Tricks of the Trade: Masking Explained
One of the many unique benefits of HZO technology is its coverage and uniformity. Through Chemical Vapor Deposition, HZO’s Parylene-based thin film material completely and evenly encapsulates the vital circuitry of electronic devices. In more basic terms, during the coating process, HZO material gets everywhere… EVERYWHERE.
The fact that HZO thin film coating material penetrates every nook and cranny of a PCB is exactly what makes it so effective in protecting against corrosion and damage. But adversely, the material could present some challenges for electronics if applied without a thorough understanding of the design and materials used on a printed circuit board.
Many conformal coatings, including Parylene based coatings, are dielectric, meaning that the coating material is an insulator and thus a poor conductor of electrical current. In other words, points on a PCBA, like connectors, will not function properly in some cases once a Parylene coating has been applied.
We have written before about the art of masking, and the masterful steps that go into ensuring a device will perform perfectly after being coated. But what components need to be protected from the coating? How are they protected? Is masking always done manually? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Many of the devices that our expert technicians are tasked with tearing down and analyzing contain components that need to be shielded against HZO coating, including:
- B2B connectors
- Battery and grounding contacts
- SD and SIM card readers
The technical team at HZO works relentlessly to understand the construction of these components, how coatings affect their functionality, and how to develop working solutions that deliver performance and reliable functionality.
Once the sensitive components are identified, a custom masking method is created for each one using various techniques and materials. HZO masking materials include things like:
- Quick cure compounds
- Stickers and tapes
- Plugs or inserts
Manual & Automated Masking
Depending on the device, its complexity and customer requirements, HZO engineers will suggest either manual techniques, or semi/fully-automated masking solutions. HZO’s ability to offer multiple masking options makeit the perfect solution for small batch or high volume production.
HZO has invested extensive time and capital in developing pre and post coating expertise. In this process, our engineers and technicians have analyzed thousands of different devices and countless components, determining the best masking and protection solution for each of them.
Contact us today to learn more about our pre and post coating solutions, and find out if it’s right for you and your device.
Discover how HZO can protect your product