Parylene Coating Blog by Diamond-MT

Removing Conformal Coatings

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Feb 21, 2020 @ 12:52 PM

Conformal coatings provide a long-term, stable and reliable encapsulation method for the electronic components from the environmental effects. Different industries and service conditions calls for different protective coatings. In some cases, changes in the requirements or mistakes would call for action to remove the coating. While some coating materials are easily removed, some are virtually impossible to remove without damaging the products (eg. epoxy) . The coating removal process has been standardized by the standard IPC-7711C/7721C titled Rework, Modification and Repair of Electronic Assemblies [1]. According to the IPC-7711C/7721C coating removal starts by the identification of conformal coating (Chart. 1) type and followed by the selection of the method to be used depending on the substrate and components. If prepared onsite the coating material is generally known, but if the coating was done elsewhere the following chart can be used to identify the type of conformal coating.

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Tags: conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, parylene removal, parylene rework, conformal coating removal services, removing conformal coating

How to Source Conformal Coating Removal Services

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 @ 08:03 AM

Conformal coatings provide reliable working security for PCBs. However, poor coating application or selection of the wrong coating material can cause assembly malfunction. In other cases, poorly manufactured PCBS may need component repair/replacement. When these problems arise, coating removal is necessary.

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Tags: conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating companies, conformal coating removal services

How to Remove Conformal Coatings

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Sep 22, 2017 @ 08:08 AM

Failures of PCBs and similar electronic assemblies can occur despite the protection of conformal coating. Contributing reasons include:

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Tags: conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating removal services

Conformal Coating Removal Standards

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

If problems in a conformal coating defy reliable repair, coating removal may be the only solution.  Removing conformal coating from PCBs requires matching removal methodology with coating type and the component’s function.  A variety of factors – bubbles/voids, coating thickness, component failure, inadequate masking, poor adhesion, surface finish, among many others – can necessitate coating removal.     

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Tags: conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating issues, conformal coating defects, conformal coating removal services

Cracking in Conformal Coating:  Major Causes and Preventative Strategies

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 @ 07:45 AM

Conformal coatings protect printed circuit boards (PCBs) and similar electronic assemblies used for a wide range of aerospace, automotive, consumer, defense and medical applications.  Coatings effectively cover PCBs, shielding them from contaminants, liquid incursions, temperature fluctuations and other conditions potentially hazardous to component performance.  However, problems can develop if their preparation, application, and drying processes are inappropriately managed. 

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating process, conformal coating rework, conformal coating issues, conformal coating defects

When to Use Conformal Coating Removal Services

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 07:33 AM

It is possible to remove unwanted conformal coatings from PCBs in-shop.  The process can often be accomplished by either the assembly’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or an end-user, but the capacity to do so doesn’t always exist.  For these parties, conditions affecting the poor coating may:

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating defects, conformal coating removal services

Removing Conformal Coating Instead of Repairing It

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Nov 25, 2016 @ 07:34 AM

Sometimes problems with conformal coating are too complicated or difficult to repair.  This can occur when bubbles develop in the coating during the application process; bubbles cause voids in the coating that defeat its protective, insulating purpose, suggesting the need for removal.  Other situations that lead to inadequate coverage, and may favor coating removal, rather than repair include: 

  • Coating application that’s either too thick or thin for the project’s purposes.
  • Component surface finishes that adapt poorly to the conformal material chosen for coverage.
  • Disparities in surface tension/surface energy.
  • Gravity issues that negatively impact application of liquid coating.
  • Improper mixture of two-part materials.
  • Inadequate fixturing or placement of assembly components in the coating area.
  • Inadequate masking implementation.
  • Incorrect interpretation of coating requirements.
  • Residue on the coating surface during coating application.
  • Poor, uneven coating application.

Overly thick film application or use of coating equipment/materials unsuited to the assignment are major causes of coating problems.  In these cases, complete or partial removal of the conformal film from the PCB may be the best solution. 

Thus, it is important before beginning any conformal coating assignment for designers and users to recognize the various types of conformal coatings and their interactions with the parts/materials they cover, to protect the products in their respective end-use environments, for the expected design-life of each component. 

