Conformal Coating Machine: The Ultimate FAQ Guide


For a successful conformal coating process, you need efficient and dependable equipment.

That’s why today guide will explore some of the vital aspects of the conformal coating machine.

Let’s dive right in.

What are the Uses of Micro Sandblaster Machine?

A micro sandblaster is a conformal coating machine that finds a variety of uses related to conformal coating.

 Conformal coating machine

 Conformal coating machine

You find these sandblasters are made with considerations for static electric discharge.

Some of the notable benefits of the micro sandblaster are mentioned below:

Micro sandblasters are used to mechanically remove conformal coatings by microblasting, which lends the machine its name.

You find this machine can be used to remove silicone coating, parylene coating, and epoxy coating from PCBs.

You can also find the micro sandblaster handy in deburring and applying metal finishes.

Additionally, this machine type can be employed in tool marking and parts identification.

The micro sandblaster is also capable of performing cleaning procedures for materials corroded by oxidation.

Here, this machine removes the oxide layer formed over a given material.

What are the Features of Micro Sandblaster Machine?

The micro sandblaster finds a variety of uses, as described above.

However, the capabilities of the different micro sandblaster machines are limited to their features.

Some notable features of the sandblaster include:

  • Micro sandblasters can be made with considerations for static electric discharge.
  • You can prevent the nozzle’s wearing by fashioning the micro sandblaster to stop when the nozzle is overexerted automatically.
  • The micro sandblaster chamber and area of operation is connected to a ground to prevent electrostatic buildup.
  • The sandblaster machine is hooked with an ionizer that uses pressurized air and can be adjusted to fill the chamber with ions.

These ions are vital to cancel the electrostatic charges produced that may not find their way to the ground.

  • You will find micro sandblasters with a system dedicated to regulating chamber pressure. The system typically features a filter that is adjustable and controllable manually by foot via a pedal.
  • The board work area is well illuminated with a capacity to work on any circuit board.
  • You will find micro sandblasters with a tank to store the abrasive matter, eliminating manual refilling.
  • Furthermore, these machines have highly accurate tips furnished from tungsten and sapphire, ensuring quality performance.

Can you use Micro-drilling Machine for Conformal Coating Removal?

A micro-drilling machine is typically employed for PCBs in drilling, cutting, sanding, milling, and grinding.

Consequently, you find it is used to make holes on PCBs, cut sections and areas, and strip off coatings.

You find the multiple usages of this machine is in light of the ability to use different tool bits. The micro-drilling device is powered electrically via a detachable unit that supplies charge to a DC motor.

The separation allows you an easy cable-free use that is also light and easy to handle.

What are the Advantages of using a Micro-drilling Machine?

There are a few benefits derived from using a micro-drilling tool.

These benefits are related to the ease of working with this machine compared to an unaided approach.

  • With a micro drill, you can comfortably execute intricate jobs without compromising on the quality standards.
  • The ability to use different tool bits for other processes allows you to carry out an assortment of functions.
  • The micro drill can perform forward and reverse functions at high-speed thanks to the fast DC motor.
  • The ability to separate the micro drill for the charging unit makes it lighter when in use. You will find using the micro-drill is not exhausting on the arm.

What is a Waxing Machine in PCB Conformal Coating?

A waxing machine is used in the application of conformal coatings on circuit boards.

A waxing system allows for an even spread and thickness, eliminating the problems associated with manual application.

The following features support the use of the waxing machine.

PCB with without conformal coating

PCB with/without conformal coating

  • The waxing machine can quickly heat and cool, allowing for precise functions.
  • You get different application tips for use with this machine, guiding the coating process to exact thickness.
  • The waxing machine employs the use of a microprocessor to conduct the processes digitally.
  • A temperature sensor is connected to this machine to regulate the temperature to the required value. You can also set your desired temperature, which will be maintained for defined procedures.

When is Stone Vacuum Machine used in Conformal Coating Processes?

The stone vacuum machine is employed during the mechanical coating removal process of micro blasting.

The stone vacuum machine is used to collect abrasive dust particles.

The device is useful as it ensures dust particles do not accumulate on the board during the process.

Furthermore, the stone vacuum machine can be highly dependable when used for large board volumes.

You find the abrasive particles collected can be used again, cutting on the costs required to obtain such particles.

While the motor for the vacuum machine operates at high speed, it is remarkably quiet without nosed generation.

You also find the maintenance levels for this machine to be mundane with little need for repair.

If this machine is automated, the operation makes cleaning of the filter easy by the push of a button.

Why do you need Bench-top Fume Hood for Conformal Coating Machine?

A bench-top fume hood is useful in safely extracting harmful fumes produced during the conformal coating process.

