Conformal Coatings Glossary

Conformal Coating Glossary

Conformal Coatings: Conformal coatings are materials applied to electronic circuitry to act as protection against moisture, dust, chemicals, and extreme temperatures. There are five different types of conformal coatings: Acrylic, Epoxy, Silicone, Parylene and Polyurethane.

Potting/Encapsulating: Is the process utilized to enhance circuit reliability by eliminating leakage from high voltage circuits, protecting against voltage arcs and short circuits and by preventing the formation of "tin whiskers."

Parylene (XY): Parylene is a polymer created from a chemical compound known as dimer \ ‘dî-mər\. The dimer is formed by the combination of two molecules of a single chemical compound. Parylene is considered one of the best conformal coatings available. The vapor deposition polymerization process allows Parylene coatings to be completely uniform in thickness and pin hole free.

Ball Grid Array: A popular surface mount chip package that uses a grid of solder balls as its connectors. Available in plastic and ceramic varieties, BGA is noted for its compact size, high lead count and low inductance, which allows lower voltages to be used.

Ball Grid Array (BGA) Underfill: BGA Underfill is a technique utilized to provide a strong mechanical bond between the BGA component and the corresponding connection to the circuit board, so that the solder joints are protected from mechanical stress.

Underfill Material: Underfill materials are encapsulants typically deposited between a flip chip device and substrate to reduce a mismatch in thermal expansion coefficients.

High Potential (Hi-Pot) Testing: A Hi-Pot test checks for isolation to make sure no current flows from one point to another point.

Continuity Testing: A continuity testing analysis good connections by inspecting if current flows from one point to another point.

Environmental Stress Screening (ESS): Environmental Stress Screening refers to the process of exposing a newly manufactured or repaired product or component (typically electronic) to stresses such as thermal cycling and vibration in order to force hidden defects to manifest themselves by failure during the screening process.

Ionic Cleanliness Testing: Ionic cleanliness test is used to measure the conductivity (or resistivity) of a sample which can be related to the amounts of ionic materials present.

Federal Information Processing Standards: Federal Information Processing Standards 140 is a publication standard for Cryptographic Modules used to protect sensitive governmental data in computer and telecommunication systems. FIPS specifies he requirements to meet U.S. government computer security standards and security levels.

Communications Security (COMSEC): Communications security is the regulation of preventing unauthorized interceptors from accessing telecommunications in an intelligible form, while still delivering content to the intended recipients. In the United States Department of Defense culture, it is often referred to by the portmanteau or abbreviation COMSEC. It includes crypto security, transmission security, emission security, traffic-flow security and physical security of COMSEC equipment.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR): ITAR ITAR) is a set of the United States government regulations that controls the export and import of defense-related articles and services on the United States Munitions List (USML). These regulations implement the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Department of State interprets and enforces ITAR; its goal is to safeguard U.S. national security and further U.S. foreign policy objective. ITAR regulations dictate that information and material pertaining to defense and military related technologies (for items listed on the U.S. Munitions List) may only be shared with U.S. Persons unless authorization from the Department of State is received or a special exemption is used.

Plasma Etchback/Desmear: Plasma Desmear’ utilizes chemical reactions to clean epoxy resin from the inside of drilled holes in PCBs. Etchback is a similar process, but rather than just removing residue, it actually removes some of the substrate surrounding interconnects. Both of these processes ensure that good electrical contact is made between interconnects and the through-plating, to insure circuit reliability.

Institution for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits (IPC): IPC is an organization whose aim is to standardize the assembly and production requirements of electronic equipment and assemblies.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS): RoHS is the Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). RoHS was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union.

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