SMT & Inspection | December 13, 2005
Concoat Launches High Performance<br> UV Conformal Coating Range
With the launch of the HumiSeal UV40 range, Concoat Limited has made significant advancements in the field of UV curable conformal coating materials.
HumiSeal UV40 is easy to process and wont "crack" under thermal cycling, offering manufacturers a genuine alternative with none of the problems normally associated with these materials. For the first time, high volume users in fields such as automotive and consumer electronics can gain access to the popular UV curable coating class (because of its rapid cure speed) with a level of processing ease and thermal cycling resistance never before achieved with UV materials. "We are very proud of the performance we have managed to achieve with this new product family," comments Phil Kinner, Chief Chemist at Concoat, who was the technical driving force behind the development of HumiSeal UV40. "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," he 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." Concoat 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. One of the key benefits of the new UV material is its low viscosity. "This dramatically eases processing challenges in terms of being able to uniformly and quickly coat a board and ensure the coating spreads over all required areas," says Kinner." In addition, the UV material is also extremely flexible, physically, particularly in response to thermal cycling duress. "This means that the coating is far less prone to the conventional cracking that can occur with all traditional UV curables and which has afflicted them since their first introduction back in the 1980s." "In general UV curable coatings materials are more difficult to rework than, for instance, water-based alternatives," adds Kinner. However, with HumiSeal UV40 Concoat has managed to bring the performance of UV curable coatings to a level once thought impossible." The HumiSeal UV40 range has an exceptionally low solvents, (less than 3% content), that meets all ISO 14001 and major H&S/hazardous chemical regulatory requirements. One final benefit stems from the fact that UV curing ovens tend to be very compact. "This means they occupy far less factory floor space than the kind of equipment and machinery required to cure other types of coating material in a volume environment," explains Kinner. "High and even medium volume users may also be attracted to this new UV range, simply as a way to reclaim factory floor space lost to the larger ovens and wavesoldering baths demanded by the elevated processing temperatures of lead-free soldering." The combined benefits of new HumiSeal UV40 curables range, therefore, means it deserves serious consideration by any medium to high volume coating user and any manufacturer in the process of switching to lead-free.