Industry Standards

             When removal is the best option for your coating problem, it is advisable to consult prevailing industry standards for appropriate process guidelines.  For instance, IPC-7711/7721 delineates recommended procedures for conformal coating removal from, and replacement onto, PCBs.  IPC-A-610 is a widely-held standard for electronic assemblies, offering users limited but valuable criteria for conformal coating applications.   Designed and constructed with the intent of obtaining maximum confidence in the materials with minimum test redundancy, IPC-CC-830B qualifies the definition, use and conformance of all conformal coatings types for PCBs.  In most cases, coating removal is required when assemblies don’t meet the requirements of IPC-CC-830, concerning overall quality conformance of each

The Logistics of Coating Removal                                                               

The logistics of coating removal are largely dependent on the type of coating material, its position on the PCB, and the board’s components.  Proper identification of the coating material, and the methods used for its original application, are essential to correct determination of the removal method.  Once these have been identified, determination of the appropriate removal method can be achieved. 

In many cases, chemical strippers can dissolve conformal coatings from PCBs.  Acrylic films are typically removed easily by soaking in a solution of stripping fluid, followed by mild mechanical abrasion if necessary.  These two processes also work for coatings such as epoxy, silicone and urethane; however, since these substances have higher levels of chemical resistance than acrylic, complete coating removal is more difficult and time-consuming.  In all cases, the stripping solution’s compatibility with the PCB’s components needs to be verified to minimize potential damage during the removal process.

Chemical removal does the least damage to PCBs; it is effective for the liquid coatings -- acrylic, epoxy, silicon and urethane.   Chemical methods work less well for parylene films, since the substance is chemical inert.  Abrasion, laser, mechanical, plasmatic and thermal removal methods are more successful for parylene films; they also work for liquid coatings in many cases.

Recently applied coating is more easily detached from substrate surfaces than older coatings, regardless of the material, unless the coating itself has begun to decay with age.  Larger areas of the board respond best to complete submersion in a tank of stripping fluid.  Gentle abrasion using a soft bristle brush will also eradicate coatings.  

Summary                                                

Please remember that the removal of conformal coating generally requires use of exceptionally caustic and potentially dangerous chemicals; the safety of process operators, the product being treated and the immediate environment can be jeopardized by use of inappropriate  removal materials and methods.  Consultation with a certified conformal coating specialist is highly recommended prior to removing conformal coating.  To this end, the professionals at Diamond MT are eminently qualified, and would be glad to be of assistance.

To discover more about conformal coating rework and removal, download our whitepaper now:

Conformal Coating Rework  Whitepaper

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating defects

Reapplying Conformal Coating After Its Removal

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 07:44 AM

Defects to either the PCB assembly or its conformal coating can be sufficient to cause coating removal.  Whether repair technologies address the circuit board’s components or the conformal film, subsequent post-repair coating (recoating) processes need to address:

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating defects

Removing Conformal Coating

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 @ 07:43 AM

Conformally coated PCBs are expected to work without fail, largely because of the protection the coatings provide them.  In addition to PCB-manufacturing issues, coating problems can trigger failure mechanisms for the assembly.  For instance,
  • Conformal coating applied incorrectly can cause PCB malfunction.
  • Selecting the wrong coating material from among acrylic, epoxy, parylene, silicone or urethane can be a source of board failure, if it does not support the PCB’s operating environment.

Removing the coating may be necessary if these conditions prevail.

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating defects

Help!! My Board is Failing, but It's Already Coated!

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Nov 04, 2016 @ 07:44 AM

Conformal coatings are designed to protect printed circuit boards (PCBs), assuring they work under all operational circumstances.  However, cases emerge where boards fail to function despite conformal coating protection.  Such non-performance can be a consequence of:

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating defects, conformal coating companies

6 Conformal Coating Defects (And How to Best Avoid Them)

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 @ 10:21 AM

Conformal Coatings are polymeric materials used to protect circuitry, parts, and related components. They are most commonly used to protect printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electronic devices.

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating rework, conformal coating costs, conformal coating bubbles, conformal coating defects

Solutions for 4 Key Conformal Coating Challenges

Posted by Sean Horn on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 06:59 AM

Coverage in Undesired Areas

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating rework, conformal coating issues

Conformal Coating Failure: 6 Common Causes

Posted by Sean Horn on Tue, Aug 06, 2013 @ 08:13 AM

Conformal coatings frequently play a critical role in protecting medical, electronics, defense, aerospace, LED, and automotive applications from contaminants and other potentially hazardous substances. But they're not infallible.

