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Global Conformal Coatings Technology Growth Opportunities

  • Report

  • 118 Pages
  • February 2022
  • Region: Global
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • ID: 5561829

Integrated Electronic Circuitry and Printed Circuit Board Fabrication for Microelectronics Applications Drives Advancements in Conformal Coatings Technology.

The printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in electronic components are prone to the adverse effects of external environments, which may lead to short circuits or overall system failure. Rising concerns among electrical manufacturers to protect the board and its components from moisture, chemicals, salt spray, and temperature fluctuations are driving the adoption of conformal coatings technology.

Electronics miniaturization has led to complex circuit design, which necessitates the demand for ultra-thin insulating conformal coatings to allow reductions in PCB conductor spacing. The need for coatings technology with complete cures in short periods is a priority in terms of supporting rapid production output with a low margin of defects. At present, solvent-based polymer conformal coatings technology dominates the market; however, it is limited with respect to chemical and electrical performance in challenging operating conditions. Stringent emission norms are encouraging the elimination of solvents with high volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and the industry is shifting to UV/LED curing technology and the implementation of cost-effective automated systems. Innovation in material technology, including composites, nano, and bio-based materials, and the integration of cutting-edge application systems and advanced curing systems will create new growth opportunities for industry participants.

The conformal coatings application process is critical in terms of providing an adequate level of protection according to system design and material selection. Various technologies are available commercially, which can impact the depth of the coating applied, the level of coverage required, and the coating adhesion to the board and its components. Conformal coatings application technology is witnessing significant developments as the brushing, dipping, and manual spraying methods are labor-intensive and time-consuming processes. The probability of defects is higher with human intervention, which may result in production delays, and rework costs are also high. The development and the implementation of automated systems such as selective needle dispensing, ultrasonic coating, selective film coating, selective tri-mode coating, and precision jet coating will support rapid throughput to meet the rising demand. The integration of hybrid deposition processes that deliver improved film thickness and composition uniformity for complex designs will benefit industry participants.

This study identifies and analyzes technology advancements focused on enhanced electrical component protection with new material development, improved application processes, and advanced curing techniques. Technology advancements focus on the PCBs used to connect electrical components across the automotive, military, aerospace, marine, telecommunications, industrial, healthcare, and consumer electronics sectors. The study provides insight into the key focus areas of the technology, the challenges, and the adoption strategies for better utility. The research service also covers the commercial landscape of technological advancements in conformal coatings.

The publisher has identified key areas of technology development for conformal coatings, categorized into different domains such as:

  1. materials, including polymers, composites, specialty materials, and nano and bio-based materials
  2. Solventless and 100% solids formulations
  3. automated and selective coating techniques
  4. UV, LED, and longwave infrared thermal curing.

Electrical component manufacturers have increased R&D investments in advanced systems to meet the rising consumer demand for low-cost, compact, and durable devices. Owing to the intense competition, conformal coatings companies are forming alliances with research universities for new material development and assessment across different industries. Factors such as ease of processing, cost-effectiveness, compatibility with different materials, and extent of application are driving the technology landscape.

Key Questions Answered:

  • What are the emerging conformal coatings technologies?
  • What R&D efforts are being taken in terms of material innovation for improved electrical component protection?
  • What are the new trends in terms of materials, application processes, and curing techniques? At which stage of commercialization are they?
  • What are the growth opportunities for technology developers in the conformal coatings technology market?

Table of Contents

1. Strategic Imperatives
  • The Strategic Imperative 8™Factors creating Pressure on Growth in the Conformal Coatings Technology Market
  • The Strategic Imperative 8™
  • The Impact of the Top Three Strategic Imperatives on the Conformal Coatings Technology Industry
  • About the Growth Pipeline Engine™
  • Growth Opportunities Fuel the Growth Pipeline Engine™
  • Research Methodology

2. Growth Opportunity Analysis
  • Conformal Coatings’ Demand is Driven by the Need for Effective Circuit Protection and Reduced Conductor Spacing in Electrical Components
  • Key Technical Attributes of Conformal Coatings
  • Key Selection Criteria for Conformal Coatings in PCBs
  • Labor and Reworking Costs and Complex Curing Mechanisms are the Key Challenges Associated with Conformal Coatings
  • Rapid Production Output, Regulations, and Technological Advancements are Driving Material and Curing Process Innovation
  • Research Coverage and Scope
  • Key Findings

3. Conformal Coatings: Technology Chain Analysis
  • Conformal Coatings: Technology Value Chain
  • Materials Used in the Manufacture of Conformal Coatings
  • Types of Curing Processes Used in the Manufacture of Conformal Coatings
  • Techniques Used in the Application of Conformal Coatings onto Substrates
  • Conformal Coatings: Application Outlook across Industries

4. Polymers for Conformal Coatings: Technology Analysis
  • Acrylic and Silicone are Widely Used Polymers for Conformal Coatings
  • Polymeric Blends and Inherently Conductive Polymers are Gaining Attraction due to Their High Electrical Performance
  • Solvent-free Formulations with Low/Nil VOC Content can Increase the Adoption of Polymer-based Conformal Coatings
  • Mapping of Polymers to Recommended Curing and Application Processes
  • Polymer-based Conformal Coatings Application Outlook across Industries
  • Key Stakeholders Developing New Technologies in Polymer Conformal Coatings
  • Polymer-based Conformal Coatings: Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects
  • Polymer-based Conformal Coatings: Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects - Analyst Perspective

