HumiSeal, the leading conformal coatings solutions provider for the protection of printed circuit boards and electronic assemblies, has announced that it has seen a significant growth in sales of its award winning UV40 conformal coating to OEMs and CEMs operating in the mobile phone manufacturing sector. The demand for products in this sector is linked to problems associated with implementing lead-free solder products in increasingly smaller and more complex product builds.
Today’s mobile phones are getting smaller and more compact whilst simultaneously offering increased functionality and technology. The introduction of lead-free solder products to the manufacturing process, although not new, is now highlighting new challenges as the higher process temperatures and different physical attributes of the solder manifest themselves in the high-density boards of today.
The special high viscosity version of UV40 (UV40-HV) was developed specifically for the telecoms sector following requests for solutions by a number of HumiSeal’s customers. Issues such as increased contaminants in the high temperature fluxes used were becoming problematic to the reliability of the finished products and a long-term solution was needed. HumiSeal UV40-HV is easy to process and won’t “crack” under thermal cycling, offering manufacturers a genuine solution with none of the problems normally associated with UV curable materials.
Marie Kaing, chief chemist at HumiSeal Europe, explained why the higher viscosity was so important:
“The reason that we developed a higher viscosity version (standard viscosity is 500cPs) of UV40 was to suit the different valve technology used in this particular type of application. As the board design is much smaller and component density much higher, the technology needed to apply UV40HV is a jetting technology which enables us to coat very precise areas as opposed to standard selective coating valve technology”. For the first time, high volume users in fields such as mobile telecoms, automotive and consumer electronics can now gain access to the popular UV curable coating class with its rapid cure speed, level of processing ease and thermal cycling resistance, never before achieved.
“We are very proud of the performance we have managed to achieve with this new product family,” comments Kaing, who was one of the technical driving forces behind the development of HumiSeal UV40-HV. “We knew what we wanted to achieve with this UV curable material, but at times our laboratory trials made us uncertain that we could achieve it,” she continues. “It was almost like aiming for a light at the end of a tunnel that you could never reach, no matter how hard you tried.” HumiSeal Europe persevered and by careful polymer engineering, from first principles, it succeeded in its quest by developing what can be summarised chemically as a polyurethane-polyacrylate hybrid UV curable polymer structure. This yields a macroscopic materials performance that, incredibly, is not dissimilar to the ease-of-processing and thermal cycling resistance offered by other established chemical coating material types such as the HumiSeal water-based ranges.
David Greenman, managing director at HumiSeal Europe added: “The success of UV40-HV can be directly attributed to working in partnership with our customers. By listening and understanding their needs and concerns we can be sure that we develop products that are able to fully meet the performance criteria. HumiSeal has over 50 years’ experience in the conformal coating industry and I believe we are the only truly independent manufacturer in terms of coating chemistries. This gives us a huge advantage when it comes to developing bespoke products”.