Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Implementation of an Environmentally Friendly Conformal Coating
Rockwell Collins has recognized the technical and environmental cost drivers associated with the implementation of an environmentally friendly conformal coating and is the first company in the United States to employ this product in enhancing product capabilities and environmental support across its product lines and customer base.
Rockwell Collins’ Manufacturing Technology Division has researched and is now implementing a unique, environmentally friendly conformal coating process. The company has historically used Humiseal 1B31 on more than 90% of its products as a barrier against the end-use environment. For more than 30 years, this has been an economical, adequate, and very reworkable solution for many applications. Rockwell Collins has identified a number of change drivers in performance, environmental, and cost areas. Performance drivers include the need for increased thermal and chemical resistance, improved toughness and abrasion resistance, improved flammability ratings, and tin whiskers risk mitigation. Environmental drivers include regional air quality regulations at specific Rockwell Collins operations, volatile organic compound output levels nearing Environmental Protection Agency Title V levels at two locations, and a desire to reduce flammable waste output and associated costs. Cost drivers include customer-driven cost-reduction initiatives, lean initiatives, and cost avoidance initiatives.
These evolving requirements are driven by multiple customers across multiple product business units. A traditional approach would address a solution for each case. However, the Rockwell Collins approach has been to look at all increased requirements as a single requirement set and identify a solution that meets the collective needs. This approach supports the organization’s goal of a single manufacturing enterprise that produces all products, regardless of customer or business unit.
The conformal coating selected was Humiseal 1H20AR1, a modified acrylic polymer backbone with urethane functionality groups. This coating has been qualified to MIL-I-46058 type AR. IPC-CC-830 type AR is a UL-763- qualified material with a UL 94 V-0 flammability rating. It can be applied by machine (atomized) or by hand with all existing equipment, dries clear, and is not water-soluble after cure. It also performs at a 150×C continuous operating temperature with no softening and has improved chemical and abrasion resistance.
Rockwell Collins has conducted coating durability testing on selected top-level units representing both the commercial and military hardware products. Tests selected were from RTCA DO-160D for the commercial sector and MIL-Std-810 for the military sector and were conducted in two phases. The conformal coating material has been approved for commercial use on the 787 as a pilot program. Commercial changeover on all products is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of FY2007 on a facility-by-facility basis and in the second quarter of FY2007 for government-sector products.
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