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What is Coefficient of Linear Expansion? Formula, Units & More

Temperature affects the behavior of materials, causing them to expand or contract. However, not all materials respond to temperature variations in the same way. Some materials,..

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testing for tensile strength at yield

Tensile Strength at Yield - Testing, Standards, Specs, Material

The ability to accurately predict the behavior of coating materials under tension is crucial in ensuring the integrity and reliability of electronic components. This includes..

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Elongation at Break - Definition, Testing, Material Selection

Elongation at break is a key mechanical property that measures the deformation capacity of a material before it eventually snaps or breaks, providing insights into the material's..

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Diagram of Young's Modulus

Young's Modulus of Polymers - Measurement, Calculation

Young's Modulus is an important property, allowing engineers to select coating materials based on their desired stiffness. Understanding and manipulating the elastic Modulus of..

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Water Vapor Transmission Rate - Standards, Testing, Material

In the world of electronics, moisture control is of utmost importance. High water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) can pose significant risks to sensitive electronic devices. When..

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transparent polymer coating on a piece of glass

Transparent Polymers - Applications, Material Selection

Transparent polymers offer optical clarity and the ability to transmit light. With various applications across various industries, these polymers have gained popularity for their..

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Biocompatible Coatings - Coating Techniques, Applications, More

Biocompatible coatings seamlessly integrate with the human body, offering benefits through their ability to promote healing and prevent adverse reactions. They can improve patient..

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ADAS Design and Validation for the Real World - Automotive Coatings

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) continue to expand in features and functionalities. Standard offerings may include adaptive cruise control, park assist, blind-spot..

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Preserving Power: Protective Coatings for EV Battery Corrosion

EV batteries promise to revolutionize transportation as we know it, but is it all positive? The future of electric vehicles is riding on the dependable operation of these energy..

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Engineered Reliability: Conformal Coatings for ECUs

Quite possibly the most critical systems in modern-day vehicles, electronic control units (ECUs), are responsible for overseeing, regulating, and altering the operation of a car’s..

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What is Parylene Coating Used For? Is it Right For My Project?

For decades, Parylene coatings, including Parylene C, Parylene F (VT-4), and Parylene N, have been trusted to enhance the reliability and performance of printed circuit boards and..

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Conformal Coating for Drones - Which is Best?

As technology advances, so do the capabilities of drones, which are available in various sizes, weights, and shapes. The technological advancements in drone specifications,..

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How to Make Your Lithium-ion Battery Design More Sustainable

A recent report from “Markets and Markets” revealed that experts expect the battery recycling market to grow to $23.2 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2020-2025. This..

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Improving CGM Electronics Designs with Medical Coatings

A vital issue for continuous glucose monitor development is design and reliability engineering. CGM systems, however, will encounter environments that can jeopardize electronics..

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Developing Health Wearable Devices That Work in the Real World

Smart wearable medical device designers must create flexible, lightweight, low-profile, comfortable electronic products that enable constant, real-time data transmission. The data..

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How To: A Wearable Device Design That Consumers Actually Want

Wearable devices provide insight and convenience to consumers through activity tracking and biometric data that they can easily access through a wearable app. But many wearable..

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Solving Weather & Water Challenges For Smart Farms

It’s a Small World, After All The world’s population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, an unprecedented increase approaching fast. This looming surge will compound our..

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Don't Be Left in the Dark: Brief History of Light Emission Devices

One of the best things about working for a company like HZO is the opportunity to be exposed to an extremely wide variety of technologies (apart from our own). Our seasoned..

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HZO Success Story: NavELite

In 2013, Andy Wilson of NavELite faced a tough situation. As a former special forces soldier in the United States Army, Price was familiar with tight spots, but this was..

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What is Coefficient of Linear Expansion? Formula, Units & More

September 21, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications

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Temperature affects the behavior of materials, causing them to expand or contract. However, not all materials respond to temperature variations in the same way. Some materials, like metals, tend to expand when heated, while others, like water, show a more complex behavior, with expansion occurring at specific temperatures.

Learn about other thermal coating properties, like thermal conductivity and glass transition temperature

This property is crucial in predicting how a material will respond to temperature changes. This coefficient, represented by the Greek letter alpha (α), describes how much a material expands per unit length for each degree of temperature rise. Understanding this concept helps engineers make accurate predictions and design structures that can withstand temperature fluctuations.

Formula for Calculating the Coefficient of Linear Expansion

The coefficient of linear expansion (α) can be calculated using the following formula:

α = ΔL / (L₀ × ΔT)

Where:

α is the coefficient of linear expansion

ΔL is the change in length

L₀ is the original length

ΔT is the change in temperature

Units used for expressing the coefficient

The coefficient of linear expansion is typically expressed in units of length per unit temperature, such as millimeters per degree Celsius (mm/°C) or inches per Fahrenheit (in/°F). These units emphasize the linear dimensions and temperature change required to induce a specific change in length. By using consistent units, scientists and engineers can easily compare and analyze the behavior of different materials.

Measurement and Units

Accurately measuring values is essential in understanding how materials respond to changes in temperature. Several experimental techniques are commonly employed to measure the coefficient of linear expansion. The most widely used method is known as the thermal expansion apparatus. This apparatus consists of a rod or sample material, which is heated or cooled while its length changes are recorded. By carefully analyzing the recorded data, researchers can calculate the coefficient of linear expansion for the material.

The interferometric method utilizes interference patterns created by light passing through a material. This technique accurately measures the changes in length resulting from thermal expansion.

Additionally, some advanced techniques like dilatometry, which involves measuring volume changes, and strain gauges, which record dimensional changes, are used for highly precise measurements of the coefficient of linear expansion.

Relationship between the Coefficient of Linear Expansion and Thermal Expansion

Thermal expansion refers to the increase in size or volume of a material as its temperature rises. This expansion occurs because heat causes the atoms and molecules within the material to move more rapidly, increasing their average spacing. As a result, the material takes up more space and expands.

Meanwhile, the coefficient of linear expansion represents the change in length per unit length per unit change in temperature.

The relationship between the coefficient of linear expansion (α) and thermal expansion can be expressed using the following formula:

Thermal expansion = coefficient of linear expansion × Original length × Change in temperature

This formula allows engineers to calculate a material's dimensions change when its temperature changes.

Factors Influencing the Coefficient 

Several factors can influence the coefficient of linear expansion in materials. These factors can affect how much a material expands or contracts when subjected to changes in temperature.

 Crystal Structure, Bonding Types, and Impurities

The crystal structure of a material heavily influences the coefficient of linear expansion. Different crystal structures can lead to variations in the coefficient. The type of bonding between atoms in a material can also affect its coefficient. For example, materials with stronger intermolecular forces tend to have lower coefficients, while those with weaker ones tend to have higher ones.

Impurities in a material can also impact its coefficient of linear expansion. Their presence can disrupt the regular arrangement of atoms, causing changes in the expansion behavior.

External Factors

External factors such as pressure, magnetic fields, and electric fields can also influence this value. Pressure can alter the arrangement of atoms in a material, affecting its expansion behavior. Similarly, magnetic fields and electric fields can cause changes in the alignment and movement of atoms, leading to variations in the coefficient.

Material Selection

This property is highly dependent on the material properties of a substance. Different materials exhibit different coefficients due to their unique structures and bonding arrangements. For example, materials with stronger intermolecular forces tend to have lower values because their particles are held tightly together, making them less likely to expand significantly with temperature changes.

Material properties such as elasticity, rigidity, and thermal conductivity also play a significant role in determining this value. Elastic materials can return to their original shape after being subjected to deformation caused by thermal expansion. On the other hand, rigid materials are less prone to significant expansion due to their stiffness and resistance to deformation.

Additionally, materials with high thermal conductivity tend to have higher values. High thermal conductivity allows for faster heat transfer, leading to greater expansion or contraction in response to temperature changes.

When dimensional stability is critical, materials with low coefficients are preferred to minimize undesired expansions or contractions. On the other hand, materials with higher coefficients may be utilized in applications where controlled expansion is desired.

Engineers can make informed decisions regarding material selection, product design, and manufacturing processes by understanding how different materials expand or contract with temperature changes. This knowledge helps create efficient and durable structures, products, and systems. If you are looking for a coating material to suit your application needs, please contact our engineers to discuss DFM. Or, learn more about thin film protection capabilities, such as optical properties like transparency and index of refraction.

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Tensile Strength at Yield - Testing, Standards, Specs, Material

September 19, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Protection Capabilities, Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications

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The ability to accurately predict the behavior of coating materials under tension is crucial in ensuring the integrity and reliability of electronic components. This includes studying different materials' deformation and failure mechanisms when subjected to a tensile load. One key parameter that is used to quantify the ability of a material to withstand such loads is its tensile strength at yield.

What is Tensile Strength at Yield?

Tensile Strength at Yield indicates a material's ability to withstand loads and forces during its lifetime, making it crucial for designing structures and components that can endure various stresses. It is a vital measurement in numerous disciplines, such as engineering, manufacturing, aerospace, and automotive.

When a material is subjected to a tensile load, it experiences stress and undergoes deformation. The stress-strain curve, representing the relationship between the applied stress and resulting strain, provides valuable insights into the material's behavior. This curve can determine the ultimate tensile strength, the maximum stress the material can withstand before failure occurs.

The yield point is a critical parameter in studying tensile strength at yield. It refers to the point on the stress-strain curve where a significant increase in strain occurs with minimal or no increase in stress. The tensile strength at yield is the stress level at this point and represents the maximum stress a material can withstand without undergoing permanent deformation.

During the deformation process, materials can exhibit different types of behavior. Elastic deformation occurs when a material returns to its original shape upon removal of the load, while plastic deformation occurs when the material undergoes permanent changes in shape. Understanding the concepts of elastic and plastic deformation is essential in analyzing a material's behavior under tension.

Testing Methods, Equipment, and Standards Used for Measurement 

Due to the importance of this mechanical material property, obtaining accurate Tensile Strength at Yield data is critical. Accurately measuring it requires appropriate testing methods, equipment, and adherence to specific standards. The most commonly used technique is the tensile test, where a sample material is subjected to an increasing axial load until it reaches its yield point. Sophisticated equipment, such as universal testing machines, performs these tests and obtains reliable measurements. Standard organizations, such as ASTM International, provide guidelines and standards for conducting these tests, ensuring consistency and comparability of results.

Standards and Specifications 

Standards and specifications are crucial in ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and consistency of measurements. National and international organizations have established various standards to regulate this critical characteristic of materials.

Similarly, numerous national and international standards have been developed to guide the measurement and characterization of tensile strength at yield. These standards outline the specific testing methods, equipment, and conditions to ensure accurate and comparable results across different laboratories and industries.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) are among the leading organizations that have established widely recognized standards for tensile strength at yield. Compliance with these standards is essential in ensuring test data's uniformity, reliability, and compatibility.

What Influences Tensile Strength at Yield?

Material composition plays a crucial role in determining values. Different elements and their proportions can significantly affect the mechanical properties of a material, including its yield strength. For example, increasing the amount of carbon in certain materials can enhance tensile strength at yield.

The microstructure of a material also plays a vital role in determining this value. Factors such as grain size, phase distribution, and dislocation density can impact the material's ability to withstand deformation before yielding.

Coating Material Selection and Design Factors

Because this mechanical property is crucial in determining various structures and products' overall reliability and safety, it should be closely considered during material selection. Every industry and application has unique requirements for choosing a coating material. Engineers must account for environmental conditions, load-bearing capacity, and durability requirements. They can select appropriate materials to meet the desired performance and safety standards by evaluating the tensile strength at yield requirements specific to each industry. A summary of requirements for particular applications is below.

