Technology like HZO's tends to raise a lot of questions about how it all works. Let's walk through the basics.
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What is HZO?
HZO is a thin-film organic polymer that is applied using a chemical vapor deposition process. Our technology protects the sensitive components inside of electronics. We work with a wide range of products, from cell phones, wearable technology and bluetooth speakers to ruggedized computers, LED displays used in the mining industry and GPS locators.
What is the HZO business model?
HZO is a technology solutions company that operates based on licensing and royalty revenue streams. The company sells equipment and works directly with manufacturers to apply its technology to electronics as they’re being manufactured or assembled. HZO does not provide aftermarket solutions directly to individual consumers.
Who does HZO work with?
HZO works exclusively with OEMs and contract manufacturers. We currently do not provide our services directly to consumers or apply it to aftermarket electronics.
Why does HZO only work with device makers and manufacturers?
There are two big reasons why it’s important to integrate HZO Protection directly into the manufacturing process. One: Integrating our solution directly as devices are assembled eliminates the extra costs and hassle of secondary forms of water protection. You don’t have to ship your phone to have it splash protected or buy a bulky, case if the technology is already built in. Two: Working with the makers of products allows us to customize the best solution for the product, ensuring the highest performing level of protection available.
How much does HZO cost?
Our pricing is based on the size and complexity of the electronics, and may be impacted by production volumes. Our technical team breaks down and analyzes each device to understand how to best protect it. Once we better understand the complexity of the device, we can quote a price and recommend a superior protection solution.
How does HZO protect electronics from water?
HZO protects the world of electronics by encapsulation of all critical electronic component surfaces within a given electronic device. HZO’s thin film coating technology is the foundation for protection and is complemented by expertise in component selection and electronic assembly for total encapsulation. HZO’s approach really works and is integrated into the electronics assembly process. HZO has successfully protected over 150 different electronic devices ranging from smart watches and personal GPS locators to big-screen LCD TV’s. HZO can provide a liquid protection solution for electronic devices that is economic, manufacturable, and scalable.
What is HZO's coating and how is it used to protect electronics?
HZO’s coating is a conformal parylene-based thin film technology which is applied to devices and components at the assembly level. Proprietary equipment and process innovations have enabled HZO to scale-up the deposition process while achieving excellent conformity and batch uniformity. HZO works closely with customers to integrate the coating process into the device assembly process and tailor the coating process to meet customer performance and cost requirements.
Is HZO's coating really conformal?
HZO’s coating is, indeed, conformal and has very low defect density. Key equipment and processes innovations have enabled us to deposit parylene-based films with >99.9% component surface coverage with excellent batch-to-batch reproducibility. Parylene is an IPC rated conformal coating covered by IPC-CC-830 which is the primary specification for printed circuit assembly conformal coatings.
How does HZO protect connectors?
Connectors are always an issue. Depending on the required thickness of the coating, some masking of connectors is required. HZO starts by analyzing the device and working with the customer to determine the optimal plan for device protection. HZO recently filed a patent related to HZO’s new approach for protecting connectors.
Why is HZO’s technology better than other water resistant coatings on the market?
HZO’s standard coating provides excellent complete water protection during sustained long-term submersion (we have devices that have lasted thousands of hours of sustained submersion).
Why is HZO’s technology better than mechanical sealing of devices?
HZO’s coating can be considered either a complementary technology or a replacement, depending upon a particular device’s environmental performance requirements.  While intact mechanical seals provide excellent protection against water ingress, mechanical seals often fail due to: (1) thermal expansion mismatch and thermal shock (hot air to cold water, cold air to hot water), (2) seal aging & degradation, (3) out-of-specification mechanical tolerances due to component manufacturing and assembly issues.  In the event of seal failure, HZO’s coating will protect device components from shorting and corrosion due to liquid contact. For some device designs, full encapsulation of sensitive components using HZO’s technology may eliminate mechanical sealing requirements from the device case design specification.
There are a lot of companies and solutions that meet IPX7. What sets HZO apart?
