Types of coating


Conformal coatings vary in their characteristics and in their application and curing

There are a large number of resins used to coat PCAs with their own characteristics, depending on which coating you need will drive some of the methods in which it is applied and, if necessary, cured. Here we list a number of the more common coating that are used in the industry today, if the coating you require machine application for is not listed here please contact us, as it's highly likely we will be able to accommodate any process specific coatings and handling requirements into your machine, we simply aim to offer a snapshot of the most common types here.

Acrylic Coatings

The most popular coating materials due to their ease of application and removal. Acrylics are quick drying and have small or no thermal reactions during cure. They are not subject to shrinking during the cure process. Acrylics are moderately easy to apply and can also be removed for rework using solvents. In certain cases acrylics coatings can also be soldered through.

Urethane Coatings

Urethane coatings can be obtained in single and two-component versions and provide excellent humidity resistance and a superior chemical resistance than Acrylic coatings. Removal of applied polyurethane coating is difficult due to their high solvent resistance. Urethane coatings require specialised handling and have fairly long cure times compared to some coatings, they are still widely used though due to their robustness.

UV Curable Coatings

UV curable coatings require exposure to ultraviolet light for a a few seconds to cure. UV curing is usually used where speed of curing is an important factor, the extra equipment needed will complete the curing far quicker than most other coating types, it also usually doesn't include a solvent so benefits from being a more environmentally friendly substance.

Silicone Coatings

When you need a coating that will stand up to temperatures silicone based coatings are first choice and are regularly used in the automotive industry to provide robust protection of under-bonnet equipment. Due to the properties of silicone coatins they can also be applied much thicker than most coatings, which makes them useful in a vibration damping capacity. These properties also lead to a tough substance to rework with high chemical and heat resistance.

Synthectic Rubber Coatings

Becoming more popular are synthetic rubber coatings, these air drying coatings provide low moisture permeability and excellent flexibility and high temperature ratings, coupled with it's tolerant curing process these products can provide users a range of properties that with other coatings would require external curing equipment.

Water Based Coatings

Safe and low odour, based on acrylic and polyurethane coating chemistry these coatings offer very close matches to solvent based coatings, with less risk to users and the environment it's clear why some users choose these over the traditional substances used for coatings with a solvent to evaporate.


There are a large number of resins that can be used for coating and from a machine building approach we need to know which you'll be using. However as we've discovered in the past, many of our customers don't really know what the best product is for their application, this is why over the course of a decade or more we've formed close links with industry experts who can help us recommend the right coating for the job. Just let us know and we'll help select the right coating as part of our specification and design process.

Explore Coating at SMS

Why use conformal coating? Types of coating used on modern pcb production Coating application methods Coating machines from SMS Automation, tailored exactly to your business needs. Contact us with your requirements here.

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