Evaluating Tensile Strength at Yield requirements for different industries

  • Aerospace: In the aerospace industry, where extreme conditions and rigorous performance requirements exist, coating materials with exceptional tensile strength at yield are crucial. This property ensures aircraft components' structural integrity and safety, such as wings and fuselage, under immense stress during flight.
  • Automotive: This property is vital in automotive engineering as it affects vehicle structural stability. Manufacturers and designers prioritize coating materials with optimal values to enhance passenger safety and overall vehicle performance.
  • Consumer products: From household appliances to sports equipment, consumer products are designed to withstand daily usage and potential impacts. Tensile strength at yield is vital in ensuring that these products can withstand the forces they are subjected to without deforming or failing.

Importance in Coating Material Selection

Tensile strength at yield is a critical mechanical property used in coating material selection. It provides valuable information about the protective coating material's ability to withstand applied forces without permanent deformation. If a protective coating were to break, it could allow corrosives and contaminants to destroy electronic components, causing failure.

Design engineers rely on this property to evaluate and compare different coating materials, ensuring their suitability for specific applications. If you are designing an electronic component and need help determining which coating material is best for your product, please contact our engineers, or read additional information on thin film coating properties.

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Elongation at Break - Definition, Testing, Material Selection

September 19, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Protection Capabilities, Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications

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Elongation at break is a key mechanical property that measures the deformation capacity of a material before it eventually snaps or breaks, providing insights into the material's behavior and performance. This crucial measurement is closely related to tensile strength, which determines a material's ability to withstand pulling forces without breaking.

The longer the elongation at break, the greater the material's flexibility and ductility. It represents how much a material can stretch or elongate under tension before reaching its breaking point.

In metals, elongation at break showcases malleability and ensures they can withstand deformation without fracturing easily. Plastics with higher elongation at break are more capable of enduring stress and strain without undergoing permanent damage. Understanding the importance of elongation at break helps select the right materials for diverse applications, ensuring optimal performance and durability.

Testing Methods for Elongation at Break

Elongation at break is a key indicator of a material's ability to stretch before reaching its breaking point, so accurate data is vital for material selection. To precisely determine this value, various testing methods are employed.

When conducting tests, manufacturing and quality control considerations play an essential role. These considerations include:

  • Ensuring that sampling is representative of the material being tested.
  • Using appropriate and calibrated testing equipment to obtain accurate measurements.
  • Following standardized testing procedures to maintain consistency.

By considering these factors, manufacturers can ensure the reliability and integrity of their testing results, which are critical for maintaining consistent material properties. Two methods of testing are described below.

Tensile Testing

Tensile testing involves subjecting a material sample to tension until it fractures. The sample is held between two clamps and pulled in opposite directions until it breaks. The amount of elongation before fracture is recorded and used to calculate the final value.

Elongation Testing

Elongation testing is another method utilized for measurement. Unlike tensile testing, this method focuses solely on measuring the elongation of a material sample without causing it to fracture. The sample is stretched until a specified strain value is achieved, and the resulting elongation is measured.

How to Calculate Elongation at Break

The elongation of the material sample at the point of fracture is measured by comparing the original length of the sample to its final length after fracturing. The percentage of elongation is then calculated by dividing the change in length by the original length and multiplying by 100.

Mechanical Properties and Plastic Deformation

Elongation at break is just one of the mechanical properties used to assess a material's performance. It is closely related to other properties like yield strength, resilience, and plastic deformation. Manufacturers often evaluate it alongside these properties to comprehensively understand a material's behavior.

For example, this property is a valuable measure of a material's ability to undergo plastic deformation. Plastic deformation refers to the permanent change in the shape of a material when subjected to stress. Materials with high elongation at break have greater plasticity and can undergo significant deformation without fracture.

Understanding the relationship between elongation at break and plastic deformation is crucial in various industrial applications. It allows engineers and manufacturers to select materials that can withstand the required stress and deformation without failure.

Consideration of Elongation at Break in Material Selection

Elongation at break is also widely used for material comparisons and benchmarking. By evaluating and selecting appropriate materials based on their desired levels of ductility and flexibility, industries can ensure that their products perform optimally under different operating conditions.

Materials with higher values are generally preferred in applications where the material needs to undergo extensive deformation without failure. On the other hand, materials with lower values may be desired for applications where high rigidity and resistance to deformation are required.

By considering elongation at break, engineers can make informed decisions regarding material selection and performance optimization, enhancing product reliability and customer satisfaction. If you are designing an electronic product that needs protective coatings and are having trouble identifying which material to choose, please contact our Applications Engineers for answers. Or if you are interested in learning more about thin film protective coating capabilities, such as such as elongation yield or Young's modulus of polymers, browse our site.

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Young's Modulus of Polymers - Measurement, Calculation

September 19, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Protection Capabilities, Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications

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Young's Modulus is an important property, allowing engineers to select coating materials based on their desired stiffness. Understanding and manipulating the elastic Modulus of polymers is crucial for applications where strength, flexibility, or a combination of both is required.

What is Young's Modulus of Polymers?

Young's Modulus, also known as the elastic Modulus, is a fundamental property that characterizes the mechanical behavior of a material. It quantifies the relationship between stress (force per unit area) and strain (deformation) when a material is subjected to an external force or load.

For polymers, Young's Modulus determines how much the material will stretch or compress in response to applied stress. It measures the rigidity of the polymer chain structure. When comparing Young's Modulus between polymers and other materials such as metals and ceramics, polymers typically have lower values. This is because polymers have a more flexible molecular structure, allowing them to undergo more significant elastic deformation under applied stress, in contrast to metals and ceramics with more rigid atomic structures.

Factors Influencing Young's Modulus 

Understanding the factors influencing Young's Modulus allows engineers to choose polymer materials with desired mechanical properties for specific applications. The following factors influence Young's Modulus of Polymers:

  • Molecular structure and chain flexibility: The arrangement and size of polymer chains determine their flexibility and, consequently, their Young's Modulus. Polymers with longer and more linear chains tend to have higher Young's Modulus values.
  • Degree of cross-linking and polymerization: Cross-linking refers to forming chemical bonds between polymer chains, increasing their rigidity and thus increasing Young's Modulus. Higher degrees of cross-linking result in higher Young's Modulus values.
  • Temperature and environmental conditions: Young's Modulus of polymers can vary with temperature and environmental conditions. The presence of moisture, for example, can affect the intermolecular forces within the polymer, leading to changes in Young's Modulus.

Measurement and Calculation of Young's Modulus

Measuring and calculating Young's Modulus is crucial to understanding the mechanical behavior of polymers. This value provides valuable insight into how a polymer will respond to applied stress and strain, making it essential in product design.

There are various experimental techniques used to measure Young's Modulus in polymers. These include:

  • Tensile testing and stress-strain curves: This technique involves subjecting a polymer sample to tension until it reaches its breaking point. The resulting stress-strain curve provides essential data for determining Young's Modulus.
  • Extensional methods: Uniaxial and biaxial extension tests measure Young's Modulus in specific directions. These methods help evaluate the anisotropic nature of polymers.
  • Other characterization techniques: Techniques such as nanoindentation and dynamic mechanical analysis can also be employed to measure Young's Modulus in polymers.

Calculation methods for Young's Modulus

Hooke's Law and stress-strain behavior interpretation play vital roles when calculating Young's Modulus:

  • Hooke's Law and its application to polymers: Hooke's Law states that the stress applied to a material is directly proportional to the strain it produces. This linear relationship allows for the calculation of Young's Modulus.
  • Interpretation of stress-strain behavior and determination of Modulus: By analyzing the stress-strain curve obtained from experimental data, the Modulus can be determined using mathematical methods tailored for polymers.

Role in Material Selection and Design

Young's Modulus helps engineers determine the stiffness and elasticity of polymers. Knowing Young's Modulus values allows them to select the appropriate material for a specific application. The higher the Young's Modulus, the stiffer the material will be, resulting in better resistance to deformation. This stiffness is crucial in applications where the polymer needs to withstand heavy loads or maintain its shape for a long time.

Some examples of how design engineers use Young's Modulus to select materials in different industries are listed below.

  • Automotive and aerospace applications: Young's Modulus is essential in designing components such as automotive body parts, airplane wings, and fuselages. It helps engineers ensure the materials can withstand the required forces and maintain their shape during operation.
  • Medical and healthcare applications: Young's Modulus is a consideration when developing medical devices, prosthetics, and implants. The Modulus ensures that the materials provide the necessary support, flexibility, and performance for patient safety and comfort.
  • Consumer goods and packaging: Young's Modulus comes into play in designing everyday products such as bottles, containers, and packaging materials. It helps determine the polymers' rigidity, flexibility, and impact resistance, ensuring they meet the specific requirements of the intended applications.
  • Industrial applications: Engineers can use the measure of stiffness or rigidity of a material to predict how polymers will behave under various conditions common in harsh industrial environments.

Relationship Between Young's Modulus and Product Performance and Durability

Because Young's Modulus directly affects a polymer's behavior under different loads and stresses, engineers can make informed decisions about material selection, design structures that can withstand specific loads, and ensure the safety and reliability of polymer-based products.

The knowledge of Young's Modulus allows for optimizing material properties, such as flexibility and strength, to meet the unique requirements of various industries. Whether in the automotive, aerospace, or medical field, an understanding of Young's Modulus enables the development of innovative solutions that are tailor-made for specific applications.

If you are an engineer involved in product design and would like guidance in selecting a suitable coating material for your application, please contact our team today. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about thin film properties, including elongation yield, elongation at break, or tensile strength at yield, browse our site. 

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Water Vapor Transmission Rate - Standards, Testing, Material

September 14, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Protection Capabilities, Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications

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In the world of electronics, moisture control is of utmost importance. High water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) can pose significant risks to sensitive electronic devices. When moisture enters electronic components, it can lead to various issues, including corrosion, short circuits, and malfunctioning. These risks can result in costly repairs, product failures, and even safety hazards.

Manufacturers continually strive to create smaller, faster, and more powerful electronics. However, these advancements also often make the devices more susceptible to moisture damage. Implementing effective moisture control measures during the design and manufacturing process is essential to ensure the longevity and reliability of electronic components.

Water vapor transmission refers to the movement of water vapor through a material or substance. The water vapor transmission rate is a pivotal property for moisture control, and as such, measuring and managing WVTR is a priority in many applications.  

 

Understanding Water Vapor, Transmission, and Vapor Transmission

Water vapor refers to the presence of water in a gaseous state. Under certain temperature and pressure conditions, water vapor can condense into liquid water.

Transmission refers to the movement of any substance, whether liquids, gases, or solids, from one side of a barrier to the other. This movement can occur through various means, such as diffusion, permeation, or evaporation. Vapor transmission, on the other hand, specifically relates to the movement of water vapor molecules through a barrier.

Vapor transmission plays a crucial role in moisture control. Without the ability for water vapor to move freely through materials, moisture can become trapped, leading to mold growth, structural damage, and product degradation. By allowing water vapor to escape, vapor transmission helps prevent excessive moisture buildup.

 

Factors affecting vapor transmission

Several factors influence the rate of vapor transmission. These include temperature, pressure, and humidity.

