When a conformal coating is qualified to a UL standard, it means that the Underwriter Laboratories (UL), an independent global safety certification body for electronics, has successfully tested the coating.
The most critical point is that UL independently test the conformal coating material as part of the process. There is no self-certification available.
This means that there are the highest safeguards on the quality of the final material, the process it undergoes and the base materials used and they are monitored continuously.
What UL tests are relevant to conformal coating?
For conformal coating materials, there are two important parts of the UL standards that are important. These parts are UL94 and UL 746E.
They are explained below:
UL 94 is the Standard for Safety of Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliances testing.
It is a plastic material flammability standard.
The standard classifies plastics according to how they burn in various orientations and thicknesses.
UL 94 measures conformal coating material’s tendency either to extinguish or to spread the flame once the test specimen has been ignited.
There are different pass levels for UL 94 classifications for conformal coatings depending on the test results.
Tests are normally conducted on coupons of the minimum approved thickness with different types of laminate. The conformal coating thickness range also is normally specified.
UL 746E is the Standard Polymeric Materials: Industrial Laminates, Filament Wound Tubing, Vulcanized Fiber and Materials Used in Printed-Wiring Boards
The test measures the ignition resistance of the conformal coating to electrical ignition sources.
The conformal coating material’s resistance to ignition and surface tracking characteristics is described in UL 746E.
Interested in further information on UL conformal coatings and how they can help you?
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