James J. Licari
Published by Noyes Publications
Not many books are available on coatings for electronic an assembly—particularly conformal coating—so I was sent this book for review. I must admit that I skipped through the chemistry and material properties section as it was heavy going and probably above my knowledge.
It is becoming more common add a conformal coating to board assemblies for a final layer of board protection and to improve the stability of the circuit during operation. Selecting the correct coating for an application is difficult. Assemblers have to decide what will provide suitable protection at the right cost per product. Also, specific process equipment is needed for application or you must ship the products out to a contract service.
The book has seven chapters, an appendix and index that span a total of 530 pages. More photographs are needed, particularly process examples, masking methods and examples of both good and poor coating. Few references in industry are available as to what is good, acceptable or a reject for coatings applied by different methods. The book examines inspection methods and covers their limitations.
Overall, each section explained the coating process in detail and the benefits of each system. Some sections were not specifically related to printed board assembly, but it was interesting to see the wide range of applications using coatings for protection.
The book also covered the environmental changes that the coating industry has had to undertake. This relates not only to the materials used to coat but the materials used to clean products prior to coating. Problems with coating adhesion are common when care is not taken to clean a product. Also, if the compatibility of the coating does not allow proper adhesion electrical failure can occur.