  • Temperature variations can affect the rate water molecules transition between vapor and liquid states. Higher temperatures generally increase the speed of vapor transmission.
  • Pressure differentials between the two sides of a barrier can also impact vapor transmission. In some cases, pressure differentials can hinder or enhance the movement of water vapor.
  • Humidity levels, which measure the amount of water vapor in the air, can greatly influence vapor transmission. Higher humidity often leads to higher vapor transmission rates, while lower humidity may restrict the movement of water vapor through materials.

 

Water Vapor Transmission Standards and Testing

The ASTM standards outline the procedures and techniques for conducting WVTR tests, ensuring consistency and accuracy across different laboratories and testing facilities. These standards provide guidelines on sample preparation, test conditions, and data analysis, allowing for reliable and comparable results.

Overview of Permeability Testing Methods and Techniques

Permeability testing refers to the evaluation of how easily water vapor can permeate through a material or film. Several methods are available to measure WVTR, including the gravimetric method, the desiccant method, and the electrical measurement method. Each method has its advantages and limitations, and the choice of method depends on factors such as the material being tested and the required accuracy. You can read more about these methods here

Importance of Accurate Testing for Reliable WVTR Results

Accurate testing determines a material's true water vapor transmission rate. By following ASTM standards and utilizing appropriate testing methods, manufacturers can ensure that their products meet the necessary performance requirements and provide optimal moisture control.

Learn about relevant standards such as Ingress Protection Standards and NEMA Ratings.

 

Film and Polymer Materials

Thin films play integral roles in creating effective moisture barrier systems. These materials are designed to prevent water vapor passage, thereby protecting products and structures from moisture damage.

Specific properties and characteristics become priorities when evaluating coating materials for moisture control. Engineers should consider the following:

  • Water vapor permeability: measures how easily water vapor can pass through a material. Lower permeability indicates better moisture resistance.
  • Tensile strength: the ability of the coating material to resist breaking or tearing under tension
  • Elongation at break: The maximum elongation or stretch a material can undergo before breaking. Higher elongation allows for flexibility and resistance to tearing.
  • Chemical resistance: the resistance of the material to chemical substances, preventing degradation and maintaining its moisture control properties
  • Transparency: In specific applications, it is essential for the polymer material to maintain transparency, allowing consumers to evaluate products visually.

If you need a coating material with a low water vapor transmission rate or have questions about choosing suitable materials, contact our Applications Engineers for a DFM consult. Or, you can learn more about protective thin film coating properties.

 

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Transparent Polymers - Applications, Material Selection

September 14, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Protection Capabilities, Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications, Value of Coatings

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Transparent polymers offer optical clarity and the ability to transmit light. With various applications across various industries, these polymers have gained popularity for their unique properties and versatility. Common transparent polymer types include acrylics, polycarbonates, parylenes, and polyurethanes. The molecular arrangement and morphology of transparent polymers play a crucial role in their transparency. Transparent polymers typically comprise transparent monomers that polymerize to form a solid material. A uniform and amorphous structure is of paramount importance in achieving optical clarity.

Read about refractive index, another optical property.

Applications of Transparent Polymers in Various Industries

Optics and Optical Devices

Transparent polymers are extensively used to produce lenses, optical fibers, LEDs, and displays. Due to their excellent optical clarity and refractive properties, these polymers contribute to the functionality and performance of these devices. They enable the transmission and manipulation of light, essential for achieving optimal performance in optics and optical devices.

Coatings and Films

Transparent polymer coatings and films are widely used for various applications, including protection, durability, and aesthetic enhancement. These coatings and films are applied on glass, metals, and electronics surfaces to provide a protective layer while maintaining transparency. Transparent polymer coatings and films also resist scratches, chemicals, and UV radiation.

Renewable Energy

They play a significant role in the fabrication and encapsulation of solar panels. They are transparent encapsulant materials that allow sunlight to be absorbed and transmitted to the photovoltaic cells within the solar panels. Transparent polymers help maximize the efficiency of solar panels by ensuring optimal light absorption and transmission.

Biomedical Applications

These polymers are extensively used in biomedical imaging, drug delivery systems, and tissue engineering. They enable clear visualization in imaging techniques and provide a platform for developing advanced drug delivery systems.

Displays and Electronics

Some of these polymers play a crucial role in the development of touch screens, flexible displays, and transparent conductive films used in electronics. They enable light transmission while providing electrical conductivity, making them essential components in the construction of displays and electronic devices. They also contribute to the production of sleek and high-performance electronic devices.

Coating Material Selection

Transparency, durability, and versatility make these polymers ideal for numerous applications. Transparent polymers enable technological advancements and enhanced user experiences from optical lenses to display screens. If you require this type of coating material for your product design and would like to speak to an engineer, HZO can help. Reach out today. Or, you can stay and read more about coating properties, including thermal conductivity, linear coefficient of expansion, and glass transition temperature

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Biocompatible Coatings - Coating Techniques, Applications, More

September 13, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Protection Capabilities, Coating Process, Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications

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Biocompatible coatings seamlessly integrate with the human body, offering benefits through their ability to promote healing and prevent adverse reactions. They can improve patient outcomes, reduce complications, and enhance device functionality. As such, biocompatible coatings have become an indispensable tool in various medical applications.

 

What is Biocompatibility, and What Affects the Biocompatibility of Coatings?

 

Biocompatibility refers to the ability of a material to function without causing any harmful effects to the living tissues or organs it comes into contact with.

Several factors influence the biocompatibility of coatings. One such factor is the material composition. The choice of materials used in a coating can significantly impact its compatibility with the human body. Additionally, the surface properties of the coating play a vital role in determining its biocompatibility. Roughness, porosity, and surface energy can affect how the coating interacts with biological tissues and fluids.

When it comes to achieving biocompatibility in coatings, there are key considerations. First and foremost, the material should be non-toxic and non-allergenic. It should not trigger any adverse immune responses or elicit any toxic effects. Furthermore, the coating should withstand the physiological environment it will be exposed to, such as changes in pH, temperature, and mechanical stress.

Coating application processes also play a significant role in achieving biocompatibility. The application technique must ensure uniform coverage and adherence. Proper surface preparation and application techniques are essential to avoid issues arising from poor coating adhesion or inconsistencies.

 

Why are Biocompatible Coatings Important?

Biocompatible coatings can significantly influence the body's response to medical devices and implants. A well-designed biocompatible coating can minimize inflammatory responses, prevent bacterial adhesion, and promote tissue integration. Furthermore, by providing a protective and biologically compatible barrier, these coatings enhance the safety and effectiveness of medical devices, improving patient outcomes.

There have been several successful applications of biocompatible coatings in medicine and biomedical engineering. Here are a few examples:

  • Orthopedic implants: Biocompatible coatings have been used on orthopedic implants to improve their longevity and reduce inflammation and tissue rejection.
  • Drug delivery systems: Coatings have been developed to encapsulate and protect drugs, allowing for targeted delivery and controlled release within the body.
  • Stents: Biocompatible coatings on stents help to prevent blood clot formation and promote healing in cardiovascular applications.
  • Dental implants: Coatings on dental implants enhance biocompatibility, improving the integration of the implant with the surrounding bone.

 

Coating Technologies

Various coating technologies are employed to achieve biocompatibility in different medical devices. These technologies involve using specific materials and techniques to create coatings that meet the required standards:

Chemical Composition

Different biocompatible coating materials, including polymers, such as Parylene, ceramics, and metals, are used. Each type has its unique characteristics and advantages for medical applications. Polymers, for example, are known for their flexibility and ability to mimic natural tissues. Ceramics offer excellent wear resistance and can provide a stable surface for cell growth, while metals are valued for their durability and strength.

Coating Techniques

Each coating technique has its advantages and limitations. The selection of a particular method depends on factors such as the desired coating properties, the substrate material, and the intended application. The deposition of biocompatible coatings requires specific techniques to ensure uniformity and adherence to the substrate. Several coating techniques are commonly employed in the medical industry, including:

  • Chemical vapor deposition (CVD): In this technique, a precursor gas is introduced into a chamber and reacts to form a coating on the surface of the substrate. CVD offers excellent coating conformity and is frequently used for coating stents and catheters.
  • Electrochemical deposition: Also known as electrodeposition, this technique involves using an electric current to deposit a material onto a substrate. It is typical for coating electrodes and medical implants.
  • Dip coating: This technique entails immersing the substrate into a bath of the coating material and then withdrawing it at a controlled rate. Dip coating provides a uniform and controlled coating and is often used in the fabrication of medical devices.
  • Spray coating: The coating material is atomized and applied to the substrate in a fine spray. This is a popular technique for coating dental implants and prosthetics.

 

Biocompatible Coatings Applications

Biocompatible coatings can be employed in manufacturing electronic devices, food processing equipment, and cosmetic products, among others. With their ability to provide a safe and reliable surface, biocompatible coatings offer advantages beyond the medical field.

However, within various areas of medicine, biocompatible coatings play a crucial role in enhancing the compatibility of medical devices, improving tissue engineering techniques, and revolutionizing drug delivery systems. These coatings have transformed the field of medicine by reducing rejection and adverse reactions and improving the overall efficiency of medical interventions. Three use cases are described below.

Medical Implants

One of the critical applications of biocompatible coatings is in the field of medical implants. For instance, in orthopedic implants, biocompatible coatings create an optimal environment for the implant to integrate seamlessly with the surrounding tissues and bones. Similarly, dental and cardiovascular implants benefit from biocompatible coatings, promoting long-term stability and functionality.

Drug Delivery Systems

Biocompatible coatings have revolutionized the field of drug delivery systems by improving stability, enhancing bioavailability, and enabling targeted drug delivery. The efficacy and safety of drug delivery are significantly improved by coating drug carriers such as nanoparticles, microparticles, and implants with biocompatible materials. These coatings protect the drugs from degradation, facilitate controlled release, and ensure targeted delivery to specific tissues or cells.

Biomedical Devices

Biocompatible coatings find extensive applications in various biomedical devices, including biosensors, microfluidic devices, and prosthetics. These coatings enable seamless integration and interaction with biological systems, enhancing the device's functionality and reducing the risk of adverse reactions. For example, biocompatible coatings on biosensors allow accurate and reliable detection of biomarkers, while coatings on prosthetic limbs improve their integration with the human body and enhance user comfort and mobility.

 

Factors Influencing Biocompatible Coating Selection

Selecting the most suitable material for a specific application is essential to ensure optimal biocompatibility and overall performance of the coating. There are various factors to consider when selecting materials for specific medical applications. These factors include:

  • Chemical composition: The specific chemicals used in the coating formulation can significantly influence its biocompatibility with the surrounding environment.
  • Surface interactions: Understanding how the coating interacts with the surrounding biological tissues and fluids is crucial to ensure proper biocompatibility.
  • Thickness and uniformity: The thickness and uniformity of the coating play a vital role in its ability to protect the underlying substrate and provide the desired properties.
  • Physical properties: The physical properties, such as hardness, flexibility, and adhesion strength, must be considered when selecting a coating for a specific application.

Please contact our engineers if you require a biocompatible coating material for your application or have questions about protective thin film coating properties. Meanwhile, please browse our resource section to learn about other relevant properties, such as tensile strength, yield elongation, and corrosion resistance.

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ADAS Design and Validation for the Real World - Automotive Coatings

June 15, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Parylene, Coating Properties, Thin Film Applications

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Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) continue to expand in features and functionalities. Standard offerings may include adaptive cruise control, park assist, blind-spot detection, lane departure, RADAR, emergency braking, tire pressure monitoring, and LiDAR systems.
 

