New Technomelt® material streamlines substrate coating processes
Henkel Adhesive Technologies’ award-winning Technomelt® materials have long been recognized as the industry standard for high-performance low pressure molding applications. Extending the effectiveness of the portfolio outside of proven encapsulation processes, a newly-formulated Technomelt is now also providing a streamlined and economical alternative to conventional masking techniques for various coating requirements.
The latest Technomelt innovation from Henkel, Technomelt AS 8998, is a new formulation designed to provide simple and fast dispensability to mask “keep out zones” for printed circuit assemblies that will undergo subsequent coating or chemical deposition processes. Unlike traditional manual taping methods, slump-resistant Technomelt AS 8998 offers a fast, highly-precise, automated, easy-to-remove approach to mask specific components or designated PCB areas that must remain free of any applied protective coatings.
“Today’s manufacturing environments dictate high-throughput solutions for miniaturized dimensions,” explains Art Ackerman, Henkel Global Product Manager for Circuit Board Protection. “Technomelt AS 8998 is compatible with common automated dispensing systems to allow for quick, precise deposition in very small areas, ensuring accurate coverage only where needed with no material migration. This is a tremendous improvement over manual taping methods that are labor- and time-intensive with limited accuracy, particularly with highly miniaturized parts. What’s more, the material peels off cleanly, delivering an advantage over UV or liquid masking products.”
Technomelt AS 8998 is a silicone-free, halogen-free, RoHS-compliant material that has excellent green strength immediately after dispensing and solidifies upon cooling with no induced (thermal or UV) curing required. Compatible with numerous substrate surfaces, the hot melt material provides good adhesion during various coating processes, following which it peels off quickly and cleanly, leaving defined edges and zero residue.
“The staggering cost savings versus conventional masking methods have already been proven,” concludes Ackerman, referencing the experience of a large EMS provider that has recently integrated Technomelt AS 8998. “Factoring in process, material and equipment savings, one customer was able reduce overall yearly cost by more than 40% as compared to traditional tape and UV cure masks.”
Technomelt AS 8998 is compatible with thermal processes up to 100°C, which aligns with most coating applications. Subsequent formulations with higher temperature resistance are in development.