While many devices meet IPX7 requirements, IPX7 compliant devices are only classified as water resistant and are not suitable for swimming or water sports. IPX7 means that a device can withstand submersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter, but that is a one-time test. HZO goes well beyond IPX7, and HZO protected devices regularly withstand hundreds of hours submersion testing.
How durable is HZO in water (fresh/salt) and at what depth?
Fresh and salt-water tests have been conducted with extremely positive results. We have numerous devices in long term testing which are still fully operational after several months of continuous submersion in tap water. We have some coated devices which have lasted over 100 hours in direct contact with salt water. Overall salt-water corrosion resistance is largely dependent on the overall device design and component selection.
What is the thickness of HZO’s coating?
HZO’s parylene-based coating can be deposited from under one micron to over 20+ microns thick, depending upon customer requirements. HZO’s standard coating is 5 microns thick and is designed to provide total protection against long-term submersion in water.
Does HZO’s coating require curing time?
Unlike acrylics and epoxies, no curing time is required with HZO’s parylene-based coating.
What are the material properties of HZO’s coating?
HZO’s coating is extremely pliant over a large temperature range (~200% critical strain from -40 to 100°C), has high dielectric breakdown strength (>5000 V/mil), and has a water vapor transmission rate of less than 0.1 (g-mm)/(m2-day). The coating is transparent in the visible spectrum (>85% transmission for a 5um thick film).
How long does HZO’s coating last?
HZO’s coating is a permanent solution and will last well beyond the useful life of most electronic devices. In principle, HZO’s coating has an almost indefinite service life at temperatures below 65°C.
Does HZO’s coating work in high temperatures?
HZO’s coating can still provide excellent water protection at temperatures over 100°C, although service life is lower.
Will the application of HZO’s coating reduce any component or board reliability over a period of time?
HZO’s coating will not reduce the reliability of coated components and boards. HZO can work closely with your design and manufacturing teams to ensure that HZO’s masking, coating, and connector potting solutions are properly integrated into the assembly process to improve overall reliability of your device(s).
What tests does HZO use to validate its technology?
HZO uses numerous standard tests such as IPX1 through IPX7, drop testing, as well as several environmental stress tests we have developed in house to simulate real-world usage scenarios.I am text block. Click edit button to change this text.
Does HZO have any technical and testing data available?
All technical data and research completed by HZO are available to customers who have signed an NDA and IP agreements.
Can HZO protect my electronics from other corrosive environments, in addition to water?
Yes. Please contact HZO directly to talk about your specific requirements.
How will HZO’s coating integrate into our manufacturing process?
HZO will work with your design and manufacturing teams to develop an economic and robust process for masking sensitive areas on your components (connectors, display faces, etc.), coating your components, de-masking and conformal coating assembled connectors. HZO’s deposition system is installed in your manufacturing facility and HZO provides full operating support for the HZO coating process. HZO’s process development and operations teams will provide extensive on-site training and support to your manufacturing personnel on the required masking and conformal coating processes. HZO has numerous successful roll-outs with major OEM manufacturers in Shenzhen, Taiwan, Korea and other locations worldwide.
What is the basic process flow of coating a device?
During assembly, the device is prepped for coating by masking areas that should not be coated, on an as-needed basis. The masked components are then loaded into a HZO deposition system for coating. After deposition, the coated components go through a de-masking process.
What manufacturing volume can HZO deposition systems handle?
HZO’s deposition system is built for high throughput manufacturing, but HZO works with customers of all sizes. Any manufacturing throughput requirement can be met through use of multiple deposition systems operated in parallel.
Which component level or sub-assembly level does HZO start with?
HZO is able to start at many points in the assembly process. HZO coating technology is most often applied to finished PCB boards, screens, connector harnesses, etc. before final assembly. Highest water protection efficacy is achieved when your device is ‘designed for protection’ which includes PCB board design and connector and component selection.
Can HZO help with component recommendations for my device?
HZO’s goal is to protect all electronics from water and other corrosion hazards. HZO has evaluated the ‘water submersion fitness’ of all types of electronic components and conformal coating materials. Most of HZO’s testing results are available to customers to assist with component selection for new and evolving waterproof device designs.