When consumers purchase a vehicle with ADAS safety features, they believe they have a layer of protection to be entirely relied on. In reality, though, without a methodical, effective ADAS component design that accounts for real-life situations, these features are no more than crutches.

In addition to the ethical argument that safety should be an underlying principle of ADAS design, liability concerns create a business case for ADAS components that dependably function in the typical automotive service environment.

As ADAS designers evaluate the risk of harm, they may ask about the probability of exposure to an element or situation that could cause failure. They may ascertain how severe the resulting damage may be and determine how controllable the issue is if it should occur.

The risk of harm is high in instances such as premature ADAS component failure due to harsh environments. ADAS PCBAs and components will inevitably encounter corrosive elements, humidity, thermal shock, water ingress, and other environmental factors that compromise electronics. If this ADAS component should fail as a result, consumers relying on a safety feature could incur severe damage and liability, and in terms of controllability, there is not much that can be done upon critical component failure.

ADAS component reliability through harsh environments is a high-risk issue. Therefore, design engineers must prioritize safeguarding ADAS components from failing in these circumstances and verifying their safety in real-life situations. Testing and validation can become problematic when legacy methods such as gaskets and seals bolster ADAS reliability.

 

ADAS features in harsh environments

 

Possible Issues with ADAS Testing Protocols and Traditional Reliability Methods

Issues with ADAS reliability testing protocols may include:

● Testing must confirm that a system will handle situations that can be predicted and that ADAS will reliably work under unknown circumstances.
● Proper validation and verification can entail testing many conditions, particularly as vehicle design shifts towards fully autonomous vehicles.
● Testing for scenarios on a test track may be impractical when methods such as seals and gaskets are used for ADAS reliability.

For example, to test that a seal will continue to prevent ingress while exposed to vibration, you might have to wait for weather conditions to occur naturally, including snow, rain, or humidity. Although you can use equipment to mimic these weather conditions, this will add to testing complexity.

It's Possible to Simplify ADAS Reliability

As noted, seals and gaskets can become dislodged in many situations, which would have to be recreated and accounted for to validate and verify ADAS component reliability if they are the primary protection method. This unpredictability raises complications during the design and validation process.

Furthermore, as more features are built into vehicles, more components will need to fit in. The bulk of seals, potting, and traditional conformal coatings can lead to more design challenges. These conventional methods can also complicate lightweighting efforts as they add unnecessary weight.

HZO’s proven, trusted Parylene coatings solve these testing and design challenges. These conformal coatings come in several types, including Parylene N, Parylene F (VT-4), and Parylene C, demonstrating excellent performance in mission-critical applications for decades, in part due to uniform coverage, barrier properties, and less stress on mechanical structures.

 

HZO Coatings for Automotive Corrosion Protection

We’ve proven that our coatings can deliver as much – or more – flexibility, fungus resistance, flammability, dielectric withstanding voltage, thermal shock, moisture, and insulation resistance at a fraction of the mass of conventional coatings, passing the IPC CC-830C test at 50% of the film thinness. Unlike seals and gaskets, Parylene does not stop providing protection when exposed to unpredictable situations, such as drops and falls. The coating is well studied and, when appropriately applied by engineers who understand the parameters of an application, will withstand the lifecycle of the product it is enabling.

 

Class Type Specimen – Average Coating Thickness [μm]
    1 2 3 4
XY Parylene N 25 25 23 23
XY Parylene C 31 30 30 32
XY Parylene F 46 36 43 29
AR/UR Acrylic 73 73 69 72
SR Silicone 102 99 114 154
AR/UR Acrylated Polyurethane 91 91 107 107

 

Below, you can see how our coatings performed in automotive validation tests.

Contents Requirements Test Results
Operations Test Operate for 24 hours at 23 Degrees C Operate for 24 hours at 23 Degrees C
Coating Property No Pinhole and Uncoated Area No pin hole and uncoated area
Coating thickness 225±3 [μm]
Electrical Test Dielectric withstanding voltage: Over 1.5 [kV]
Insulation resistance: Over 10 [GΩ]
IPC-B-25A standard test board pattern Dv
Over 1.5 [Kv]
Over 10 [GΩ]
Corrosion Test Salt spray (35 °C, NACI, 96 hours):
No corrosion on chip leads
No corrosion on chip leads

 

 

Enhanced Component Reliability and Increased Resistance to Fluids and Oils

 

The automotive operating environment includes exposure to chemicals such as oil, antifreeze, standing water, and cleaning fluids. HZO Parylene coatings offer dependable protection for various leak, environmental, splash, and submersion test requirements.

 

Protection Characteristics Unprotected PCB Mechanical Seal Silicone/Acrylic Coatings Parylene Coating
Protection Barrier None Good, but can be compromised with drops & temperature. Good, but can be thick & porous depending on the application. Excellent. Can peel if not properly applied.
Hydrophobic No No Yes Partial
Thickness N.A. Millimeters μm – Millimeters 2μm – 50μm
Protection Against Water Poor Good – Ingress Poor – Penetration Good Excellent
Salt/Chemical Protection Poor Poor Varies Excellent
Durability Low Varies Varies High
Submersion Test Time to Failure Seconds (IP Rating N.A.) Varies Varies Days to Weeks (IPX7 – IPX8)

 

 

When used as a redundant solution along with legacy methods, our coatings can provide more robust, reliable protection and the ability to reduce sealing, thereby minimizing spacing and weight issues. As the visual below indicates, a mechanical seal can easily be breached. With HZO’s Parylene protection, moisture ingress is not an issue.

 

 

Contact HZO for Automotive Component Coatings

 

If you are interested in Parylene and would like to speak to our industry-leading applications engineering team, please reach out with a message or fill out a quote form to understand your application needs and provide a tailored solution.

 
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Preserving Power: Protective Coatings for EV Battery Corrosion

June 15, 2023 / by Ryan Moore posted in Thin Film Applications

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EV batteries promise to revolutionize transportation as we know it, but is it all positive? The future of electric vehicles is riding on the dependable operation of these energy storage vessels, so their reliability is vital. Unfortunately, like all mechanical and chemical processes, battery technology isn’t foolproof and is susceptible to failure, especially in the hazardous environments in which they perform. To better understand EV battery weaknesses and address them, it’s key to understand their origins and what steps are being taken today to safeguard against potential failure points, no matter the circumstance.

 

Download HZO's automotive electronics brochure 
 
 

How Old is the Electric Car?

 

The electric car is synonymous with the future of transportation. However, few may realize that its inception dates to 1881, four years before Karl Benz designed and built the first practical internal combustion vehicle. When consumers were polled in 1900 at the National Automobile Show in New York, the design was so popular that they voted electric vehicles the top choice over steam and combustion engines.

So why did the combustion engine ultimately win the race to mass adoption? Because of the same technical challenges facing EVs today: batteries. Early 20th-century battery technology was no match for the stored energy found in gasoline, nor could the average consumer purchase these primitive batteries due to price constraints.

 

EVs are Gaining Speed

However, in the early 21st century, battery technology has significantly improved, and the cost is within an affordable range. Finding solutions to these legacy problems has led to a staggering projected growth rate of 1,177% for EVs globally from 2020 to 2030.

 

Ensuring a Long Road Ahead

With this projected growth comes the compounding headache of ensuring the batteries operate reliably. Millions of drivers, commuters, and enthusiasts blindly rely on their vehicle’s battery to function as intended, no matter the driving conditions.

What are the potential points of failure in today’s batteries, including the rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used to power EVs? Two natural threats can stop a battery, and therefore the vehicle it is powering, in its tracks: corrosion and strong electrical activity.

  • Corrosion: Corrosion is a common enemy to virtually all electronic components, and battery systems are no exception. This natural process occurs when a refined metal is converted to a more stable form, such as its hydroxide, sulfide, or oxide state, leading to the material’s deterioration.
  • Strong electrical activity: Strong electrical activity, including short-circuiting, can wreak havoc on EV battery technology. Where corrosion can be a slow killer, short-circuiting can instantly damage sensitive battery circuitry and components, potentially causing irreversible harm to the vehicle and its occupants.

These threats can be addressed safely and thoroughly through protective conformal coatings such as Parylene.

 

Protecting battery components with Parylene coatings

Corrosion and intense electrical activity can be prevented by properly coating susceptible components within the battery ecosystem. Parylene is a microns-thin conformal coating applied using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), a polymerization process unique to the material, responsible for its pinhole-free and truly conformal properties. Not only does Parylene provide a barrier against corrosive liquids to the parts it is applied to, but the material itself is a strong dielectric, capable of withstanding strong electrical activity. Parylene coatings provide ideal protection to EV battery components, including circuitry, busbars, and cold plates.

Download HZO’s Parylene datasheet

 

  • Battery Circuitry: Every PCB is susceptible to corrosion when left to the elements. EV batteries exposed to typical automotive environments, including rainwater, salt, corrosive chemicals, and more, are no exception. Parylene coatings adhere tightly to the complex topography of a PCB, minimizing the risk of any exposure to corrosive liquids and gases.
  • Busbars: Busbars distribute power from high-energy battery packs to e-motors, e-axles, and other assemblies and components. If a battery busbar fails, power cannot be efficiently distributed to other vehicle functions, including the drivetrain or e-axles. The vehicle may also not be able to charge. For consistent operation, busbars require a dielectric coating, such as Parylene, with excellent adhesion, corrosion, and chemical resistance combined with mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties.
  • Cold Plates: Overheating can lead to thermal runaway if a cold plate fails, resulting in fires and explosions. Cold plates require protective coatings that strongly adhere to the substrate, can be used in operating temperatures from-40°C to +180°C, and provide excellent heat, oil, and moisture resistance to prevent overheating. These components also require a dielectric coating that protects against water, deionized water, Glycol and water solutions, and dielectric fluids. Parylene coatings can fill these needs.

Testing Parameters: Temperature – 35°C, Concentration – 5% NaCl by weight, Duration – 168 hours

 

HZO Parylene for EV Battery Component Protection

The electric car has come a long way since its advent in 1881, and we’re barreling towards mass adoption in the next ten years. It’s critical, however, that these vehicles perform as expected to preserve the precious cargo on board. EV batteries are susceptible to failure in the service environments they find themselves in and require proven protection while minimizing weight and cost.

Watch a webinar on improving electronic performance in harsh service environments

It’s crucial for engineers and design teams to not only find a solution to ensure reliability on the road but find an application partner capable of applying the coating consistently and effectively. HZO has gone through the PPAP process, so you can be assured that we have met the associated manufacturability and quality standards laid out by our automotive customers. We have also demonstrated the aptitude to meet the necessary specification requirements and produce parts that consistently meet these requirements during the actual production of parts for these clients.

HZO has a unique ability to coat large, complex boards and components due to proprietary coating and automation equipment, handling parts in large qualities, and producing repeatable quality coatings with high yield rates. Our customer-focused solutions can be delivered with several flexible end-to-end business models as our team of dedicated engineers and SMEs walk clients through every step of the way of the coating process. Are you interested to see how we could help with your EV battery protection needs? Request a quote today.

 

 
 
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Engineered Reliability: Conformal Coatings for ECUs

June 15, 2023 / by Richard Weiland posted in Thin Film Applications

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Quite possibly the most critical systems in modern-day vehicles, electronic control units (ECUs), are responsible for overseeing, regulating, and altering the operation of a car’s electronic system. ECUs control many aspects of the vehicle, including power steering, anti-lock braking, fuel injection, and interior cabin comfort through air conditioning or music from a favorite radio station. Most modern cars contain up to 80 ECUs, and these systems will continue to multiply with technological improvement and the introduction of new features. Each of these ECUs must integrate into the vehicle infrastructure.


