Material Science

HZO’s Spectrum of ProtectionTM, contains a wide portfolio of materials capable of protecting sensitive electronics against a wide variety of environments and hazards. The materials used in our Spectrum of ProtectionTM are crafted in specific combinations of pressure, chemical reaction, temperature, and application methods to successfully waterproof and coat your electrical components to the desired specifications.

Material Science/Spectrum of Protection

HZO is constantly innovating with a variety of materials. Check out some of our offerings below.

Plasma-based nano coatings

Plasma-based nano coatings change the surface of an electrical component. Plasma-based nano coatings make the surface hydrophobic. Instead of water, humidity, steam, moisture, sticky beverages, sweat, or light rain seeping into the joints and connectors of the printed circuit board assembled (PCBA), these substances will bead up and roll off.

Plasma- based nano coatings are applied at micron-thin layers and are marginally conformal.

There are two types of plasma-based chemistry families used.

  • Fluorine
  • Silicon

It’s important to keep in mind, that plasma-based nano coatings are just that: plasma-based. The plasma is used as a catalyst for the nano coating solution during the application process. The PCBA is not being covered in plasma itself.

Fluorine

Fluorochemical polymers are able to provide environmental and moisture protection and coats well due its low surface tension. Adding fluorine compounds to the mixes can increase a coating’s resistance to high heat, UV stability, and create a lower dielectric constant.

Silicon

Silicon polymers are great for electrical components that have to endure high heat, such as those that are in automobiles and aircraft. It can be applied at various thickness, and leaves a softer, more malleable surface the PCBA. This is great for when parts need repair or rework.

Parylene Conformal Coatings

Parylene conformal coatings are great for applications found in the aerospace, defense, medical device, and industrial products industries. It’s physically transparent and conforms to the USP Class VI and ISO 10993 standards. This, along with Parylene’s dielectric properties, make it a top pick amongst OEMs.

There are several different types of Parylene, each with their own attributes:

  • Parylene C: Best barrier properties, including preventing gas, water vapor, and salt penetration.
  • Parylene N: Highest in dielectric properties.
  • Parylene F: There are a couple of different kinds. One is more capable of withstanding higher thermal loads and the other withstands exposure to radiation.

Parylene Blends

Parylene blends are an emerging technology and is something that HZO is exploring. Blending certain forms and combinations of Parylene through co-polymerization can yield optimized and cost-saving results. You may be able to yield higher temperature resistance with quicker processing times.

Metal and Ceramic via Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)

With the atomic layer deposition (ALD) process, it’s possible to use thin metal and ceramic coatings for your PCBA’s. This type of coating is suitable for meeting standards like MIL-STD-883, which is the Department of Defense Test Method Standard for Microcircuits.

This process creates coatings on an atomic layer by layer basis. ALD works especially nice for the most miniature of parts and components, as you can literally control the application down to nearly an atomic layer.

Coating Comparisons: Which best for your needs?

Check out some of the comparisons below which can help you get started in figuring out which solution(s) might be better for you.

Materials Individually

This grid compares different coating materials, including some we did not discuss above. These are some of the most common or more popular coating ingredients, along with their different attributes.

ACRYLIC URETHANE EPOXY SILICONE PLASMA PARYLENE
DURABILITY MODERATE GOOD GOOD MODERATE GOOD EXCELLENT
EASE OF APPLICATION EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT MODERATE MODERATE
EASE OF CURE EXCELLENT DIFFICULT DIFFICULT GOOD EASY EASY
FEATURE COVERAGE GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
ADHESION GOOD GOOD EXCELLENT EXCELLENT GOOD EXCELLENT
COATING QUALITY GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
COMPONENT STRESS POOR POOR POOR EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
COST LOW LOW MODERATE HIGH MODERATE HIGH
REPAIRABILITY MODERATE DIFFICULT DIFFICULT GOOD EASY DIFFICULT
HUMIDITY RESISTANCE GOOD EXCELLENT GOOD EXCELLENT GOOD MODERATE
SOLVENT RESISTANCE EXCELLENT GOOD EXCELLENT GOOD EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
CORROSION RESISTANCE GOOD EXCELLENT EXCELLENT GOOD EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
ABRASION RESISTANCE MODERATE EXCELLENT EXCELLENT MODERATE POOR EXCELLENT
TEMP CYCLE PERFORMANCE MODERATE EXCELLENT MODERATE EXCELLENT GOOD GOOD
DIELECTRIC STRENGTH GOOD GOOD GOOD POOR EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
TRANSPARENCY EXCELLENT POOR POOR POOR GOOD GOOD
ENVIRONMENTAL MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE GOOD EXCELLENT

