Non-conductive coating

non-conductive coating

Most organic coatings are non-conductive due to the fact that they do not contain conductive metals. Thus, as a standard coatings are non-conductive. However, special conductive coatings exist. They are made by adding conductive metals such as copper or zinc in the paint recipe. Non-conductive coating is suitable, for instance, for electrical insulation purposes in industrial and private applications. One might need non-conductive coatings for example when repairing a car.

Organic, non-conductive coatings include:

  • Polyurethanes
  • Epoxies
  • Ceramic coatings
  • Polymers (thermoplastics)

Non-conductive coating is often applied on metal surfaces due to metal’s high electrical conductivity. However, also other substrates such as carbon fiber are possible. Additionally, concrete is slightly conductive and in some environments, such as in factories, requires a coating to increase safety and decrease the hazard of electrical shocks. This type of coating is also called: ESD Coating or Anti Static coating.

non conductive coating

Static control for floors and walls (ESD)

What do electronics, avionics, and many other plastics and powders have in common? They can all be sensitive to electrostatic discharge. Facilities handling these products need reliable concrete floor systems to help safely dissipate the electrostatic potential and prevent damage to expensive equipment, electrical shocks to personnel, arc flashes and similar incidents. Therefore, ESD floor systems were invented. ESD coating is developed specifically to minimize the electrostatic discharge (ESD).

Non conductive spray for circuit boards and other electronics

In the UK weather can be wet and in summer humid.  A circuit board is expected to perform in all weather conditions, because they are used in all kinds of products. Like for example LED light bulbs in public lightning. A special non conductive coating to protect electronic components is called conformal coating, and is often applied in spray form.  Conformal coating prevents the electronic components from corroding and short circuiting.

The coating can be applied by brushing or spraying the circuit board. Other methods are dipping or robotic application of specific parts.

Fun fact: nearly all conformal coatings are fluorescent so it is easy to inspect the coverage with a Ultraviolet lamp.

The coverage has to meet certain standards. The latest developments include automated optical inspection which are camera and scanner based. Non conductive coating spray

The spray can be used on electronic assemblies for:

  1. automotive
  2. aviation
  3. consumer electronics
  4. appliances
  5. industrial meters & controls.

The use of the correct conformal coating on the drive circuitry and LED lead-frames can mitigate against the corrosive effects of the operating environment. The coating forms an effective barrier to extraneous contaminants, Preserving the circuit’s integrity, as well as mitigating against the potential effects of tin whiskers.

A standard aerosol non conductive coating spray costs about £30,-. A well known brand is Techspray. Another brand for industrial use is Electrolube.

Electrolube has a two part coating called 2K100 a soft, highly flexible, hydrophobic coating making it an excellent choice for applications where moisture is present as well as offering excellent salt mist protection. It also meets the requirements of the BMW Group standard GS95011-5 which makes it an ideal choice for automotive applications. Watch this video to see the coating applied by an automated process (and notice the fluorescence!)

Plastic dip; non-conductive coating for metal

Plastic dip coating is a technique where metal parts are coated with a plastic vinyl material to make it non-conductive. Furthermore it is used to protect, accessorize and make the metal parts more durable with respect to scratches and abrasions. The process is for example used on medical instruments, toys, electrical equipment and many more items. Typical industrial applications include:Plastic Dip

  • Joists and Beams
  • Metals (subjected to any corrosive environment)
  • Bridges
  • Cushions Hand Rails
  • Railings
  • Storage towers
  • Walls and ceilings in processing plants (wherever concrete deterioration is a problem)
  • Below ground tanks
  • Exposed machinery

One of the most popular brands in the United Kingdom is Plastidip. Plasti Dip is an air-dry, specialty rubber coating and often used as a grip solution for tool handles.

Attributes of plasti dip

  • Protects coated items against moisture, acids, abrasion, corrosion, and skidding/slipping, and provides a comfortable, controlled grip
  • Non-conductive
  • Remains flexible and stretchy over time
  • Will not crack or become brittle in extreme weather conditions
  • Proven in temperatures from -30°F to 200°F
  • Peelable and removable off of most surfaces

It’s available from 250ml (£6.40) to 60 litres £835.20. A aerosol spray solution costs about £6.34 for 400ml. 

Choosing the right solution for your project

Choosing the right product is dependent on the surface and purpose of use. If the surface is not exposed to neither heavy mechanical abrasion nor constant heat but must be electrically insulated, epoxies and polyurethane paints are suitable options. Also non conductive floor coatings are often epoxies. For objects which need to withstand heat and/ or abrasion, High temperature coatings and thermoplastic powder coatings provide better solutions.

Nevertheless, not any coating non-conductive coating is necessarily suitable. Factors that affect the choice of product include:

  • Substrate material
  • Environment temperature
  • Exposure to abrasion
  • Etc.

Find the right product

Our coating specialists are eager to help you to find the most suitable product for your application. Please provide us with detailed information on your project and necessary coating characteristics. We are happy to help.


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