Since ECUs facilitate features directly impacting vehicle operation and overall user safety, reliable operation is crucial to maintaining peak performance standards. One example is the engine control module (ECM), which regulates a series of actuators in a vehicle’s engine to ensure optimal performance.  These units can control engine operation and management variables, including air-fuel ratio, idle speed, and ignition timing.  If an ECM fails, the vehicle typically will not start.  Consequently, these units are expected to perform for the vehicle’s lifetime – the EPA mandates that vehicle manufacturers warrant engine control modules for eight years / 80,000 miles.

Replacing these units is costly and can exceed over $1,500 in parts alone. Often, ECUs are placed throughout the vehicle and can be exposed to various stringent operating conditions, including environments with corrosion, moisture, vibration, and heat.  The engine control module is located in the vehicle engine bay and is exposed to these harsh environmental conditions.  Regardless of the type, protection of ECUs is imperative to ensure that these devices can reliably perform throughout the vehicle lifecycle despite regular exposure to undesirable settings.  The most common threat to ECU reliability is highly corrosive environments produced by exposure to humidity or moisture.

Regardless of the type, protection of ECUs is imperative to ensure that these devices can reliably perform throughout the vehicle lifecycle, despite regular exposure to undesirable settings.

Seals or enclosures, typical protection methods for electrical control units, are designed to prevent moisture ingress but cannot provide further protection once moisture penetrates. Unfortunately, they become worn throughout operation due to stresses endured from heat, vibration, and general use, creating voids for moisture and humidity access that can lead to ECU damage and inoperability. In addition, these protection methodologies can create complexities and design limitations as ECU form factors continue to be optimized for vehicle size and fit.

 

Protection Characteristics Unprotected PCB Mechanical Seal Silicone/Acrylic Coatings Parylene Coating
Protection Barrier None Good, but can be compromised with drops & temperature. Good, but can be thick & porous depending on the application. Excellent. Can peel if not properly applied.
Hydrophobic No No Yes Partial
Thickness N.A. Millimeters μm – Millimeters 2μm – 50μm
Protection Against Water Poor Good – Ingress Poor – Penetration Good Excellent
Salt/Chemical Protection Poor Poor Varies Excellent
Durability Low Varies Varies High
Submersion Test Time to Failure Seconds (IP Rating N.A.) Varies Varies Days to Weeks (IPX7 – IPX8)

Parylene Performance Characteristics Versus Competitor Solutions

 

On the other hand, conformal coatings (thin polymeric films applied directly to substrates and components) can be customized to the application environment, provide robust protection, and allow for lighter and smaller ECU assemblies. They may reduce the need for traditional seals or enclosures altogether. However, choosing a suitable conformal coating material is imperative because selected chemistries can directly impact ECU functionality and reliability.  Traditionally, acrylics, epoxies, and silicones have protected printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) in ECUs from environmental contamination. Still, these materials require substantial layering and thickness to demonstrate protection benefits.  And as electronics continue to miniaturize and increase in overall complexity, conformal coating weight and application footprint are essential variables to consider when evaluating protection alternatives to minimize bulk. 

HZO’s Parylene coatings are a natural fit for ECU applications due to their demonstrated performance across various test parameters and application environments. Considered the gold standard, Parylene conformal coatings come in various types and have nearly 50 years of reliable, durable, and long-lasting performance across industries. The coating is superior in uniform coverage, barrier properties, and performance at comparably thinner films, with less stress on mechanical structures and virtually no added weight.

 

Class Type Specimen – Average Coating Thickness [μm]
    1 2 3 4
XY Parylene N 25 25 23 23
XY Parylene C 31 30 30 32
XY Parylene F 46 36 43 29
AR/UR Acrylic 73 73 69 72
SR Silicone 102 99 114 154
AR/UR Acrylated Polyurethane 91 91 107 107

HZO’s Parylene passed all IPC CC-830C at 50% of the Film Thickness of the Traditional Conformal Coatings

 

Unlike liquid conformal coating methods that may lead to coating defects, Parylene coatings are unique in their ability to be polymerized and deposited by vapor deposition onto substrates maintained at room temperature. The result is extremely thin, pinhole-free, high-purity coatings that fulfill the reliability requirements of automotive design. Parylene is highly conformal, offering the best protection also on corners & edges of components, creating a thin 3D-type film across the PCBA. The highly conformal and microns thin coating offers design flexibility & results in extremely low contact / interfacial resistance. These properties are due to the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process specific to Parylene. Parylene is also unique due to its ability to be deposited in several chemical variants, demonstrating unique film performance characteristics.

Each Parylene composition offers exceptional salt, mist, moisture, dust, and environmental protection. However, some Parylene types exhibit performance qualities that excel in specific circumstances or application environments. Examples of these variants include Parylene C, which is the most effective conformal coating available for corrosion protection at its thickness. Parylene F exhibits superior thermal resistance and is ideal for maintaining protective performance while exposed to high heat.

Watch our webinar on proven methods of corrosion resistance

 

Polymer Gas Permeability at 25 °C, (cc·mm)/(m2·day·atm) WVTR,(g·mm)/(m2·day)

N2

O2

CO2

H2

H2S

SO2

Cl2

Parylene C 0.4 2.8 3.0 43.3 5.1 4.3 0.1 0.08
Parylene N 3.0 15.4 84.3 212.6 313 745 29.2 0.59
Parylene D 1.8 12.6 5.1 0.6 1.9 0.2 0.09
Parylene F (VT-4) 16.7 0.28
Epoxy (ER) 1.6 4 3.1 43.3 0.94
Polyurethane (UR) 31.5 78.7 1,81 0.93
Silicone (SR) 19,685 118,110 17,717

 

Water vapor transmission rate and gas permeability indicate barrier effectiveness for corrosion resistance. The chart illustrates that Parylene C’s WTVR and permeability properties are exceptionally low.  HZO-coated automotive assemblies were exposed to HAST (Highly Accelerated Temperature and Humidity Stress Test) at 130 °C and 90% RH for 48 hours while powered at 14 V and a sampling rate of 0.5 Hz. HZO coatings pass by, preventing any current spikes over 0.5 Amps. 

 

Parylene F is best suited for operating temperatures in the -55 °C to 200 °C range, while Parylene C can be utilized from -55 °C to  85°C.  Exposed to the HAST conditions described above, Parylene F films would best serve applications like ECMs found in the engine compartment and exposed to high-temperature environments.  Parylene C is a better alternative for corrosion protection for ECUs in areas of the vehicle that do not have high-temperature considerations but need resistance to moisture, humidity, salt, or other chemical exposure.

HZO’s Parylene coatings can offer superior protection for automotive applications like ECUs and have demonstrated aptitude through various testing methodologies to meet necessary performance requirements and specifications.  In addition, we have experience with the PPAP process to assure that production parts will be executed in a highly repeatable and quality-focused manufacturing environment. Our unique ability to handle large and complex parts due to proprietary coating and automation equipment with exceptionally high yield rates makes us well-suited to the automotive industry.

Meanwhile, HZO’s customer-focused solutions can be delivered with highly customizable end-to-end business models as our dedicated engineers and SMEs work with clients through every step of the coating process. If you have any questions about our automotive conformal coating services, contact us, or if you think we might be appropriate for your next project, request a quote today.

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What is Parylene Coating Used For? Is it Right For My Project?

June 6, 2023 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Parylene, Thin Film Applications, Value of Coatings

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For decades, Parylene coatings, including Parylene C, Parylene F (VT-4), and Parylene N, have been trusted to enhance the reliability and performance of printed circuit boards and electronic components within critical industries and applications. Parylene films boast superiority in barrier properties and uniform coverage with a capacity to perform at comparably minimal coating thicknesses compared to conventional conformal coatings (liquid coatings).

Polymerized and deposited onto components at around room temperature by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process, Parylene coatings are free of defects and pinholes, have high purity, and are ideal for applications where reliability and performance are priorities.

 

What is Parylene Coating Used for? Useful Parylene Properties

Parylene is widely used due to various beneficial properties, including exceptional resistance to moisture, chemicals, and corrosion. Parylene is biocompatible, has beneficial optical properties, and offers additional value with impressive dielectric strength. Maintaining performance through high-temperature cycles and good thermal performance are also valuable attributes.

To see the specific properties of Parylene, you can view and download the HZO Parylene datasheet below. HZO Guardian Plus™ is the Parylene C offering, and HZO Guardian Zero™ is the Parylene N coating solution suitable for halogen-free applications.

 

Common Parylene Applications

 

 

Parylene is used in a wide range of industries, including:

Medical devices – As an FDA-approved material, Parylene has long been trusted with mission-critical medical applications, such as implanted devices. However, more medical wearable manufacturers are implementing Parylene to yield high reliability for devices such as hearing aids, CGMs, and trackers.
Industrial – Parylene’s properties are ideal for protecting applications in harsh industrial environments. Parylene can enhance the reliability of HVAC and oil and gas sensors, smart meters, and more.
Consumer Electronics – Parylene has become more widely used in electronics such as hearables, wearables, and smart home devices.
Automotive – Pinhole-free Parylene coatings enhance the reliability of automotive components, including EV batteries, ECUs, and ADAS components.

 

Bottom Line – Is Parylene Right for My Application?

Should you use Parylene for your next project? It is first necessary to ask yourself how much reliability and performance matter to answer this question.

When product designers have to be sure their electronics will work when needed, Parylene is worth considering. Additionally, Parylene coatings may be your best bet when reliability and lightweight protection are mandated. Some markets, such as aerospace and automotive that must minimize weight in every instance to support fuel efficiency may benefit from ultra-thin Parylene coating.

Some products do not require such strong barrier properties and corrosion resistance. It’s not necessary to ruggedize all devices. Doing so for products intended to be disposable would raise costs for the manufacturer and the consumer, delay the release of new products, and wouldn’t serve a purpose. The added cost of enhancing the reliability of disposable electronics that rarely contact harsh environments wouldn’t be cost or time-effective.

So, while it is not always necessary or even advisable to attain critical levels of reliable protection – when it is, Parylene coatings are the best defense.

Watch the webinar about Parylene’s proven corrosion resistance.

 

 

Parylene Services with HZO

parylene coating equipment

 

HZO is a Parylene service provider focusing on driving down costs associated with Parylene coating and increasing coating efficiency. While Parylene was once associated with only mission-critical applications such as military or aerospace, we have democratized the Parylene process for our customers of all industries. Our custom-built Parylene coating equipment reduces time to market and improves throughput and turnaround time so that virtually any industry can benefit from superior protection.

We also have industry-leading Parylene masking automation and expertise with Parylene removal

Contact us if you are considering Parylene for your project and want partners with industry knowledge and domain expertise.

 
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Conformal Coating for Drones - Which is Best?

April 15, 2022 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Thin Film Applications

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As technology advances, so do the capabilities of drones, which are available in various sizes, weights, and shapes. The technological advancements in drone specifications, mapping software, cameras, and sensory applications are expanding how different markets use these remote-controlled flying devices, increasing their prevalence.

As such, there is a growing need to improve operational endurance in harsh weather conditions and enable longer missions in unpredictable environments, as sensors within the drones that measure atmospheric parameters and gas concentrations must safely and reliably function. For example, drones operating in underground mines must be waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof and resist pressure, temperature, and humidity. Conformal coatings can meet these requirements if applied and chosen correctly.