You find that some solvents used in the coating process emit toxic fumes as they are evaporated.

These fumes can cause long term harm to both people and the environment when not safely disseminated.

Besides working in a well-conditioned room, having a fume hood allows you to release emissions without harmful particles safely.

The fume hood employs a triple-speed filter system with four stages that eliminate smell, microorganisms, and particles.

Consequently, the final release to the atmosphere is not hazardous.

The fume hood operates quietly and can offer service for a long time without the need for maintenance.

You will find the replacement of the fume hood filter to be without difficulty and low cost.

Why Should you use Custom Workstation for Conformal Coating Process?

A custom workstation is like a miniaturized special lab furnished to meet the requirements of working with conformal coatings.

With a custom workstation, you can carry out conformal coating applications and removals with the necessary safeguards in place.

You find the use of custom workstations especially useful in small volume productions.

In this case, setting up floor space to meet the efficiency of conformal coating’s production and safety requirements is uneconomical.

What are the Features of Custom Workstation for PCB Conformal Coating Machine?

A custom workstation is typically a confined space like a cubicle with various related features.

These features include the necessary tools and equipment required for conformal coating activity, especially application and removal.

Many workstations are currently furnished to regulate static electric discharge that is prevalent with mechanical removal of coatings.

 Conformal coating machine

Conformal coating machine

  • You find the custom workstation with a stone vacuum machine that collects the abrasive particles during micro blasting.
  • Another notable feature is a dryer that ensures there is no presence of water molecules in the air.

You find moisture presence hinders the effectiveness of the coating process.

  • An ionizing bar is used for controlling static electric discharge by filling the cubicle ions through charged air.

You find this useful as it cancels out the static charges built during the blasting process.

The ionizing bar has sensors that control the process with an alert system.

  • You also find a grounded hand-piece that also serves an ESD control purpose. It is connected to the blaster spigot providing a path for the created static charges to a ground wire.
  • Another feature is the grounding jack that is a source of connection for the needle probe, wrist-stat, and grounding bar.

The grounding bar is made of doped material and used explicitly with the edge connectors.

Contrarily, the needle probe is used to ground targeted traces with no paths to a ground connection.

  • In a custom workstation, the blaster spigot is made conductive to prevent the static charge flow to the PCB.

This feature finds use alongside the grounded hand-piece, also controlling an arced charge flow.

  • Another feature provided is the window shield, which guards the work area glass enclosing from particle scatter. When the blaster is used, some of the abrasive particles can escape their containment. If the windows are not shielded, they might be cracked, resulting in breakage.
  • A custom workstation will also be equipped with a magnifier magnification of up to three times at decent depth.

The magnifier is useful in allowing you to grasp minor board details when working on coatings without straining.

What is the Selective Conformal Coating Machine?

The selective conformal coating machine is used for the selective coating of circuit boards.

The selective coating is a program-controlled conformal coating application process that applies coatings only on the desired areas.

Consequently, with selective conformal coating, the need for masking is eliminated.

The selective coating machine is useful for small and medium scale productions where repeatability is desired, and precision levels are high.

The device can move in the x, y, and z-axis with two nozzle designs for application accuracy.

What are the Valves Types used in Selective Conformal Coating Machine?

A valve system helps to achieve the high accuracy associated with the selective conformal coating process.

These valves are controlled by programs inherent to the coating machine, which guides the application process.

Some of the notable valve types employed are the needle valve, the narrow beam spray valve, and the airless curtain valve.

· Needle Valve

The needle valve is made of stainless steel material and can be closed at the tip.

It can also support high pressure seen with its ability to conduct highly viscous coatings quickly.

Consequently, working with a needle vale will help you complete a coating process much faster.

The flow rate of the needle valve is regulated by the extent the valve is opened.

· Spray Valve

The spray valve has a rounded tip used to apply a conformal coating over an extensive range of areas.

The setting of the valve determines the area to be coated.

Also, the valve can be programmed to use at a particular breadth and to a defined thickness.

Besides, the accuracy of this nozzle is such that only the desired areas are coated.

· Curtain Valve

The curtain valve is featured with a ceramic nozzle that is used to release coating at low pressure.

Moreover, the release is program-controlled and used with selective coating machines over a wide range of thicknesses.

This valve type differs from the others on the application approach.

With this type, the coating resin’s application is through a monitored layering process achieving an even surface.

Therefore, you find that that application is not based on spraying the coating.

What is the Essence of Conformal Coatings Inspection?

Inspection of conformal coatings is necessary to determine the quality of the application procedure.

Significant concerns with the inspection are checking for the application’s consistency in terms of surface uniformity and layer thickness.

An automated optical machine is employed in this process via the use of ultraviolet light.

