My favorite tool: Silicone Conformal Coating
The magic insulator!

My favorite tool: Silicone Conformal Coating

2 minute read  —  

Okay, here’s my quick soapbox on Silicone Conformal Coating! This is easily my favorite thing in my soldering toolbox! That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given its wide use in commercial PCB production - but it’s crazy useful for small hobbyist projects too!

I use Silicone Conformal Coating on almost all of my projects, especially if they are intended for outdoor use where robustness is important!

Electrically Insulating

It’s electrically insulating! After careful application and letting it dry, your electronics can be effectively waterproof! Plus, you don’t need to worry about anything getting out of place and shorting out! I’ve seen this used to make drones fly underwater!

Blacklight Reactive

You can use UV light to identify where it’s been applied! It makes verification of application really easy! Plus it looks cool!

Just avoid applying the coating to USB ports, other connectors, or buttons. Anything with mechanical moving parts, I suppose.

I’d also avoid getting it on your hands!

A Little Gluey

Conformal coating gets a bit gooey/tacky while drying, so keep that in mind.

This is usually very useful, since it can provide some mild relieve strain on solder joints and seal everything together snugly. I’d still reinforce your wires and solder joints some other way though!

If you seal in entire components, you gain a bit of shockproof hardening as well!

Painless Removal

Best of all, conformal coating vaporizes with the heat of a soldering iron! So it’s not permanent, causing no issues if you need to dive back in later and reflow anything!

Don’t Breathe The Fumes

  • Don’t breathe the fumes.
    • Make sure you’re using this and letting it dry in a well-ventilated area!
    • Don’t breathe the vapor when removing it with a soldering iron!
  • Don’t breathe the fumes!

Purchase options

You can probably find this product elsewhere online, but here’s some Amazon links. I’m very satisfied with the company MG Chemicals. I’d recommend you look up the datasheet for the specific variant you buy!

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