To choose which conformal coating is best as you design drones, you will need a thorough understanding of the application environment and associated electronic reliability challenges. You must also understand the properties of each conformal coating material to determine if these properties will meet your application requirements.

Although you may not plan on considering Parylene due to perceived challenges with scalability or cost, it may be the best conformal coating for your project. The film has long been used in the aerospace industry for its exceptional properties that significantly increase electronic reliability within aircraft.

 

Beneficial Parylene Coating Properties for Drones

Parylene for drones

 

Thinner and Lighter

The coating weight you choose can be critical to battery life, with lighter films increasing your drone’s lifespan. HZO Parylene coatings have passed IPC CC-830C tests at 50% thinness of other conformal coatings, proving the coatings can provide as much, if not more, insulation flexibility, flammability, thermal shock, dielectric withstanding voltage, and moisture resistance at a fraction of the weight and mass of alternatives.

Excellent Conformality, Pinhole, and Defect-free

Parylene coatings are ultra-thin, lightweight, and due to the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) application process, the thin films are highly conformal, wrapping around every edge available. The vapor deposition process is performed under vacuum, with specialized equipment, including a coating chamber. As a result, all surfaces are coated evenly with the same thickness all around the objects being coated. This vapor phase coating process also leads to pinhole-free coverage free from defects.

Download a drone brochure

 

Beneficial Parylene Conformal Coating Barrier Properties for Drones

As aircraft that need to withstand more extreme temperature and pressure conditions encountered in aerospace applications, drones can benefit from Parylene’s impressive barrier properties, particularly those that protect electronics from the repercussions of corrosion.

Water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) and gas permeability indicate barrier effectiveness for corrosion resistance. The chart illustrates that Parylene C’s WVTR and gas permeability properties are remarkably low.

Table: Barrier Properties of Conformal Coatings

Polymer Gas Permeability at 25 °C, (cc·mm)/(m2·day·atm) WVTR,(g·mm)/(m2·day)
N2 O2 CO2 H2 H2S SO2 CI2
Parylene C 0.4 2.8 3.0 43.3 5.1 4.3 0.1 0.08
Parylene N 3.0 15.4 84.3 212.6 313 745 29.2 0.59
Parylene F (VT-4) 16.7 0.28
Epoxy (ER) 1.6 4 3.1 43.3 0.94
Polyurethane (UR) 31.5 78.7 1,181 0.93
Silicone (SR) 19,685 118,110 17,710

 

Download the HZO Parylene datasheet to find out more about Parylene Properties

Read an in-depth discussion of Parylene properties here

 

HZO Parylene Conformal Coatings for Drones

Although Parylene’s coating properties present an ideal solution to drone reliability design challenges, it has historically been used in mission-critical scenarios, such as military applications or medical implants. However, as drones become more capable and critical across markets, can you afford to compromise on your conformal coating?

Learn about all of our thin film application areas, including medical device coatings, IoT, consumer electronics, automotive coatings, and industrial coatings.

HZO is a coating supplier that makes Parylene more scalable and cost-efficient through proprietary equipment and processes. If you desire the level of reliability that Parylene can provide but are unsure if it will fit within your budget or business model, please reach out to speak to one of our Applications Engineers. Our team can evaluate your project, determine if Parylene is a suitable solution, and advise how to move forward.

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How to Make Your Lithium-ion Battery Design More Sustainable

December 4, 2021 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Thin Film Applications

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A recent report from “Markets and Markets” revealed that experts expect the battery recycling market to grow to $23.2 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2020-2025.

This market focused on recycling batteries encompasses many industries and various battery chemistries, including lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, and nickel-based batteries. The impetus for this market growth includes sustainability regulations that strive to preserve resources, reduce carbon footprint, and restore soil integrity.

Although data indicate a demand for responsible afterlife handling of batteries, complications can arise for Li-ion energy sources, raising concerns for product designers.

Lithium-ion Battery Disposal and Recycling Issues

Manufacturers value Li-ion batteries for benefits such as low self-discharge, low “memory” (the tendency to acquire a minimum or maximum state of charge), and high energy density. However, they have volatile chemistry that requires regulating their disposal on both state and federal levels.

Processes used to recycle lithium-ion batteries have merit because they can regain valuable metals from spent battery cells, including nickel, cobalt, copper, and aluminum. However, there are dangers associated with recycling processes, including thermal, chemical, and electrical hazards due to the potential for chemical reactions.

 

Designing Longer-Lasting Li-ion Batteries Can Be Part of the Solution

While no definitive, universally accepted solution exists to make lithium-ion batteries easier to handle after they no longer work, product designers can use Parylene coatings to prevent premature failure and encourage Li-ion resiliency despite exposure to failure-inducing situations. With the ability to extend product life and discourage unnecessary loss using a sustainable coating solution, you can do your part to comply with sustainability guidelines and reduce waste.

Download HZO’s Battery Coating Brochure

 

How Parylene Reduces Unnecessary Lithium-ion Waste

 

Corrosion Resistance for Li-ion Batteries

A Parylene provider can strategically coat critical components of Li-ion batteries without interfering with their operation. The thin coating can act as a barrier layer, hindering the devastating consequences of corrosion and premature failure caused by corrosive environments.

Watch our webinar on proven methods of corrosion resistance.

 

Parylene is particularly effective at protecting Li-ion batteries from corrosion. Its water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) and gas permeability, which indicate barrier effectiveness for corrosion resistance, are particularly low.

Polymer Gas Permeability at 25 °C, (cc·mm)/(m2·day·atm) WVTR,(g·mm)/(m2·day)
N2 O2 CO2 H2 H2S SO2 CI2
Parylene C 0.4 2.8 3.0 43.3 5.1 4.3 0.1 0.08
Parylene N 3.0 15.4 84.3 212.6 313 745 29.2 0.59
Parylene F (VT-4) 16.7 0.28
Epoxy (ER) 1.6 4 3.1 43.3 0.94
Polyurethane (UR) 31.5 78.7 1,181 0.93
Silicone (SR) 19,685 118,110 17,710
Ref.: Licari, James J. Coating Materials for Electronic Applications – Polymers, Processes, Reliability, Testing. William Andrew Publishing, 2003 and various companies’ literature.

 

The images below indicate the appearance of coin cell batteries, one exposed to salt water testing, one representing an HZO-coated battery appearance.

 

Figure 1 – Uncoated coin Cell battery subjected to salt water testing

 

Figure 2 – Image of what an HZO Parylene coated battery subjected to saltwater testing would look like

 

Heat Dissipation Properties of Parylene

Although lithium-ion batteries require protection from corrosives, when coatings (such as conventional coatings that require more coating to attain a suitable protection level) are applied in thick layers, this can interfere with the heat transfer path, impeding heat dissipation. As thermal conduction is inversely proportional to thickness, integrating the thinnest possible coating solution can prevent overheating, a serious reliability challenge for Li-ion batteries. HZO Parylene can provide superior corrosion resistance at 50% film thinness of conventional conformal coatings, meeting protection and heat dissipation challenges.

 

Parylene Will Withstand the Life of the Lithium-ion Batteries It Protects

 

When Li-ion batteries are stored for a long time, they become more susceptible to damage as they are exposed to environments with harmful elements. HZO’s coatings can sustain through the product lifecycle, averting common battery e-waste issues.

 

Table 3: Lifetime of HZO coatings at different temperatures in air (with oxygen)
  60 °C 80 °C 135 °C 150 °C
Parylene C ~100 years ~20 years ~70 hours ~24 hours
Parylene N ~10 years ~1 years ~9 hours ~1 hour

 

HZO Coatings for Lithium-Ion Batteries

As a green manufacturer, HZO focuses on inherently sustainable solutions that comply with REACH, RoHS, and Prop 65 and eliminate cure time. With Parylene, there are:

  • No VOCs
  • No Solvents
  • No Catalysts
  • No Disposal Issues
  • No Pollution Threats

If you want to learn more about the manufacturing advantages of working with HZO, contact us today to speak with an engineer.

 
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Improving CGM Electronics Designs with Medical Coatings

November 20, 2021 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Thin Film Applications

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A vital issue for continuous glucose monitor development is design and reliability engineering. 

CGM systems, however, will encounter environments that can jeopardize electronics that enable functions, such as sensors, making validation of actual product use difficult. The human body will subject CGMs to perspiration and other bodily fluids, vibration, shock, and the potential for drops.

Additionally, regular use presents threats in varied environments as users always wear the products in various settings. CGM devices are more valued by people with diabetes when they enable ease of use. Using continuous glucose monitoring systems in showers, harsh weather conditions, swimming pools, and humid conditions is often a purchase contingency.

Therefore, the ability to operate reliably through frequent exposure to chemicals and corrosives, including airborne pollution, cleaning fluids, soap, and hygienic products, is a critical feature that, if underestimated, can increase product recalls, repairs, and warranty claims.

CGM technology has exponentially evolved, but it is up to product design teams to evaluate if they are genuinely validating actual product use. If you are a CGM product designer and feel your products are experiencing reliability issues, coating systems, particularly Parylene conformal coatings, may be worth investigating.

Watch our webinar “Design for Reliability.”

 

Corrosion Resistance is a Mandate for CGM Reliability

 

CGMs, like all electronic devices, run on electricity and batteries. Without proper protection, one drop in the water can kick off the corrosion process, catalyzing unexpected, premature failure. Parylene’s superior corrosion resistance is one compelling reason to use this CGM coating.

Performing as a barrier to corrosion caused by moisture, biofluids, submersion, and cleaning fluids, Parylene minimizes the impact of factors that affect coating performance and lifetime, including the following:

● Low oxygen permeability for a protective polymer coating
● Minimal absorption of water
● Ionic permeability makes it difficult for salts to pass through the coating
● Parylene’s characteristic pinhole-free coatings

Gas permeability and Water Vapor Transmission rate indicate barrier effectiveness for corrosion resistance; the lower, the better. The chart below illustrates these properties compared to other conformal coatings.

Download HZO’s Parylene datasheet

 

Polymer Gas Permeability at 25 °C, (cc·mm)/(m2·day·atm) WVTR,(g·mm)/(m2·day)
N2 O2 CO2 H2 H2S SO2 CI2
Parylene C 0.4 2.8 3.0 43.3 5.1 4.3 0.1 0.08
Parylene N 3.0 15.4 84.3 212.6 313 745 29.2 0.59
Parylene F (VT-4) 16.7 0.28
Epoxy (ER) 1.6 4 3.1 43.3 0.94
Polyurethane (UR) 31.5 78.7 1,181 0.93
Silicone (SR) 19,685 118,110 17,710
Ref.: Licari, James J. Coating Materials for Electronic Applications – Polymers, Processes, Reliability, Testing. William Andrew Publishing, 2003 and various companies’ literature.

 

Watch our webinar on proven methods of corrosion resistance.

Submersion Protection Enables You to Meet any Liquid Ingress Protection Standards

 

As CGM consumers often base purchase decisions on the ability to meet IP ratings, it might be necessary for your team to meet a particular IP standard. HZO Parylene coatings have been tested for over 1,000 hours of submersion, providing a proven method to meet any IP protection level quickly and conveniently.