Blacklight is employed to highlight areas with and without coatings due to the transparency of coatings.

You can easily set up an inspection process, which is quickly conducted by comparing it to a known standard.

An automated test outcome can also be kept for future comparisons.

Can a Conformal Coating Machines handle Simultaneous Operations?

The answer is yes.

You can find a selective conformal system with the capability to carry out simultaneous applications of the coating material.

This process can use two applicators that can be adjusted manually or through a motorized process.

As such, you find a coating can be applied to two different parts at any given time.

By using a dual approach to the coating application, you can reduce the cycle time by half.

Furthermore, the output of the coating process will consequently be doubled.

How are Two Applicators Employed in Conformal Coating PCB Systems?

Conformal coating process

Conformal coating process

Two applicators can be affixed in a conformal coating system by harnessing them two a two-support bracket.

In this case, the applicators are attached such that they can both be used simultaneously.

There are two applicable formations of the bracket: single and dual-slide.

The single-slide arrangement is applied where the clearance requirement is about thirty-five millimeters.

The double-slide is convenient in applications where the clearance requirement is over seventy millimeters.

With a single-slide formation, you have an immovable nozzle and another that can adjust its position through a sliding mechanism.

For a double-slide construction, both the nozzles can be adjusted through a sliding mechanism.

What are the Advantages of Dual Conformal Coating Systems?

Such a system with two applicators is favored for the following reasons.

  • You halve your coating cycle while doubling your output volume at the same time.
  • With a dual applicator system, you can use different compatible coatings to achieve an enhanced coating outcome.
  • You can achieve better clearance levels relative to the substrate when using a dual applicator system during coating.
  • Such a system supports almost all the possible arrangements of applicators in its design.
  • Furthermore, you can achieve a wide range of clearances using two applicators with a sliding mechanism for adjustment.

What is a Fifth-axis Device used for in Conformal Coating PCB?

Typically, automated processes in selective conformal coating cover the three central axes.

However, to reach hidden out of reach areas on intricate board designs where a coating is required, you use a fifth-axis device.

You find this device capable of tilting the nozzle into four rotary positions allowing access of directly inaccessible areas.

The use of the fifth-axis fixture is suited for coating applications under board features and upright surfaces.

Also, the flexibility achieved through this process is remarkable due to the rotation and nozzle tilting feature.

The rotation allows the application to match the part position, whereas the tilt allows the nozzle extended reach.

What is the PCB Varnish/Coating Machine?

The varnish/coating machine is programmed for varnish or coating application to circuit boards via the immersion process.

With this machine, all functions are automated, starting with the PCB loading and unloading process, which is done by conveyors.

Additionally, a robotic arm with motion capability over six planes is used.

Another feature related to this machine is an automated process of delivering the varnish whose level is determined by a detector.

Accommodations are also provided to drain the spent varnish or coating with another sensor-controlled area for curing.

The curing area can be rotated with the different board sizes allowed.

What is the Difference Between a Pneumatic and Electric Dip Coater?

A pneumatic dip coater is a straightforward machine that derives its power from compressed air used in a conformal coating application.

Using the pneumatic dip coater is not complicated as its build is straight forward allowing for unskilled operation.

The machine has analog-based controls employed to regulate the processing speed and penetration level, achieving consistency.

The electric dip coater derives its power from an electrical source rather than compressed air in the pneumatic dip coater.

You can achieve a greater depth of penetration with the electric dip coater over the pneumatic one.

Furthermore, you can also control the speed and penetration to achieve a highly consistent outcome.

Which Features of Nozzle are Important in Conformal Coating Process?

The nozzles used in conformal coating machines have various features that enhance their role.

You find these features useful in ensuring process efficiency and quality.

  • For instance, when you use conductive nozzles during mechanical removal of coatings, you provide a path for charge dissipation.
  • Furthermore, the nozzle size should at least be four times the abrasive particle’s size to minimize issues with blockage.
  • A nozzle with a reduced and circular exit ensures the flow of abrasive particles is highly concentrated, providing you complete control. To cover a large board surface, you can use a nozzle with a larger orifice.
  • Furthermore, the angle of release of a nozzle will also affect the coating removal process’s quality. The coating amount and its location determine the release angle. An efficient removal process will involve an angled targeting of the nozzle.
  • Another essential feature is the distance of the nozzle opening from the surface of the coating. You find this feature is dependent on the blast pressure. Having the nozzle too close or too far from the coating surface can result in an inefficient process.

In short, the conformal coating process requires an in-depth understanding of every procedure and technique.

At Venture Electronics, we offer a comprehensive solution for all your PCB conformal coating.

Contact us now for all your PCB fabrication needs.

Scroll to Top