Boliden Bergsøe A/S
ELECTROLUBE, READING, UK - www.electrolube.com
Water Based Cleaning Resins Conformal Coatings
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Electrolube's Safewash 2000 Range is the most effective family of aqueous cleaning products available. It is currently in use by major manufacturers in a wide variety of cleaning machines. It provides superior cleaning performance to military (MILP28809A / MIL-2000) and commercial standards at minimal cost - both financial and environmental.

The Safewash Range is effective in all equipment types including batch ultrasonics, in-line spray, dishwasher and also by hand. Versions are available for use with sensitive metals such as aluminium, copper and alloys, whilst compatibility with plastics and rubbers is assured.

The benefits of Safewash include excellent cleaning performance at room temperature, low odour, very low toxicity, and it continues to clean effectively over long time periods.

Eventually, as Safewash continues to absorb flux, its efficiency begins to decline. The exact time when replacement is required is dependent upon the type and amount of flux used, the surface area cleaned and the cleanliness level required. Methods to determine the status of the Safewash include electrical conductivity and pH. This is discussed detail on the Technical Data Sheet.

Electrolube continues to be at the forefront of resin technology, offering a wide range of high performance polyurethane and epoxy resins for circuit and component protection and also designing new resins to solve customer problems. Resin systems are designed to protect and insulate electrical and electronic components from the threats of harsh and challenging environments - moisture, vibration, thermal or physical shock and general contamination.

Resins can form a complete barrier against environmental hazards and totally insulate assemblies, thus making them more suitable than conformal coatings for operation under extreme conditions.

Resins solve many problems., protecting service cables to oil rigs., protecting under bonnet components in cars; protecting circuitry for alarms and outdoor controllers; producing prototype units. duct sealing for telecommunication cables and a host of other areas. The range includes products which are certified by UL for fire retardancy.

Benefits of Resin Systems
Resins are an excellent way of forming tough polymeric materials in difficult locations and where heat curing is impractical such as on site cable jointing and insulation, outdoor cable duct sealing, road sensor installation and for many electrical and electronic potting and encapsulation applications.

Used extensively in military, aerospace, medical, underwater and international communications applications, resin-based potting and encapsulating compounds range from 'off-the-shelf' systems to meet the requirements of most applications, to bespoke products specially formulated for individual tasks.

Most Electrolube resins consist of two liquids, resin and hardener that when mixed together in the correct ratio, react to form solids. By careful formulation, the properties of the cured resin can be tailored to meet individual customer requirements. These include hardness, flexibility, dielectric strength, heat transfer properties, temperature range etc. In addition to tailoring the properties of the cured resin, Electrolube can alter the properties of the constituent parts and how they behave whilst curing. The time delay before reaction starts (usable life), and the delay before the mixed system becomes unworkable (gel time) together with the time that the resin takes until it is tack free can all be adjusted to customer requirements. Other properties such as viscosity and colour can be altered.

Resin systems range from hard, tough materials, through rubbers, to soft, weak removable gels. In most cases the two constituents react at ambient temperatures, although some systems may be heated to shorten cure times.

Typical Applications
Resins are used to provide security and protection in many different applications including:

  • Automotive (ABS, sensors)
  • Electronic & electrical (transformers, thyristors, PCBS)
  • Marine (sonar buoys, bilge pumps)
  • Cable jointing (fibre optics, oil platform terminations)
  • Casting & moulding (decorative badges, tool making)

Conformal coatings are specially formulated lacquers designed to protect PCBs and related equipment from their environment. This improves and extends their working life and ensures security and reliability of performance. These coatings 'conform' to the contours of the board and its components creating a thin (25-50 um) layer which is both lightweight and flexible. They protect circuitry from hazards such as chemicals (e.g. fuels, coolants etc.), vibration, moisture, salt spray, humidity and high temperature. These conditions can cause corrosion, mould growth, and current leakage resulting in board failure with an uncoated PCB.

Electrolube are among the world's foremost experts in the formulation and application of conformal coatings designed to meet international approvals (including European and American military specifications). The range of products currently available comprises acrylics, silicones, polyurethanes and solvent free coatings.

Electrolube also offers a full range of ancillary products to complement the use of our conformal coatings that include thinners and strippers, peelable coating masks and thixotropic materials for the effective coating of lead ends.

A purpose designed Dip Coating Machine that meets all current European legislative requirements is also available from Electrolube and provides the ideal method of applying conformal coatings.

Benefits of Conformal Coatings
These coatings improve the reliability of PCBS, enhance security and ensure life-long performance by forming a protective layer which insulates and protects circuitry against the effects of environmental attack from chemicals, moisture and other contaminants.

Conformal coatings allow higher power and closer track spacing as they prevent current leakage. This, in turn, enables designers to meet the demand for miniaturisation.

Both transparent and pigmented coatings improve the appearance of PCBs - the latter ensures a high degree of secrecy by camouflaging the components and layout.

Typical Applications
Initially conformal coatings were only used in 'high-tech' applications. As consumers become more concerned with quality and reliability, and electronic assemblies become more widely used in everyday life, conformal coatings offer manufacturers the ability to improve the quality of their products whilst eliminating costly warranty failures.

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