Protective coating for electronic device components

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Electronic devices have undergone a revolution in size, performance and portability. From consumer devices like smartphones, tablets and wearables to specialized industrial technology such as automation controls, electronics are everywhere — including in many challenging environments. Without adequate electronic protection, components inside devices can suffer corrosion when exposed to contaminants. This degrades electronic performance and may lead to electrical shorts and device failure. At the same time, smaller, more complex, dense printed circuit boards (PCBs) with high-performance components, LEDs and a variety of miniaturized components are placing higher demands on electronic protection coatings.

3M™ Novec™ Electronic Grade Coatings offer protection against corrosion for the sensitive internal components of devices and are ultra-thin compared with traditional conformal coatings. Our products are the result of decades of experience improving electronic grade coatings to help guard against moisture, water/salt water immersion, sulfur, oils, humidity and pollution. These offer ease of application, reworkability and the ability to apply without masking or curing.

Extreme closeup of green printed circuit board (PCB) coated with Novec Electronic Grade Coating with droplets of water beading up on surface showing moisture repellency.
Performance meets peace of mind.

Easy, effective, flexible corrosion protection for device components

When you choose Novec coatings, you gain all the advantages of 3M’s innovative materials, deep knowledge base and dedicated support. Here’s a look at some of the key benefits of these high-performance coatings:

  • Side-by-side comparison of a uncoated PCB circuitry that's been harmed by exposure to salt fog (spray) and unharmed PCB that's been protected with Novec Coating.
    Electronic corrosion protection

    Novec electronic grade coatings have been proven effective against corrosion through extensive testing, as seen in these images showing untreated and treated circuitry that has been exposed to salt fog. They provide a uniform oleophobic and hydrophobic layer that helps cover surfaces of a component for exceptional repellency of moisture, oils, dirt, grime, fingerprints and other environmental contaminants. Count on Novec coatings to help provide excellent protection against corrosive agents that devices might encounter, including:
     

     

    • Moisture
    • Water
    • Salt fog or mist
    • Sulfur
  • Female lab technician examining a large green printed circuit board, holding it up to the light.
    Exceptional thinness

    Ultra-thin Novec coatings can be alternatives to traditional conformal coatings and a smart choice for your business. In a dip application, thicknesses can range from 0.1 to 1.3 microns, or 1 to 6 microns. In a typical single-pass spray, thicknesses range from 1 to 6 microns; layers can be built up to create appropriate thicknesses. This compares to up to 25 microns or more for typical conformal coatings. Thinness has several advantages, including:
     

    • Electrical contact can be made through the coating, eliminating the need for masking
    • Excellent coverage of complex geometries
    • Thermal management properties — the thinner coating doesn’t trap as much heat
  • Close-up of a side profile of a raspberry pi circuit board being sprayed coated with Novec coating.
    Process advantages

    3M Novec Electronic Grade Coatings can save costs and increase efficiency without compromising performance.
     

     

    • Compatible with existing spray, dip, or syringe application processes and equipment
    • Simple spray application means less need for specialized labor and equipment
    • Easy application that is dry to the touch in seconds, and most don't require curing
    • May eliminate masking, saving time and steps
    • Reworkable to help improve production yields
    • Build up the protection needed with multiple layers
    • Some products feature UV-detectable dye to simplify inspection
  • Sun peaking through tall skinny redwood trees in forest with blue sky and green grass
    Safety and sustainability

    Performance without compromise means choosing products that don’t put workers or the environment at risk. Novec electronic grade coatings are formulated with 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids, which offer: 
     

     

    • Non-flammability and low toxicity for improved worker safety
    • Non-conductivity
    • Low environmental impact, with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and low global warming potential (GWP), compared with conventional coatings formulated with hydrocarbon solvents
    • Exemption from the U.S. EPA definitions for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    • Strong regulatory compliance — not scheduled for restriction or phasedown