5. Composites for Conformal Coatings: Technology Analysis
  • Customized Formulations Specific to Application and Performance Requirements Drive the Use of Composites in Conformal Coatings
  • High Electrical Performance and Wide Operating Range Benefits Drive the Adoption of Composite Materials
  • Mapping of Composites to Recommended Curing and Application Processes
  • Composites-based Conformal Coatings Application Outlook across Different Industries
  • Key Stakeholders Developing New Technologies in Composites Conformal Coatings
  • Composites-based Conformal Coatings - Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects
  • Composites-based Conformal Coatings: Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects - Analyst Perspective

6. Nanomaterials for Conformal Coatings: Technology Analysis
  • Ultra-thin Coating Applications Offer Superior Performance and Drive the Growth of the Nano-conformal Coatings Market
  • Enhanced Hydrophobicity and Physicochemical Properties will Drive the Adoption of Nano-conformal Coatings in Biomedical Applications
  • Outstanding Dielectric Strength will Create a Strong Application Outlook for Nano-conformal Coatings
  • Mapping of Nanomaterials to Recommended Curing and Application Processes
  • Nano-conformal Coatings Application Outlook across Different Industries
  • Key Stakeholders Developing New Technologies in Nano-Conformal Coatings
  • Nanomaterials-based Conformal Coatings - Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects
  • Nanomaterials-based Conformal Coatings: Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects - Analyst Perspective

7. Bio-based Materials and Specialty Materials for Conformal Coatings: Technology Analysis
  • Specialty Material Conformal Coatings are Suitable for Flexible Electronic Circuits Applications
  • Key Stakeholders Developing New Technologies in Specialty Materials Conformal Coatings
  • Specialty Materials-based Conformal Coatings: Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects
  • Specialty Materials-based Conformal Coatings: Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects - Analyst Perspective
  • Bio-based Conformal Coatings Offer an Alternative Solution to Petrochemical Materials
  • Key Stakeholders Developing New Technologies in Bio-based Conformal Coatings
  • Bio-based Material Conformal Coatings Technology - Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects
  • Bio-based Material Conformal Coatings Technology: Comparative Outlook of Application Prospects - Analyst Perspective

8. Curing Processes for Conformal Coatings: Technology Analysis
  • Suitable Curing Processes Configured with the Appropriate Materials are Necessary for the Achievement of Desired Performance
  • Heat Cure is Widely Used to Accelerate the Curing Mechanism after the Primary Curing Process
  • UV and LED Cure are Suitable for Use across a Wide Range of Materials, and they Deliver Full Coverage under Sharp Components
  • High Energy Costs and Environmental Concerns are Key Factors Influencing the Curing Selection Process
  • Key Stakeholders Developing Curing Processes for Conformal Coatings
  • UV and LED Systems Deliver Uniform Curing and Offer a Competitive Edge in Fast Production Output
  • Comparative Analysis for Curing Processes for Conformal Coatings - Analyst Perspective

9. Application Techniques of Conformal Coatings: Technology Analysis
  • Application Processes Determine Coating Adhesion and Reliability in Electrical Components
  • Automated Spraying and Selective Coatings are Widely Used Application Techniques
  • Accuracy and Uniform Coating Requirements will Drive the Adoption of Deposition Processes
  • The Combination of the PVD and the CVD Application Processes Offers Enhanced Coating Performance
  • Equipment and Production Output Will Play a Crucial Role in the Selection of Cost-competitive Application Processes
  • Key Stakeholders Developing New Technologies in Conformal Coating Application Processes
  • Automated Application Processes Offer High Productivity with Low Frequency of Defects
  • Comparative Analysis for Application Techniques for Conformal Coatings - Analyst Perspective

10. Patent Analysis
  • IP Analysis Indicates an Increase in Patent Filing Activity in Conformal Coatings from 2017 to 2021
  • Electronic Companies are the Most Active in IP Filings Related to Conformal Coatings Technologies
  • Acrylic, Silicone, Polyurethane, and Epoxy Materials Registered the Highest Patent Filings from 2017 to 2021
  • Top Assignee Breakdown by Materials Used for Conformal Coatings, 2017-2021
  • Two-part Systems Curing and Dipping Processes are the Leading Patent Filings among Curing and Application Techniques

11. Companies to Watch
  • NanoSlic’s Ceramic Chemistry Offers Green Chemistry and Cost-effective Coating Solutions
  • Sernova’s Conformal Coating Immune Protection Technologies Eliminate the Need for Immunosuppression Medication
  • CSIRO is Working on the Commercial Development of Inherently Conductive Polymers
  • Electrolube’s Bio-conformal UVCLX Technology Offers an Alternative to Solvent-based Coatings
  • Sieka’s AI-TEC PCB Curing System can Control Coating Width and Thickness with Ultra-Precision
  • Nordson Corporation’s ASYMTEK Automated Ratio Calibration (ARC™) Technology Dispenses Two-component Fluids in Accurate Ratios

12. Growth Opportunity Universe
  • Growth Opportunity 1: Development and Commercialization of Bio-based and Nano Conformal Coatings with Better Hydrophobic Properties to Deliver Ultra-thin Protection and Low Impact on Component Weight
  • Growth Opportunity 2: Strategic Collaborations between Conformal Coatings Manufacturers and Consumers for Advancements in Dispensing and Curing Systems to Support Automated Processes for Faster Production Output
  • Growth Opportunity 3: Implementation of Cutting-edge Hybrid Deposition Technologies for Consistent Coating of 3D Configurations, High Quality, and Environment-friendly Application Processes
  • Growth Opportunity 4: Investments in R&D and New Production Facilities for Innovation, Technology Advancements, and an Enhanced Presence in the Consumer Electronics Industry

13. Appendix
  • Technology Readiness Levels (TRL): Explanation
  • Partial List of Acronyms and Abbreviations Used in the Study

14. Next Steps
  • Your Next Steps
  • Legal Disclaimer

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • NanoSlic
  • Sernova
  • Electrolube
  • Sieka
  • Nordson Corporation