The Role of PCBs in Manufacturing
PCBs (printed circuit boards) are the foundational building blocks of most electronic applications. They are typically rigid structures, made of phenolics, that contain electronic components in designated placements, connected together in a manner most appropriate for their application.
With the global PCB market being projected to grow by over £10 billion between 2020 and 2025, manufacturers are looking for higher quality solutions to bond and protect their PCBs. The rise in demand for PCBs can be accounted for by the rising adoption of smartphones and the proliferation of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. This leads contract electronic manufacturers across the industry to invest in innovative solutions to meet the market’s increasing demands.
The Importance of Protecting Electronic PCBs
PCB assemblies typically include sensitive electronic components that require protection.
Common factors that PCBs need protection from include:
- Humidity & water
- Temperature fluctuations
- Physical stress and tampering
- Chemical exposure
- Dust and fibres
Without adequate protection and effective bonding mechanisms, PCBs can experience premature failure, leading to unexpected downtimes, repair costs and customer dissatisfaction.
Top PCB Bonding & Protection Solutions
Adhesives play a vital role in the assembly of PCBs. Through the use of adhesives, manufacturers have access to quick, automated, cheap, lightweight and strong bonding mechanisms, with many advantages over traditional bonding mechanisms.
PCB Bonding & Electronic Assembly
Araldite 2014-2 is an epoxy adhesive that is ideal for bonding electronic components and PCBs. It provides excellent resistance to water and chemicals, provides superior gap-filling and is non-sagging up to 5mm thickness. It exhibits high bond strength and is grey in colour. Due to its high-temperature resistance, it also resists autoclaving and is suitable for applications with outdoor use.
DOWSIL™ TC-2035 CV is a silicone thermally conductive adhesive that can provide long term bonding and efficient thermal flow for PCB applications. It is particularly suitable for applications where low bond line thickness is required to enhance thermal conductivity.
DOWSIL™ EA-4600 is a silicone hot melt adhesive that can be used for PCB device assembly. It offers easy removal and reapplication within 24 hours, a long open time and pot life, and a lower total cost of ownership than double-sided tape. – See how DOWSIL™ EA-4600 helped this client solve a challenging water damage issue in this case study.
Thermal interface materials form thermally stable bonds to most PCB substrates and deliver excellent thermal conductivity. Discover our full range of thermal interface materials to find the most suitable solution for your application.
Potting and encapsulation compounds are the most common ways of protecting electronic components and PCBs. This is where an electrical component is protected by coating it in resin.
Arathane CW 5620/Arathane HY 5610 is a polyurethane, halogen-free, casting and impregnating system that is ideal for encapsulating printed circuit boards and various electronic components. It provides good thermal conductivity, shock resistance and flow properties. Additionally, it is even suitable when working with electrical devices in potentially explosive environments.
DOWSIL™ CC-2588 is a silicone-based conformal coating that protects printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electronic components against high humidity and corrosion. It is suitable for rigid and flexible circuit boards, and particularly suitable for printed wiring board (PWB) applications requiring toughness and abrasion resistance.
Different types of potting compounds (silicones, epoxies, urethanes) are used depending on the specifications of the PCB application, including rigidity, operating temperatures and electrical properties. Discover our full range of potting and encapsulation compounds to determine the best type of solution for your application.