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Telecommunication Coatings

Conformal Coatings for Telecommunications

At the heart of any electronic device is the Printed Circuit Assembly (PCA). The PCA and related equipment have to be protected from the environmental and mechanical factors to ensure long life of the product and reliability of its performance. This aim is achieved by the use of conformal coatings. A conformal coating is a specially formulated polymer or lacquer that is coated on to the circuitry for better protection.

Features of Conformal Coating

Conformal coating gives physical and mechanical protection to the circuit assembly. Conformal coatings are resistant to high temperatures and pressures and ensure that the coated equipment remains functional and reliable under these conditions. Conformal coatings give chemical protection from coolants and fuel and are also extremely good insulators.
Types of Conformal Coating

The materials most commonly used in conformal coatings include acrylic, silicones, polyurethanes, fluoroacrylics and Parylene. Each material has its own advantages and is suitable to particular applications. Of the materials available Parylene is by the far the most conformal and offers the highest level of protection for a wide range of applications.

Conformal Coating in the Telecommunications Sector

Conformal coating has tremendous applications in the telecommunications sector. There are various benefits of conformal coatings in this industry.

PCB Protection

The most important benefit of conformal coating in the telecommunications sector is the protection it offers to the PCAs used in mobile phones and transmission equipment. The PCA layout in today’s mobile phones is very complicated. Multiple function mobile phones include a number of subsystems, often conflicting with each other. A well defined PCA must maximize the function of each subsystem and keep them from interfering with each other.  All the hard work in designing such challenging PCAs will not be sustained if the PCA is exposed to environmental factors like moisture, salt spray and humidity. In uncoated circuit boards, these factors will cause corrosion, molds and current leakage leading non performance of the phone. Conformal coatings protect the circuitry and components from these factors and ensure the functionality of the phone for a longer period of time. Transmission equipment used in the Telecom Industry is often placed in rugged environments. Exposure to humidity, electrical surges, weather conditions, bug infestation, animal infestation, as well as hot and cold temperature variations can all lead to failure of expensive electronic devices.

Miniaturization Needs

Recent trends in the telecommunications sector are towards smaller and light weight devices. Use of conformal coatings is helpful in this regard too. Besides providing protection to the PCA, Parylene conformal coating is lightweight. So there is no addition to the overall weight of the phone. Secondly, it conforms to the contours of the product and lends itself to be applied in an extremely thin layer. This helps meet the needs of miniaturization in design of telecommunication devices..

Support to Lead Free Solders

Recent environmental guidelines the restrict use of lead in consumer products. In line with this, several telecommunication companies use lead free solders in the manufacturing process for their phones. Typically, lead free solders melt at higher temperatures,have greater moisture sensitivity and are more susceptible to dendritic growth. To protect the circuitry from these two factors, Parylene conformal coating is essential.

Choosing the right Conformal Coating for the Telecommunications sector

Parylene conformal coatings are found to be most suitable for telecommunications applications. Parylene coatings are flexible and can withstand rugged environments. 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.

Parylene Coatings Services Inc. sets the standard for conformal coatings in the telecommunications sector.

Contact us for additional information related to your specific needs.




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