waterproof coating cannot effectively prevent water from penetrating the PCB board. Even if the conformal waterproof coating can prevent water from getting to the PCB board, it will be broken in a wet or destructive environment.

Previously, PCB manufacturers protected their PCB boards with conformal waterproof coatings. They had no other solution and did not find another way to solve the problem. As a result, they had to pay close attention to the design of the PCB board and use unique PCB materials to create it waterproof.


Make use of Waterproof Enclosures. What Is the Purpose of Conformal Coating?

An enclosure is not the same as a conformal coating. If you need to make your electronics waterproof, you must use enclosures. The enclosure shields your equipment from water and air. It acts as a tent, shielding your gadgets or PCBs from liquid, air, corrosive gases, and other harmful elements. Conformal coatings are typically started by spraying on the surface of a PCB hand to make it waterproof.

So, which one do you require?

 To make electronics or waterproofing PCBs, you will require both conformal waterproof coatings and enclosures. It is strongly advised that you use both if the environment is too corrosive or wet. Sometimes, your electronics or PCB boards will only need to be waterproof. In this case, conformal coatings can be used without enclosures. Conformal coatings can protect PCBs from moisture in wet and corrosive surroundings.

It is strongly advised to use conformal coatings to protect your hardware or PCB boards in wet and corrosion-prone environments. If you make a waterproof PCB for a specific purpose, you do not need to use conformal waterproof coatings. For instance, when making PCBs for a ship's or submarine's control system, there is no need for these materials because it is not permitted for water to penetrate the control system, causing the ship or underwater to sink.

There are numerous methods for waterproofing circuit boards or electronics. You can select one based on your requirements. If you need to make your electronics or PCBs waterproof in a wet environment, starting with a conformal protective layer and moving on to enclosures is best. Your devices or PCBs will be well kept safe in this manner, not only from water but also from corrosion and other harmful factors.

How else do you know if the coating is on edge?

There are mainly two methods for determining whether or not the coating is present on the surface.

1. The first technique is to test the surface with various coatings such as epoxy resin or silicone. If you use the above coatings, they will not stick to the surface of your PCB boards if the surface has been coated with conformal coating.

2. The second way is to use alcohol spray and then inspect your PCB board for water droplets. If there are water droplets, your PCB boards have been coated with a liquid conformal coating.

Does the thickness affect reflectivity?

Usually, excessive conformal coating application will make your PCB board more conductive. However, it depends on the thickness and type of materials used to create your liquid conformal coating. The conductivity of your PCB board will not be affected if you use high-quality materials with good electrical conductivity.

Are there any drawbacks to a surface over-applied surface or trying to apply too thickly?

When using informal coating materials, your PCB board cannot dissipate heat and electricity effectively. It will generate a lot of heat and electricity, which is bad for your electronics or PCBs.

Is it necessary to apply a conformal coating to solder terminals?

It is possible to spray the terminals with a conformal waterproofing coating, but this is not strongly suggested because it can cause issues such as short circuits, poor conductivity, etc. Solder joints are commonly used to connect components in electronics and PCBs. It is not an electronic component in and of itself. Conformal coatings are never applied to solder joints. When conformal coatings are applied to solder joints, conductivity is reduced, resulting in poor productivity of your electronics or PCBs. You should also consider the weight of the PCB board.

Bottom Line:

It's not over until the fat lady sings. As we've seen, the various materials that use conformal coatings are never thicker than 0.2mm. The only solution will be PCB  waterproof coating and potting, which is frequently based on thermoset, epoxy resin, or silicone. Potting provides more than just perfect waterproofing; it also gives the PCB excellent mechanical properties such as resistance to vibration and shock. However, PCB potting is more expensive, more prominent, and, in some cases, significantly heavier than conformal coating.

If you want to learn more about waterproofing coating or PCB, keep an eye on our website for updates.


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