Did you know that up to 80% of conductive coating failures can be directly attributed to inadequate surface preparation? Not properly preparing your surfaces for spraying or adherence is almost certainly the best way to set yourself up for failure. And on top of that, many different surfaces require vastly different preparations – it’s hard to keep up with which goes with which!
Basics of conductive paints
Conductive paints such as the new PRO-SHIELD family are generally comprised of micron sized metal particles of nickel, copper, silver plated copper or silver blended into water or solvent based paint system. Similar to selective plating processes, a masking fixture is used to control the location of the conductive paint that is sprayed onto the required areas of the part. The fully cured conductive paint thickness ranges from 0.0005” (0.0125 mm) to 0.002” (0.05 mm) depending on the paint type and EMI shielding requirement.
The paint can be applied in a manual paint booth where an operator applies the paint with a paint gun or with a paint robot. The automated process offers advantages over manual spray methods, especially in higher volume applications where cost is of most importance. With the automated process, the spray pattern can be programmed to apply the optimal amount of conductive paint across the entire shielded surface. Manual paint application typically has lower set-up cost than automated painting and is a good match with lower volume applications or for qualification testing and prototyping.
Surface preparation guide
The Parker Chomerics' PRO-SHIELD conductive paints and coatings surface preparation guide will help you determine the best surface preparation guidelines for your conductive paints, adhesives, and inks, including our new PRO-SHIELD family of conductive paints and coatings. From Acrylic to zinc and any surface in between, our guide to conductive paint surface preparation covers it all.
Did you know the best way to properly prepare a copper surface for a silicone adhesive is to first clean with methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), followed by toluene? Be sure to let the surface air dry, then roughen the surface with 220 grit sandpaper and apply any commercially available silicone primer. Now you’re all set to add your silicone conductive coating or adhesive.
Be sure to check out our PRO-SHIELD Guide for Preparing Surfaces for Conductive Paints and Coatings for more information.