Global electro-chemicals specialist, Electrolube, is selectively collaborating with key dispensing equipment manufacturers (including PVA, Nordson Asymtek and others) to ensure that its 2K conformal coatings enable customers to obtain optimum results from this innovative range of two-part coating systems. Electrolube’s revolutionary systems are specifically designed to combine the protection and properties of a resin with the straightforward application of a conformal coating without the use of harmful solvents.
While Electrolube’s innovative two-part (2K) conformal coatings continue to receive wide acclaim from the electronics industry, customers frequently enquire about the dispensing process, with questions such as: “How do I actually apply these revolutionary coatings – does it involve a large capital outlay – where do I start in order to source some suitable dispensing parts?”
Throughout the development of the 2K range, Electrolube has worked closely with selective coating machine manufacturers to ensure that formulations are optimised for application using commercially available dispensers. Included among these is PVA’s two-component spray valve VPX-2KS, which has proved successful with Electrolube’s 2K500 – a two-part polyurethane conformal coating system that provides a wide operating temperature, maintains clarity after prolonged exposure to UV light, as well as excellent thermal shock and abrasion resistance.
Electrolube’s conformal coatings team, comprising of Jade Bridges, Joel Shenton and Phil Kinner, Electrolube’s Technical Director of the coatings division, recently joined PVA’s Shane Plasse and Matt Lilla at PVA’s headquarters in Boston, USA, to further improve and refine the 2K application process.
At one point during this technical collaboration, an opportunity arose to test a new process for a customer who needed to apply a 2K coating of just 70µm thickness. This is considerably thinner than the recommended 200µm for 2K coatings and was dictated by the 100µm clearance between the board and its housing.
Due to the low flow rate and metal valve construction, the combined PVA/Electrolube team decided that a simple valve block heater would provide a further level of control over the process. After several iterations, the heater was able to supply sufficient heat to enable a controlled application of this unusually thin film, meeting the customer’s target specification precisely. As well as providing excellent control of material flow, this arrangement also resulted in improved edge definition and easier regulation of dispensing starts and stops.
Phil Kinner, Global Business/Technical Director, Coatings Division at Electrolube comments, “While our core business is the development of pioneering circuit protection materials and associated products, we are of course acutely aware that their ultimate success relies heavily on those all-important downstream processes – particularly dispensing. I believe this recent collaborative exercise with PVA has been highly productive and successful, illustrating quite clearly our aim to provide a complete customer service that covers not just the formulation and supply of materials, which we frequently tailor to specific customer needs, but also the methods of applying them. We are currently in discussion with additional dispensing equipment manufacturers and will be reporting on dispensing trials over the coming months”.