Download the HZO IP checklist

 

Environmentally Friendly Solution with Green Manufacturing Support

Sustainability policies and regulations can have far-reaching effects on your decisions, ranging from material selection through the manufacturing process. The Parylene polymerization process simplifies sustainability, as there are none of the following complications that can inhibit compliance:

  •  No VOCs
  •  No Solvents
  •  No Catalysts
  •  No Disposal
  •  No Pollution Threats

HZO’s Parylene coatings are:

  • RoHS Compliant
  • REACH Compliant
  • Prop 65 Compliant

As a green manufacturer, HZO’s support includes the following:

  • Material oversight
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Green material usage
  • Preparation for repair, reuse, and recycling
  • Proactive chemical management
  • Responsible end-of-life management

 

Simplify Design With Parylene's Thinness

HZO Parylene passed IPC CC-830C at 50% thinness of conventional conformal coatings, proving no other coating can perform as well in terms of chemical, moisture, and biofluid barrier properties at its thinness.

Parylene can also provide dielectric barrier protection without signal transfer or loss. Furthermore, its low dielectric constant ensures minimal energy loss in RF signals, and the coating thinness ensures signal transmission integrity. The chart below illustrates suitable Parylene thickness for various applications:

 

Thickness(μm) Relevant Standards IP Protection Level
0.1 to 5 UT Type in IPC-CC-830C IPX3/IPX4
5 to 12.5 UT Type in IPC-CC-830C IPX4/IPX7
12.5 to 25 IPC-CC-830B IPX7/IPX8

 

Choose HZO for CGM Coatings

With CGM experience, our engineering team knows how to create business-specific solutions that ensure your product will work in the real world. HZO has eliminated many barriers to Parylene on the manufacturing end by developing cost-cutting equipment that can quickly scale as your business grows. If you want to meet with our applications engineering team for a DFM consultation, reach out today.

 
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Developing Health Wearable Devices That Work in the Real World

November 5, 2021 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Thin Film Applications, Value of Coatings

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Smart wearable medical device designers must create flexible, lightweight, low-profile, comfortable electronic products that enable constant, real-time data transmission. The data is critical, medical in nature, with the potential to save lives. Considering these challenges, it is easy to acknowledge that wearable wireless medical devices are difficult to design, and the process is iterative.

Health wearable environments are often harsh; therefore, their packaging and protection play a critical role. Electronic and mechanical requirements are equally vital and must be adequately protected. If the medical wearable isn’t functional, it won’t sell. As such, many engineers feel that the overwhelming design concern for these products comes down to packaging and protection.

 

Two Critical Medical Wearable Design Challenges to Consider When You Think About Protecting Electronic Components

Whether you feel that packaging and protection is a priority or not, the measures you take to ensure your wearable medical device technology is sufficiently resilient can affect two other critical wearable design challenges.

1. Component Miniaturization and Space Optimization

Bulkier, larger, wearable medical devices were initially developed for clinical environments, but as telehealth trends continue, medical wearables are now worn outside the hospital. This change in context requires a more compact, comfortable product with lighter-weight, smaller components and a need for enhanced design flexibility. Space optimization is an essential design consideration as various technologies and provisions for more communication circuits must be incorporated – within a tighter footprint.

2. Signal Integrity

Wearable medical tech requires comfort, aesthetics, and ease of use. Still, the primary purpose of the technology is to relay patients’ health data accurately and quickly to healthcare providers, making high signal integrity an integral goal. Additionally, these devices require bidirectional data streams, so informational flow is essential too.

 

When Design Priorities Clash with Electronic Protection Methods

Legacy protection and packaging methods used in the past to bolster reliability can interfere with other design efforts. For example, highly customized enclosures incorporating many seals can be too cumbersome for consumers’ comfortable, compact devices. Similarly, conventional conformal coatings often require thick layers of protection that can impede signal integrity.
Unfortunately, medical wearables must dependably operate when worn on the body, requiring protection from drops, vibration, moisture, corrosion, humidity, perspiration, sterilization, and many other damaging environmental elements. This need is non-negotiable and can incur costs associated with warranties, recalls, liability, and product returns when unmet.

Download the HZO Parylene datasheet.

 

Consider Parylene to Improve the Design of Medical Wearable Products

 

HZO focuses on solving product design challenges and provides an alternative material solution to conventional coatings and seals that can provide superior protection without impeding signal integrity, comfort, or miniaturization. Whether used with customized enclosures as redundant protection or alone, our Parylene coatings offer the required protection while enabling you to meet other design goals.

 

Protection Capabilities

Considering environmental hazards ahead of time can enhance material choice, and there are two types of environments to consider. The outside environment can present challenges such as humidity, submersion, pollution, cleaning fluids, corrosive liquids and gases, and the human body, which includes perspiration and other bodily fluids. Sweat is very slippery, allowing for ingress through mechanical seals, and humidity is another challenge for this method, as it can also enter and begin corroding components. Additionally, one environment can affect the other. For example, humid climates may produce more sweat and make skin dewier.

Water vapor transmission rates (WVTR) can aid in predicting coating behavior in high-moisture environments, offering help in the material selection process. The chart below illustrates the WVTRs of Parylene compared to other conformal coatings. The lower the WVTR, the better.

 

Polymer Gas Permeability at 25 °C, (cc·mm)/(m2·day·atm) WVTR,(g·mm)/(m2·day)
N2 O2 CO2 H2 H2S SO2 CI2
Parylene C 0.4 2.8 3.0 43.3 5.1 4.3 0.1 0.08
Parylene N 3.0 15.4 84.3 212.6 313 745 29.2 0.59
Parylene F (VT-4) 16.7 0.28
Epoxy (ER) 1.6 4 3.1 43.3 0.94
Polyurethane (UR) 31.5 78.7 1,181 0.93
Silicone (SR) 19,685 118,110 17,710
Ref.: Licari, James J. Coating Materials for Electronic Applications – Polymers, Processes, Reliability, Testing. William Andrew Publishing, 2003 and various companies’ literature.

 

Watch Dr. Sean Clancy’s webinar on proven methods for protection from corrosive environments.

 

Parylene is also known for strong submersion protection, and HZO Parylene has been tested beyond 1,000 hours of submersion. As Ingress Protection (IP) claims can influence consumer purchasing behavior, our coatings offer value. Our tested, proven solution can meet any IP claim without the need for excessive enclosure customization and subsequent trips to the lab for testing.

 

Miniaturization

Our Parylene conformal coatings have passed the IPC CC-830C test at 50% of the film thickness of conventional conformal coatings. The data prove that our coatings can provide as much – or more – flexibility, fungus resistance, flammability, dielectric withstanding voltage, thermal shock, moisture, and insulation resistance at a fraction of the mass.
With thinness ranging from 2-50 microns, Parylene still outperforms other coatings regarding corrosion resistance, ensuring that you can produce robust, dependable medical products that can still be miniaturized.

Additionally, the thinness of the coatings ensures reliable signal transmittance will not be a problem.

 

How HZO Does Parylene Differently

 

Image of low cost Parylene equipment

 

Parylene conformal coatings come in various types, including Parylene C, Parylene N, and Parylene F (VT-4). The coating is superior in uniform coverage, barrier properties, and performance at comparably thinner films, with less stress on mechanical structures and virtually no added weight. Due to its properties, Parylene has been trusted for decades in the medical industry to safeguard implants and other critical devices. As HZO has engineered processes that cut costs and allow easy ramp-up to mass production with proven Parylene coatings, it may be time to revisit this solution for less-invasive medical products.

We address the cost concerns and batch-style coating process associated with Parylene through engineering and manufacturing solutions – we can rise to mass-scale production within a specified budget or deadline. Our throughput can be two times faster than the industry standard with our in-house designed equipment, tested processes, and chemistry.

Proprietary equipment with optimized cubed chambers can house more substrates and components than any other Parylene supplier, decreasing turnaround time, improving throughput, and decreasing costs associated with coating runs. The chambers are larger in size, but the cubed shape also allows for high loading density so that not as much surface area is lost. The numbers of parts coated for medical devices vary, but HZO’s manufacturing process allows for efficient high throughput. For reference, around 10,000 – 20,000 hearable device components or batteries may be coated in a single batch.

Our engineers are here to help you meet product requirements and prepare your medical wearables for long-term business success. Their prescriptive solutions can allow you to achieve the functions and features your product must have to offer a successful outcome. If you have questions for our team or would like a no-obligation DFM consultation, contact us today.

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How To: A Wearable Device Design That Consumers Actually Want

March 20, 2021 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Thin Film Applications, Value of Coatings, Resources

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Wearable devices provide insight and convenience to consumers through activity tracking and biometric data that they can easily access through a wearable app. But many wearable product designers have focused too much on producing functional devices without emphasizing the humans that wear them enough. This tendency could be to the detriment of user experience, limit user interaction, and make consumers less likely to purchase from your company again. Here are three quick tips on designing a wearable device that addresses human issues: discomfort and inconvenience, display issues, and lack of ruggedization for real-world usage.

 

1. Learn How to Make Wearable Technology Truly Wearable

 

 

Wearable tech can be challenging for design engineers because the body moves constantly, and humans want to move without constriction. Therefore, designing small, light, and comfortable wearables should be a priority.

For this reason, it is a good idea to begin the design process with a human factors and ergonomics analysis. This scientific discipline seeks to understand and optimize interactions among humans and systems to improve both system performance and the well-being of humans.

Consumers are likelier to wear devices with thinner, smaller, rounded form factors that lay flush on the body, applying minimal pressure. To ensure your product will be comfortable, test usability factors with real users and determine how easy and comfortable it is to move while wearing your product. Don’t forget to consider people’s different body sizes and types. For example, our customer Nike offered their FuelBand in several wristband sizes that the consumer would choose during the purchase process.

Finally, remember to design for every aspect of the use cycle, such as cleaning, bathing, showering, and leisure activities. Make an effort to be conscious of when and how humans clean their wearable devices so you can create a usable, convenient, easy-to-clean device consumers will want to use. Remember that users will not want to remove their devices during routine activities such as bathing and showering (and may not take off their wearables before swimming or entering a sauna), and accommodate this in your product design. The more convenient it is to use your product, the more consumers want it.

 

Watch our video series about designing reliable consumer electronics devices.

 

2. Consider the Display On-Device and What it Means for User Experience

 

 

To determine the right display for your wearable, ask yourself about the level of interaction required with the wearable. Wearables without display afford more design flexibility, are cheaper, and are simpler to produce. However, no available visual communication with the wearable will limit the level and scope of human interaction with it.


Minimal output displays portray selected information critical to the wearable experience. This type of display is one-directional, so the user can view it but cannot enter any input, limiting interaction. Another option is a full display, which allows for strong device interaction and a wider feature set. Determining which type of display is most appropriate for your users is an important decision that, unfortunately, may entail an aesthetics-functionality trade-off.

No matter which display you choose, you should expect and design wearables that will endure connectivity problems. Try to integrate some core functionality in your product’s offline mode when planning for your wearable UI. At a minimum, ensure the product explains what is happening to the user by incorporating wearable alerts when there is no internet connection to avoid confusion. If you choose a wearable with no display, this could be indicated through the mobile app.

 

3. Learn How to Design a Wearable Device for the Real World

 

 

Designing devices worn on the body can be complicated because they must reliably work in variable operating environments. In other words, they must go where humans go. Humidity, submersion, harsh weather, and corrosive exposure threaten wearable PCBAs. Don’t make the mistake of simply ensuring a device can pass reliability tests in the lab but not designed for the real world. Typically, consumers use Ingress Protection (IP) standards to guide their purchasing decisions, so achieving a certain level of water resistance is necessary.

Download our IP checklist.

