Conformal Coating: Cleaning Before PCB Coating

Why Cleaning Before Protective Coating Makes Sense.

Cleaning StoriesCleaning Before Protective Coating

Would you wax your car without washing it first? Would you paint your wooden deck without cleaning it beforehand? Perhaps you would. Maybe you think it would take too much time or be too costly. Perhaps you simply don't consider it an important step. Let's skip the cleaning and get right to it. What would happen?

In the case of your car, it would be challenging to make wax adhere to dust and dirt. The result would be inadequate adhesion on the paint and a lack of shine. In the case of the deck, skipping cleaning risks uneven surfaces and adhesion problems due to oils or grease.

Why cleaningEffective Protective Coating

These are simple examples that demonstrate how omitting cleaning increases the risk of a negative outcome. The same applies to cleaning printed circuit boards (PCBs) before applying protective coating. Similar to wax on your car or paint and sealant on your deck, protective coating shields the sensitive components on your PCB from adverse environmental influences.

© @The Sour Cherry Fotografie - Michaela Curtis
Delamination verhindern - durch Reinigung

pcb cleaningThe Key to Successful Protective Coating

Cleaning PCBs before applying protective coating removes potentially harmful and unknown contaminants from the PCB surface, leading to better adhesion of the protective coating and preventing delamination.

Cleaning PCBs can ultimately prevent issues such as leakage current, electrochemical migration, and coating defects. From a production perspective, it can help reduce labor and PCB rework costs.


your benefitsRisk Mitigation Through Cleaning

This brings us back to the examples of the car and the deck. By not cleaning, we've introduced a risk element for ineffective work or ultimately project failure. However, when it comes to cleaning before applying protective coating, the risks can be much greater. Real-world risks associated with such failures can range from the malfunction of a computer mouse to the failure of medical or military devices. Depending on your tolerance for risk, failures can be catastrophic.

In terms of additional costs, there's the risk of your costs rising. In our example, costs increase due to additional wax and paint needed for touch-ups (at shorter intervals). In the world of PCBs and highly reliable applications, you must consider the costs of returns, warranty work, increased production costs (rework), and opportunity costs due to lost production time due to failures.

Properly cleaning PCBs before applying protective coating is a crucial step in the production process and should be seriously considered. So, just as you would the next time you want to wax your car or tackle that deck project, take a moment to weigh the risks and costs of thorough cleaning against the desired outcome.

cleaning before protective coatingYour Trusted Partner for Professional Cleaning Solutions

ZESTRON provides a comprehensive solution for the cleaning process before the protective coating of PCBs. With our expertise and knowledge, we not only supply the ideal cleaner specifically designed for this application but also offer analytical solutions to ensure optimal cleaning results.

Our team supports you in implementing the right cleaning process to ensure effective and thorough cleaning before protective coating.

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ZESTron coating layer testDetecting Defects in Protective Coatings

The ZESTRON Coating Layer Test reveals defects in protective coatings or incomplete layers, even in so-called µ-coatings. The test can be used for cost-effective sampling during production.

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© @The Sour Cherry Fotografie - Michaela Curtis
© @The Sour Cherry Fotografie - Michaela Curtis

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