Delkin Blog

FAQs about Conformal Coating Benefits


Solid state drives (SSDs) and memory cards are inevitably exposed to environmental conditions that can, over time, cause damage that impacts performance. Although industrial embedded storage is engineered to withstand demanding operating conditions, it’s virtually impossible to fully prevent SSDs and memory cards from being exposed to moisture, dust, and other environmental contaminants. These can shorten the lifespan of embedded memory devices and impact functionality. To address this problem, a conformal coating can be added to memory cards and SSDs to protect their delicate circuitry and ensure smooth operations, regardless of environmental conditions. Conformal coating is one of the customization options that Delkin offers for its embedded memory products. Could it be the right choice for your application? The answers to these commonly asked questions about conformal coating benefits may help you decide.


What is conformal coating?

Conformal coating is a thin, polymeric layer that is applied to the SSD. It is used to protect the embedded storage device from environmental contaminants that may affect operations. While acrylic is Delkin’s standard conformal coat material, other options such as polyurethane are available, to meet individual application requirements.


Will conformal coating affect the fit of embedded storage in a device?

Today’s devices are smaller than ever before. In fact, there is constant demand in the market for devices to continue to shrink as much as possible. For this reason, space is almost always a concern when designers are choosing embedded memory for their products. A natural concern many designers and engineers have about conformal coating is whether adding it will increase the size of the memory card or SSD. Conformal coating is so thin that it generally adds very little size to the memory device. The thinness of the coating does not compromise its protective abilities, however. The materials used for conformal coating are designed to offer solid protection in a wafer-thin layer.


What kind of protection does conformal coating provide?

In terms of exposure to contaminants, the two big categories that conformal coating addresses are particulates and moisture. The protective layer collects dust and particles that would otherwise land on the circuitry and potentially cause a short or interfere with operations. For devices used in industries such as factory automation, in which a significant amount of dust can be generated, this protection is critical to preventing failures.


Moisture is also a concern across multiple industries. Devices that are used in high-humidity environments or that are exposed to the weather are at high risk of malfunctioning due to moisture entering the circuitry and causing corrosion. Similarly, devices used alongside fluids, such as those used in transportation and healthcare, are also at risk of moisture damage. The conformal coating keeps moisture out of the sensitive internal system to prevent critical failures.


Does every memory card or SSD need conformal coating?

Despite the numerous conformal coating benefits, its usefulness ultimately depends on how and where the host device will be used. The best way to determine if conformal coating is a beneficial customization for your application is to consult with a team member from Delkin. We can work with you to understand how and where your device will be used. Then, we can help you weigh your options and make an informed choice.


The team at Delkin is here to help you make the best decisions about all of your embedded storage needs, from choosing the right memory card to selecting the most effective customizations. Contact us today to learn more about conformal coating benefits, our rugged storage options, and more.


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