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating issues, conformal coating inspection

How thick should silicone conformal coating be applied?

Posted by Sean Horn on Tue, Oct 09, 2012 @ 06:51 AM

Silicone conformal coating is quickly becoming a very popular choice for conformal coating.  Many people are asking for silicone coating because of its excellent moisture resistance, quick drying nature, and high temperature capabilities.  It is also one of the easiest conformal coatings to work with.  In order for the coating to function at its optimum level, it has to be applied at the proper thickness.

Maintaining proper thickness for silicone conformal coating is critical because it is applied very thick compared to other conformal coatings.  If a coating is applied too thick, it may create excessive stresses on solder joints and components (particularly glass-bodied components).  If a coating is applied too thin, it may not reach the optimum properties described on the Technical Data Sheet.  For this reason, the IPC created the J-STD-001 to regulate and standardize the thickness that coatings are applied at.  For silicones, the J-STD-001 calls out 0.00197 to 0.00827 in.  Our operators strive to hit between .002” and .008” for silicone applications.

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Tags: conformal coating, silicone conformal coating, conformal coating thickness, conformal coating methods, conformal coating rework, automated conformal coating robot

How to remove bubbles in conformal coating

Posted by Sean Horn on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 @ 08:39 AM

Last week, we discussed what the causes of bubbles in conformal coating are.  Now, let’s go through the various ways to remedy the bubbles.

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Tags: Diamond-MT, conformal coating, conformal coating rework, conformal coating issues, conformal coating inspection, conformal coating bubbles

Conformal Coating Rework and Repair

Posted by Sean Horn on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 @ 09:15 AM

Stripping or removal of unwanted conformal coating from a printed circuit board (PCB) can be a relatively simple process or a very messy difficult job. It does depend on several factors including the type of conformal coating you need to remove, where the coating is found and the type of components on the board.

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coatings, conformal coating equipment, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework, conformal coating types

Silicone Conformal Coating offers many benefits

Posted by Sean Horn on Mon, Jun 04, 2012 @ 01:39 PM

Silicone conformal coating is becoming an increasingly popular choice for conformal coating applications.  Because of its high temperature capabilities, moisture protection, and ease of application/rework, people are strongly considering silicone coatings for their projects.

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Tags: parylene, conformal coating, silicone conformal coating, conformal coatings, Automotive conformal coatings, conformal coating rework

Automated Conformal Coating Spray Robot Issues

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Jun 01, 2012 @ 02:17 PM

There are many benefits to using a spray robot for conformal coating.  As always, there are some potential issues that need to be addressed prior to committing to a spray robot such as the MACCS 400.

 One potential issue with considering selective conformal coating with a robotic conformal coating system is misaligned components on the PCB which can potentially damage the spray heads which are moving along a set pattern on the board and the components themselves be damaged as they travel.  Spray heads are one of the most critical parts on the spray robot.  Repairing damage can get costly.

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Tags: conformal coating, conformal coating equipment, conformal coating machines, conformal coating masking, conformal coating rework, MACCS 400

Check out our guide to HumiSeal 1A33!

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

Diamond-MT is proud to have a very strong working knowledge of all conformal coatings.  As a result, we have launched a new guide for HumiSeal 1A33, a very popular urethane resin conformal coating.   

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Tags: Diamond-MT, conformal coating, conformal coating process, conformal coating methods, conformal coating service, conformal coating rework, HumiSeal, Humiseal 1A33

Check out our free guide to HumiSeal 1B31!

Posted by Sean Horn on Fri, Apr 06, 2012 @ 08:11 AM

Diamond-MT is proud to announce a new guide for HumiSeal 1B31 conformal coating. 

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Tags: acrylic conformal coating, Diamond-MT, conformal coating, conformal coating equipment, HumiSeal 1B31, conformal coating methods, conformal coating service, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework

The conformal coating removal process

Posted by Sean Horn on Thu, Apr 05, 2012 @ 06:48 AM

**General disclaimer**

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Tags: Diamond-MT, conformal coating, conformal coating equipment, conformal coating methods, conformal coating service, conformal coating removal, conformal coating rework