Cleaning and coating are inextricably linked.
But let’s start with the question, what does ‘clean’ actually means?
In general, the manufacturing processes used on electronic assemblies are a series of chemical processes. Each step in the operation has the potential for leaving harmful materials on the PCB that can compromise assembly reliability. Cleaning is often needed to remove such harmful residues and improve reliability.
To protect a printed circuit board (PCB) from the elements, including moisture, dust and extreme temperatures, conformal coatings are often applied.
If the assembly is to have a conformal coating, then all residues (including flux residues) must be removed before application, so the PCBA will have to go through a cleaning process.
Residues can inhibit proper adhesion of conformal coatings. Especially no clean residues. Since they are formulated not to be cleaned, the residues from no clean products can be left on the board in unwanted areas with detrimental effects on the PCB. They’re not necessarily designed to come off.
That creates a cleaning challenge if you need to clean off a residue that was not designed to be removed.
Our customer based, technical approach to all cleaning and conformal coating projects ensures you get the right solution!