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Curtiss Wright

Supplying military and defense conformal coatings.

Conformal Coatings for Military

The military uses specialized equipment and communication systems for many of its functions. There are many technologies within these systems that are strictly military in use and have little or no applications in civilian life. Research to develop newer and better technologies for defense of our country is an ongoing process for the military. Conformal Coatings are critical for the protection of military technologies, ensuring their reliability and long life.

Features of Conformal Coatings

A conformal coating gives physical and mechanical protection to printed circuit assemblies, which are the core of any electronic equipment. Conformal coatings are protect in high temperature and pressure environments ensuring the coated equipment remains functional and reliable under demanding conditions. Conformal coatings are also extremely good insulators. Both transparent and pigmented conformal coatings are available.

Conformal Coatings for Military Communication Systems

Military communications are complex  involving  a wide range of uses including battle field communications and communications with the higher command.  Radio communication systems are used for this purpose and throughout military communication systems. Many military communication equipment systems are built to encode and decode transmissions. They have to (by design) survive through rough terrain in hostile climates and conditions. The reliability as well as performance of a large variety of tactical and strategic communications equipment used by the military is paramount. Specifically, the voice communications systems, which has to be secure and the potential noise sources such as cross talk have to be eliminated. These special requirements call for a challenging PCA (Printed Circuit Assembly) layout and design within the equipment which often relies on conformal coatings.

Appropriate protection of the PCA (Printed Circuit Assembly) against environmental and mechanical factors is crucial to ensure that the communications equipment is functioning at the optimal level. Hence, conformal coatings for the PCA is critical. Conformal coating protects the circuitry from moisture, salt spray and humidity. It also gives protection against chemical factors like coolants and fuel. Conformal coatings can also withstand extremes of temperature, to which military communication equipment is subjected.

Conformal Coatings for Military Vehicles

Military vehicles include rugged ground vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, aircraft carriers, attack helicopters, fighter jets, bombers, transports and much more. All of these vehicles include systems containing circuitry components which enhance performance and digital information processing, enabling optimal functionality. The PCA and related circuitry within these vehicles are protected by conformal coatings. Certain conformal coatings can withstand variations of pressure and temperature very well.

Example: Conformal Coatings are commonly used in the circuitry of military aircraft where exposure to sudden and drastic changes in air pressure is part of a normal working environment.

Conformal Coatings | Military Applications

Materials that may be used for conformal coatings include acrylic, silicones, polyurethanes, flouroacrylics and Parylene conformal coatings are found to be most suitable for military applications. Parylene coatings can withstand high temperatures and are flexible and rugged. Parylene Coatings do not have a cure phase, eliminating exposure of critical circuitry to damaging thermal cycles. As Parylene is a vacuum deposition coating, it is extremely conformal and eliminates entrapped contaminates which are present with dip or spray type conformal coatings. Parylene’s outstanding barrier properties allow for high performance and protection at lower coating thicknesses. The lower coating thickness adds little to no weight or stress on the coated assembly.

The Way Forward

At Parylene, continuous and constant research is underway to improve the usefulness of the existing conformal coatings we provide.  Attempts are also being made to identify newer and better conformal coatings.  These newer products may prove to be even more significant for military applications.




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