Protection Methods and Blends

This grid compares different properties and characteristics of different protection methods and chemical blends.

PBC

No Protection

Mechanical Seal

Conformal coating

Plasma

Conformal Coating

Parylene

Protection Barrier None Good. Can be compromised with everyday use/drops. Good. May become brittle and flake at 300-500nm. Excellent. Can peal if not properly applied.
Hydrophobic No No Yes Partial
Thickness N.A. 0.05 nm – 1 uM 2 -20 UM
Resistance to Oxidation Poor Poor Good Poor
Dielectric Properties N.A. None Good Excellent
Thermal Stability Poor Good Excellent Good
Water Protection Poor

Good-Ingress

Poor-Penetration

Good Excellent
Salt / Chemical Protection Poor Poor Good Excellent
Gas Protection None Varies Excellent Good
Durability Low Varies Med High
Submersion Test Time to Failure Seconds IPX N.A. Varies Minutes to Day IPX 2 – IPX 7 Days to Weeks IPX 7 – IPX 8 ++
Cost N.A. Low Low High
Toxicity N.A. Varies Med Low

Why the Spectrum of ProtectionTM is Important

HZO’s Spectrum of ProtectionTM, uses complex chemical compositions to bring to the table a wide spectrum of material diversity. This capability allows us to pinpoint an exact solution, that meets or exceeds your waterproofing and coating goals, at a price point you can’t refuse.

HZO uses Parylene, plasma-based nano coatings, and other types of materials, along the spectrum to help you. The materials that are offered and ultimately chosen are driven by your specific needs as an OEM.

Things that could weigh your decisions are things like:

  • Market
  • Cost
  • Longevity needs
  • Specific design considerations
  • Green concerns

Do you need to keep the weight of each PCBA down in order to drive down the weight of your overall product? HZO’s thin-film coating solutions can be applied pin-hole free at microns-thins levels. When you’re dealing with thousands of components, less is more.

Cost

Does the brand you’re working with need you to keep waterproofing and protection costs down? Within HZO’s Spectrum of ProtectionTM, you’ll be able to find a solution that not only meets and possibly exceeds their requirements but do so at a cost you might not thought was possible.

Longevity Needs

We know that some need to last 15 or more years. HZO has the right solution, with the right combination of materials to make this happen.

Design Considerations

You need to be free enough to design your product in the best way for your company and your consumers. Don’t let waterproofing and protection needs stand in the way of doing that. Instead, let HZO show you how you can have design freedom and solid waterproofing and protection. We offer both manual and automated masking and demasking for the components and solutions that need it. Our dedicated engineers take great care in making sure your waterproofing and protection needs are met.

Green Concerns

HZO’s thin-film coatings are organic and adhere to responsible and green manufacturing processes at every step of the coating process.

Our dedicated engineers take you through our turnkey process in order to set you up with the right solution for needs.

Electronics coating protect the electrical components from dust, salt spray, humidity, sweat, make-up, gasses, pollutants, acids, water, and other liquids. Because the life of the device is potentially increased, even if these substances reach the interior of the device, it’s important to choose the right waterproofing and protection materials.

No matter what type of electrical component you’re trying to protect, HZO has the solution for you.

Remember, if it doesn’t say HZO, you’re not truly protected.

Reach out to us today to see how we can help!

Discover how HZO can protect your product