Chiltern Connections

Here at Chiltern Connections, we are specialists in the conformal coating of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and we are passionate about helping our customers to ensure their products are reliable, and demonstrate as much longevity as possible, through the careful selection and application of the most suitable conformal coating.

Conformal coating in a nutshell
A conformal coating is a protective film, such as an acrylic, silicone, or UV curable material, which is applied to a printed circuit board (PCB) to create a protective, isolating barrier from environmental contaminants, heat, moisture, and other sources of potential damage or interference.

What are the benefits?
The benefits of applying a conformal coating are multiple. It improves circuit reliability and extends the life of a PCB. Many electronic assemblies are subject to harsh external environments such as varying temperatures, airborne particles, excessive moisture/humidity. Some sectors also need to deal with additional demands, such as rapid compression/decompression in aerospace and marine applications. As the world of manufacturing moves increasingly towards the design of smaller units with higher power and more speed demands, a conformal coating can also enable the use of higher voltages without necessitating the need for additional components on the board.

Why are Conformal Coatings Important?
For those who are new to the world of conformal coatings, here are our Top Five Reasons for Using Conformal Coatings on PCBS: 

  1. Ambient Environmental Protection– conformal coatings offer superior protection against all kinds of troublesome issues that can detract from the effective operation of an electronic unit/circuit board/PCB in its host environment, whether that be a domestic or industrial. Conformal coatings can prevent problems such as the ingress of dirt, moisture, dust, and protect against rust, abrasion, chemical damage, mechanical stress, and vibration. This extends the life of the device and reduces failure rates.

  2. EMI/RFI Protection – electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) can inadvertently affect the electrical circuit and cause degradation or even malfunction. Devices and components are getting ever smaller (and yet more powerful). This, coupled with a move towards reliance on plastic housing for the electronic parts, increases the risk of interference. A highly conductive coating can help to shield the system and attenuate signals from other sources. This is vital in sectors such as aerospace, medical, and military applications.

  3. ESD Protection– electrostatic dissipation protection (or discharge protection) occurs when an electrical field (arc) forms between a charged conductive object and another conductive item. This can cause critical damage to more sensitive components. Applying a coating offers a means of preventing static charge build-up without using up board space or adding components.

  4. Heat Dissipation – there is a growing demand for thermally conductive coatings to help dissipate heat. Applications that require close scrutiny of thermal management, such as LED lighting, power applications, and solar energy can benefit from the ability of thermally conductive coatings to dissipate heat, but also extend the expected operating life due to the protective benefits mentioned above.

  5. Reduced Maintenance / Replacement Costs – for the purposes of protecting small, lightweight assemblies in harsh environments, conformal coating offers real value for money by extending the life of the board and improving reliability resulting in less failures, fewer repairs, lower replacement costs, and maintaining reputation and a loyal customer base.

Want to Know More?

We’d love to hear more about your business and share our knowledge – we offer various conformal coating types, products and services so tell us about your challenges and we will help you to find the right solution for your requirements. Contact the Chiltern Connections Technical Sales Team on 01491 824 788 or

Written By: Shona Wooding