Conformal Coatings for IoT: Consistency is Key

a picture of earth from a satellite with lines representing the internet

Mallory McGuinness | August 25, 2020

IoT sensors aggregate and send data to IoT dashboards, simplifying critical, complex decisions with speed. One key area where this is particularly true is the utilization of sensor data for predictive maintenance, a process that reduces downtime and lowers the total cost of ownership. Myriad other applications incorporate these “smart” sensors too.

Today, IoT sensors are ubiquitous, touching almost every aspect of life. Gas pressure sensors monitor pressure changes in oil, energy, and utility applications. Photoelectric devices (photo sensors) are now common in the consumer electronics vertical. Sensors are responsible for temperature monitoring, a typical use case for warehouse and inventory management, and HVAC systems monitoring.

Accelerometers detect subnormal industrial machine applications, while ultrasonic flow meters are coupled with IoT modules to send data about smart metering to a remote location. Moisture sensors have been critical in recent advances in smart farming, allowing for the constant monitoring of soil health. In the automotive sector, tunneling magnetoresistive sensors (TMR) are an increasingly popular way to measure mechanical displacement. And Particulate Matter sensors detect pollution in the industrial landscape and smart cities.

The chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process used to deposit Parylene conformal coatings can efficiently accommodate these complex surfaces. Parylene’s usefulness is primarily founded upon its ability to cover PCBA configurations with exposed internal surfaces, sharp edges, flat surfaces, points, and crevices with consistent coverage free of voids.

HZO PRO750 Parylene Coating Equipment

HZO PRO750 Parylene Coating Equipment

The Parylene Deposition Process – Consistent Coverage

Rather than dipping, spraying, or brushing pre-formulated layers onto PCBAs and other components, Parylene’s application method synthesizes the protective film in-process. This deposition system comprises a series of vacuum chambers that produce Parylene vapor, pyrolyze the vapor, then deposit the vapor as a polymer sequentially.

During the CVD process, gaseous Parylene penetrates within the layers of a PCBA. Its vaporous consistency surrounds all areas as it builds coating protection along the exterior. The coating layers are substantially thinner than those provided by liquid conformal coating materials, enhancing reliability and functional versatility.

Time and again, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that CVD is a valuable utility for thin-film deposition on irregular PCBAs. Conformal layers that CVD generates tend to be exceptionally uniform, even in the nanometer range. Because these coating layers are exceptionally thin, non-uniformity is minimal.

Reach out to an Expert 

Choosing Parylene conformal coating services isn’t a failsafe decision, like anything else in the world. Problems can occur with the process and the material. This fact is particularly true if the wrong Parylene type is being used for a coating project while another type could provide better coverage. If you need a consultation to determine if Parylene is the right choice for your project, reach out to the HZO engineering team today, fill out a quote form, or leave a brief message.

Discover our educational video series on solutions for IoT devices.

Time and again, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that CVD is a valuable utility for thin-film deposition on irregular PCBAs.

Mallory McGuinness

Mallory is an electronics protection evangelist who writes content for HZO. In her free time she is reading non-fiction, and hanging out with her beta fish, King Awesome.

Ryan Moore

Ryan is a 9-year veteran to the world of protecting electronics from harsh environments and a lover of all things technology.

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