by: Justin Gray
Our Pure Line Power Inverters have a "Conformal Coating" while our DC to DC Chargers are "Potted"; people simply want to know what that means!
By definition, a conformal coating (see above image) is: a protective coating of thin polymeric film applied to printed circuit boards (PCB). The coating is named "conformal" since it conforms to the contours of the PCB. Conformal coatings are typically applied at 25-250 μm to the electronic circuitry. In layman's terms, a conformal coating is a thin layer of film that protects the PCB.
In contrast, a potted PCB (see above image) is a process of filling a complete electronic assembly with a solid or gelatinous compound and is a lot thicker than a conformal coating. You'll often hear people ask if the electronic assembly is, "fully potted".
Conformal coatings can be sprayed on, brushed on, dipped, and even applied with a "paint pen". Potting is best accomplished by "pouring" the compound into the PCB holder while vibrating the assembly to remove air bubbles.
So why do we utilize these processes? Both coatings provide protection against moisture, dust, chemicals and temperature extremities while potting adds resistance to shock and vibration. Yes, this costs more to produce, but the added benefit of water/dust intrusion resistance, electrical performance, and added service life of the unit is well-worth the price!
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