 

Conventionally, product designers have used seals to do this, but this method may not focus as much on user experience as it should. Humans frequently move, exposing these devices to vibration, which can dislodge seals and leave wearables unprotected from corrosion.

Another option is conformal coatings for wearable moisture resistance and corrosion protection. These polymeric films are applied directly to the circuitry as a barrier against many environmental threats. However, wearables have minimized form factors and require these coatings to apply thick layers, which may be too bulky and heavy, causing discomfort and inconvenience.

These legacy methods are often appropriate and do have their place. However, if you are placing more emphasis on users to improve your product experience, it might be worth considering Parylene conformal coatings. HZO’s Parylene can provide protection that meets or exceeds the corrosion protection of other conformal coatings at 50% thickness.

 

Visit our Consumer Electronics market page

 

The chart below describes Parylene thickness and the corresponding standards and IP protection levels they meet:

 

Table 1: Parylene Thickness, Relevant Standards, and IP Protection Levels
Thickness(μm) Relevant Standards IP Protection Level
0.1 to 5 UT Type in IPC-CC-830C IPX3/IPX4
5 to 12.5 UT Type in IPC-CC-830C IPX4/IPX7
12.5 to 25 IPC-CC-830B IPX7/IPX8

 

Parylene Conformal Coatings for Wearables From HZO

 

As a proven method trusted for decades in mission-critical applications, Parylene eases many design headaches and addresses the user-focused issues above. As it provides robust protection at a fraction of the mass of legacy methods, you can make ruggedized wearables that are also truly wearable. Parylene’s superior chemical resistance properties allow your users to clean their products throughout the entire product life cycle safely. Additionally, using Parylene instead of seals can make it easy to design and produce wearables that meet finish, style, longevity, and reliability expectations, leading to consumer purchases.

It is possible to minimize offline disruptions because, unlike the other thick conformal coatings and seals, Parylene is applied in thin layers, facilitating RF signal transmittance.

When you work with HZO, our engineers will create a coating solution around your needs that easily fits into your production. From DFM services to QA, our team of experts will walk you through every step of the protection process, eliminating headaches and simplifying your process. If you want to discuss your project with our team, contact us today.

 
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Solving Weather & Water Challenges For Smart Farms

May 12, 2020 / by Mallory McGuinness-Hickey posted in Parylene, Protection Capabilities, Thin Film Applications, Value of Coatings

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It’s a Small World, After All

The world’s population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, an unprecedented increase approaching fast. This looming surge will compound our current problem – more mouths to feed on a densely packed planet that isn’t growing any larger.

Even as available agricultural land shrinks and natural resources become more depleted, farmers must produce 70% more food by 2050.

Necessity is the mother of invention, especially when it comes to farming. After all, if the agricultural industry doesn’t adapt, we don’t eat. The task at hand for farmers is to produce more food with more precision while working with less.

 

IoT in Smart Farming: Connecting Dots

To adjust to these changes, the industry has introduced technology to agriculture, a practice known as smart farming. Intelligent devices collect and process information about emerging issues and environmental changes, enabling farmers to respond more quickly. Pulling this system together is the Internet of Things, connecting smart machines and integrated sensors to produce data-driven, data-enabled processes.

Information about the fertility of the soil, crop growth, weather conditions, and other variables can be used to track business status, equipment efficiency, and employee performance, offering valuable insights that can be used to optimize agricultural performance. As a result, work, waste, and risk are reduced, while cost management and capabilities are enhanced.

 

Hardware Security Implications in Smart Agriculture Pose Problems

While agricultural devices hold promise, no matter how smart the software may be, the success of the smart farming system is contingent upon how physically secure the hardware is. This is problematic for several reasons:

  • Without adequate protection, sensors can easily be damaged by wear and tear caused by constant exposure to drops, falls, heavy winds, or pounding rain.
  • Typical weather conditions, such as high temperatures, pollutants, condensation, and humidity, can cause immediate failure by a short circuit or a long, unpredictable shutdown due to corrosion.
  • To operate reliably, farm managers need to access information consistently. A single sensor failure could lead to a catastrophic period of downtime at worst. At best, failing devices create the need for continuous maintenance and replacement.
one phone underwater that is still working because of HZO protection and another that is dead because of water damage

 

Protecting Smart Farming Equipment Has Never Been This Important

The onus falls on the agricultural industry to achieve more precision and a higher level of performance as it struggles to meet the demands of our population. To farmers, physically robust hardware is more important than ever.

Weather stations located across fields offer insight into climate conditions, the optimal choice of crops, and potential actions that, when taken, could improve farming capacity. Meanwhile, sensors attached to cattle are helping farmers understand changes in health and activity levels for each animal and, collectively, the status of the entire herd.

Crop management devices produce data about crop health, precipitation, and temperature fluctuations, allowing farmers to mitigate risk and increase yield proactively. This kind of cognizance is gleaned from smart farming sensors, provided these devices can predictably perform in an unpredictable environment.

 

Overcoming Challenges to Device Security In Smart Farming with Parylene Thin-Film Coatings

Considered a “best-in-class” conformal coating in electronic, industrial, medical, and engineering industries, Parylene is a thin-film electronic protection solution that can address agricultural challenges. Applied with a vacuum deposition technique, Parylene coatings achieve dependable coverage free from imperfections like cracks or voids. The coating uniformly conforms to device topography, completely penetrating spaces as narrow as <0.01 mm.

Additionally, Parylene has good heat endurance. For example, Parylene C can offer durable environmental protection for ten years at 80°C. Providing mission-critical protection at thicknesses on the micron level, Parylene can endure temperatures and weather conditions that traditionally have been hurdles for smart farming devices.

If you have been tasked with designing or manufacturing smart farming devices that the industry can depend on, Parylene is an excellent way to achieve critical reliability. Please contact us today if you’d like to learn more about our Parylene solution.

 
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Don't Be Left in the Dark: Brief History of Light Emission Devices

April 28, 2015 / by Ryan Moore posted in Protection Capabilities, Thin Film Applications

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One of the best things about working for a company like HZO is the opportunity to be exposed to an extremely wide variety of technologies (apart from our own). Our seasoned technicians test and validate new products daily, from minuscule medical sensors to large electronic display boards. The technology driving these amazing devices is astounding. We could go on and on about the cool and fascinating technology that passes through an HZO production floor, but today we wanted to focus on one; the “Light Emitting Diode” or LED.

Behind most innovative technologies is an interesting story. Years and even centuries of trying, testing, and arduous development go into every bit of technology we now take for granted. The same is true of the “LED.” LED bulbs and displays have been in the mainstream for almost a decade now and are continuing to saturate the lighting world, but instead of focusing on the future applications for the technology, let’s review its history:

  • 1907 – An Englishman named Henry Joseph Round discovers that inorganic materials (specifically, raw silicon carbide) can light up when an electric current is applied.
  • 1921 – The Russian physicist Oleg Losev again observes the “Round effect” of light emission. In the preceding years, from 1924 to 1930, he published 16 papers outlining the LED and its applications.
  • 1935 – French Physicist Georges Destriau discovers light emission in zinc sulfide. Today Destriau is credited as the inventor of electroluminescence.
  • 1951 – The development of a transistor marks a scientific step forward in semiconductor physics.
  • 1962 – American Dr. Nick Holonyak Jr. develops the first visible red LED. This marked the beginning of the industrially-produced LED.
  • 1968 – The Monsanto Company produces visible red LED’s on a massive scale and becomes the first to produce affordable LEDs.
  • 1971 – Due to the development of new semiconductor materials, LEDs are produced in new colors: green, orange, and yellow. The LED’s performance and effectiveness continue to improve.
  • 1993 – Shuji Nakamura develops the first brilliant blue LED, which would be critical in developing the white LED. Nakamura (along with Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano) would win the 2014 Noble Prize in Physics for this discovery.
  • 1995 – The first LED with white light from luminescence conversion is presented and launched on the market two years later.
  • 2006 – The first light-emitting diodes with 100 lumens per watt are produced.
  • 2010 – LEDs of multiple colors are being mass-produced with luminous efficacy of 250+ lumens.

Only a century ago, people accustomed to lighting candles and cleaning kerosene lamps stood in awe at the reliable glow of the incandescent lamps developed by Thomas Edison and his contemporaries in the late 1880s and early 90s. Now all we have to do is turn on our oversized TVs, glance at an electronic billboard driving down the freeway, or check the electronic scoreboard at a ball game to see what light has become. LEDs are everywhere, and we see them incorporated more into outdoor signage and advertisements. HZO is excited about this. These LED boards are exposed to everything Mother Nature can throw at them, and unless they are protected from the elements, the vital electronics will inevitably fail. HZO’s thin film barrier is highly reliable and able to extend the life of electronics thanks to our ability to meet the unique requirements of our customers. HZO goes well beyond water protection: It exceeds industry standards for salt, humidity, and temperature testing. As well as protecting against dust and debris, HZO coatings are transparent. So when protecting massive yet intricate LED boards, don’t settle for anything but the best.

 

 

 
 
 
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HZO Success Story: NavELite

September 8, 2014 / by Ryan Moore posted in Thin Film Applications

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In 2013, Andy Wilson of NavELite faced a tough situation. As a former special forces soldier in the United States Army, Price was familiar with tight spots, but this was different. His new product, a ruggedized backlit wrist compass developed with a former military colleague, was designed to help improve ease of navigation for military personnel and outdoor adventurers alike. Well into production, though, his team realized that the ultrasonic welding engineered to protect the battery of the backlit compass was not preventing liquid ingress, and water was getting in and shorting the light.

 “We weren’t sure what we would do,” noted Wilson. “The design was finalized, and the ship deadline was only a few months away, but our product did not meet our standards.”

What happened next could be considered serendipity, but shortly after the problem arose, Andy met one of HZO’s Business Leaders, Jaren Beckstrom, at a trade show in New Orleans.

The conversations in Louisiana acted as the catalyst for rapid action planning, and Jaren quickly mobilized the HZO technical team to start analysis on the device to discover and correct the failure points with a customized solution that would protect the battery. Once the analysis was complete and the application process implemented, the battery and compass were put through vigorous prolonged submersion tests to ensure ongoing functionality exceeding the rigorous demands of military spec requirements. The end result? A ruggedized and durable military compass that could survive the most hostile environments thrown at it.

“Not only did HZO solve the ingress problem, but NavELite decided that the value add to our product was powerful enough that it was worth highlighting HZO’s protection as the differentiating feature,’ Wilson said. ‘We ended up promoting the technology on our website and in our marketing materials, and even put HZO’s logo on the wristband to let customers know that a model of our compass had a superior level of protection.”

The results for the NavELite are a textbook example of how HZO Protection adds real value to products that need reliable protection from liquid submersion or any kind of corrosive environment.

Today, the wrist compass is a standard issue for service men and women worldwide and has attracted a variety of press attention, including a feature in Maxim Warrior, a reality show featuring Special Forces teams utilizing their skills to compete against one another.

The overwhelming demand for the HZO-protected NavELite compass has proven most exciting to us. When the company started selling the HZO Protected device, the waterproof wearable immediately took off, outselling the unprotected version 9:1 at a $50 premium. Proof that when HZO collaborates closely on a project with a partner, the solution provides a superior level of security for devices and has the power to drive demand and create an additional revenue stream for device makers, brands and manufacturers.

NavELite’s wrist compass featuring HZO Protection is available for purchase via the company’s website. Hop over to their site, look at this unique device, and see how an early adopter of HZO technology is benefiting from the power of superior liquid protection.

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