Choosing the right Novec Electronic Grade Coating

View all electronic grade coatings
  • 020415-novec-moisture-brightcove_VDESC_en_US Upbeat synth music plays as a red logo appears. ON SCREEN TEXT: 3M Black text fades in over a white background. ON SCREEN TEXT: Protecting Electronic Devices with 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings Images show people using electronic devices in a factory, beside solar panels, and on a beach. MAN: Today's consumers expect their mobile devices to work flawlessly in the most challenging environments. These increasingly sophisticated electronics are highly susceptible to environmental contaminants such as moisture, sulfur, pollution, and grime. Without proper protection, sensitive electronic components can quickly corrode, often leading to electrical shorts, poor performance, and device failure. A portion of a circuit board is magnified comparing a worn �Uncoated� component beside a pristine �Novec Coating� piece. Text fades in beside the uncoated component, highlighting its damaged surface. ON SCREEN TEXT: Corrosion A smart phone slides onscreen as an umbrella drops down above it, shielding the phone. Text appears beside it. ON SCREEN TEXT: 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings ON SCREEN TEXT: Designed to repel and protect against moisture, chemicals, and corrosion ON SCREEN TEXT: Help enhance reliability and extend device life MAN: Novec Brand Electronic Grade Coatings from 3M are designed to repel and protect against moisture, chemicals, and corrosion, helping to enhance reliability and extend device life. These clear fluoropolymer coatings are ultrathin to help optimize overall device size and design flexibility. Chemically resistant, thermally stable, and electrically stable, they are ideal for sensitive electronics. The circuit board is dipped into a clear, rectangular container as more text fades in. ON SCREEN TEXT: 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coastings ON SCREEN TEXT: Clear & Ultrathin ON SCREEN TEXT: Chemically Resistant ON SCREEN TEXT: Thermally & Electrically Stable MAN: Novec Electronic Grade Coating solutions are low in toxicity, non-flammable, and easy to apply using dip, spray, and syringe dispensing methods. They have low surface tension and low viscosity, allowing them to completely and evenly coat irregular surfaces. A machine sprays the coating onto a circuit board. Text appears in a list, sliding in one at a time. ON SCREEN TEXT: 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings ON SCREEN TEXT: Low in toxicity ON SCREEN TEXT: Non-flammable ON SCREEN TEXT: Easy to apply by Multiple methods ON SCREEN TEXT: Low surface tension ON SCREEN TEXT: Low viscosity MAN: For quick and efficient processing, coated devices can be handled within seconds of application, and most coating options do not need to be cured. In some applications, it is not necessary to mask connectors, and rework is possible. A pair of gloved hands holds out the finished circuit board, running their finger along its surface. A list of text appears beside it. ON SCREEN TEXT: Quick Drying with 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings ON SCREEN TEXT: Can be handled in seconds ON SCREEN TEXT: Do not need to be cured ON SCREEN TEXT: Do not require masking ON SCREEN TEXT: Rework is possible The hand holds out a circuit board with the left half uncoated and the right half coated. A thin stream of water is poured onto the surface. ON SCREEN TEXT: Uncoated vs Coated The coated surface makes the water bead up and drips away, while the uncoated surface lets the water sit on the board. Additional text fades in. ON SCREEN TEXT: Moisture Repellency with 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings MAN: As you can see, these coatings help to protect sensitive components from moisture and chemicals that can cause corrosion. Note how moisture beads up and sheets off the side of the circuit board with the Novec coating. Novec Electronic Grade Coatings can help provide protection and repellency for the most delicate materials. To demonstrate this, let's take a look at how an ordinary tissue reacts when submerged in water. The hand pulls a tissue out of a box. ON SCREEN TEXT: Ordinary Tissue Paper The tissue is delicately dunked into a container of water. ON SCREEN TEXT: Ordinary Tissue Paper Submerged in Water The hand attempts to pick it back up, but parts of the tissue paper break off. The drenched tissue clumps together as it dangles above the water. MAN: It absorbs the water and breaks down. Now, let's take the same ordinary tissue and dip it in Novec Electronic Grade Coating. The hand plucks another tissue out of the box. ON SCREEN TEXT: Ordinary Tissue Paper Using an extended pair of tweezers, the tissue is submerged in a container filled with the coating. They swirl the tissue in the container as text appears around it. ON SCREEN TEXT: Quick Drying Protection with 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings Ordinary Tissue Paper Submerged in Novec Coating The tissue is carefully taken out and the excess coating drips off its surface. MAN: After a quick dry, the coated tissue can be submerged in water and remains repellent, sturdy, and intact. The gloved hand pushes the tissue into the water, but it does not fully submerge itself or absorb any liquid. Beads of water drip off the soft surface and back into the container. ON SCREEN TEXT: Coated Tissue Paper Submerged in Water Quick Drying Protection with 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings MAN: To optimize quality control, 3M offers ultraviolet light detectable options that allow you to see where the coating has been applied. The uncoated half of the circuit board remains a dark blue, while the coated half glows a neon green. ON SCREEN TEXT: Ultraviolet Light Detectable Options MAN: With Novec Electronic Grade Coatings, you now have a simplified, cost effective way to protect internal electronic components against moisture and other contaminants, helping to enhance the reliability, extend the life, and add value to your products. Images of electronic devices fade into one another. A bright red logo appears above text. ON SCREEN TEXT: 3M Protecting Electronic Devices with 3M� Novec� Electronic Grade Coatings www.3M.com/Novec � 3M 2015. All Rights Reserved. 3M is a registered trademark of 3M Company Small red circles connect together with thin lines like molecules. Their color darkens and a light passes through as they form a logo. ON SCREEN TEXT: 3M A legal disclaimer fades in, then quickly fades back out.

    Raspberry Pi circuit board with 3M Novec Electronic Grade Coatings, being held with a purple gloved hand and being sprayed with water to show repellency.

    3M Novec Electronic Grade Coatings for device component protection are the result of decades of development and evolution by 3M experts. Their careful and precise development can be seen in their exceptional properties, which also make these products versatile for novel applications such as an oil barrier or filter.
     

    • Low viscosity
    • Low surface tension
    • RoHS compliant with high resistance to chemicals
    • Transparent

    Download the device component coating product selection guide (PDF, 113 KB)

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3M Novec is more than a brand of products — we’re people who share your passion for solving problems and improving lives. Not sure which coating is right for your application? We are here to help! Contact us to answer any questions you may have or to get:
 

 

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