Masking Materials

Masking materials from Thin Film Partners for conformal coatings, Parylene and other protective films and coatings.

Range of Services

Thin Film Partners LLC offer a complete range of compatible masking materials for many thin film application processes like conformal coating, Parylene and ALD processing.

These especially developed masking materials include:

Masking materials like plugs, boots, tapes and dots may be essential for protecting circuit boards from unwanted conformal coating being deposited in the wrong areas during the production process.

Typical coatings that may require masking materials in the production process included Parylene, liquid conformal coatings and other thin film technologies applied with techniques such as Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Molecular Vapour Deposition (MVD).

Our specialist range of masking materials have been designed and tested for thin film processing of conformal coatings and Parylene. They have the right combination of performance qualities that make production processing easier. They are also extremely price competitive.

This ensures that you get the best results on your production line at the right cost.

If you have problems with masking, would like to improve your production process or reduce your costs then we can help you with your masking material requirements.

Talk to us about your requirements for conformal coating masking. 

Contact us now.

Resuable masking boots for thin film protective coating applications like conformal coating and Parylene.

Masking Boots from Thin Film Partners on Vimeo.

Our conformal coating masking boots are made from a unique silicone that makes the boots completely recyclable and reusable. In fact, under standard conditions the masking boots can be used more than 200 times in the conformal coating process.

There are three major benefits of using custom masking boots compared to masking tapes and dots:

  1. Masking time is reduced so time and money are saved.
  2. De-masking time is reduced so time and money are saved.
  3. Less errors are made in applying the masking since the process is simpler.

Put simply you can save a lot of time and money using a masking boot process.

Reusable masking boots

They can form an integral part of a full masking solution in many different coating applications for printed circuit boards. This is for both liquid conformal coating process or a vapour deposition process such as parylene.

Our masking boots provide protection for many different types of components for all conformal coating application techniques.

We can provide both standard and custom boots solutions for a customer depending on their needs.

We can provide quotations and suggestions for how to optimise your masking process.

Find out more about our custom reusable masking boots for conformal coating application in our FAQ section.

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Conformal coating masking tapes used in protecting circuit boards from ingress

Conformal coating masking tapes

Thin Film Partners offer two types of conformal coating masking tape which compliment each other in the process. 

The first tape is used for masking components like connectors on the printed circuit board. The adhesion of the tape is lighter, although silicone and residue free, to prevent damage to components on the circuit. It allows easy handling for the operators to mask the circuit boards.

The second type is used for masking grounding planes and flat sections such as edges of PCBs. This tape has a stronger adhesive to ensure no leakage under the tape can occur over flat surfaces whilst still being both residue and silicone free.

If you need to mask a circuit board and want to use state-of-the-art tapes used in many professional coating service manufacturers globally then talk to us now.

Find out more about our masking tapes.

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conformal coating masking dots supplied by Thin Film Partners for masking circuit boards before application of coating.

Conformal coating masking dots

Our range of conformal coating masking dots are compatible with all types of conformal coatings including solvent based acrylic, silicone, polyurethane and epoxy materials plus all of the solvent less conformal coatings. They also work excellently with Parylene and other vapour deposition processes.

The Conformal coating masking dots sizes include 4.8mm, 6.4mm, 7.9mm, 9.5mm, 12.7mm & 19mm as standard.

Find out more about our masking tapes. 

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Suitable methods and materials for masking circuit board assemblies before the conformal coating application process

Why use masking materials in the conformal coating production process?

Normally, there are areas on the product that must not be conformal coated. Materials like conformal coatings and Parylene are insulative when dry so will cause problems on components like connector contacts and other parts that must have electrical conduction. 

Since the conformal coating process tends to be invasive (being complete coverage) if it is a non selective application process then you have to protect the parts that must not be coated.

So, one effective method is to use masking materials before application of the conformal coating such as custom masking boots, masking tapes and masking dots.

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conformal coating masking materials used in protecting electronic circuit boards during the conformal coating process

Why have different masking materials for conformal coating processing?

There are several variables involved in preventing contamination of conformal coating in the wrong places of printed circuit board assemblies. These factors include the volume of production, the type of coating being applied and the complex geometry of the circuit board or part to be masked. The vast range of components in use can mean a really challenging process for masking.

Masking tapes, dots and masking boots tend to be used for masking low volumes of components on the product. They are low cost, easy to use once an operator has developed the right skills and flexible in use. They also have different uses.

Tapes can not only can be used on components to protect them but also work on flat areas that need protecting such as edges of circuit boards or conductive pads.

The masking dots tend to be used to protect areas like mounting holes and other circular orifices. Conductivity needs to be maintained and a simple dot over the hole can solve the problem.

Finally, masking boots are used where a certain volume of repeat masking is reached. These reusable plugs or shapes cover the whole area very quickly and are highly effective. Typically, the return on investment is very quick compared to tape and dots.

However, if there are higher volumes then there are normally three options. These are:

  1. Use a conformal coating selective process such as a robot system that eliminates the masking process by avoiding the masking areas all together.
  2. Use reusable masking boots that speed up the process completely and make it more efficient
  3. Use a combination of the above two where the majority of the board is selectively coated and a few components are masked

This is why we have an extensive range of masking products includes tapes, dots and masking boots. It allows options for deciding on what is the right solution for you.

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Three simple reasons to use the conformal coating masking materials from Thin Film Partners

  1. The masking materials we offer are used daily in professional coating services and production lines around the world for both liquid conformal coatings and Parylene processing.
  2. They are tried and tested and meet the highest quality standards required for the conformal coating processes. 
  3. They are also price competitive and compared with all other materials can save you a lot of money.

This means you have the best quality product for the best value on price.

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FAQ Links

Ask us how we can help you

Talk to us about your conformal coating masking requirements now.

We have the knowledge, tools, experience and the complete solutions whatever you need. We are here to help. 

Contact us now.

Ask for a quote for our masking boots now!

We are happy to provide a quotation for our masking boots so you can see for yourself how much you can save.

  1. Just provide us with four pieces of information:

  2. Provide a picture of the board you wish to test because we can check for any problems in design.

  3. Identify the components you need to mask so we can help review your process needs.

  4. Provide the component identification codes (manufacture details etc) because this gives us the dimensions of the component.

  5. Give us the number of boots you would like to quote for. Remember, the boots will typically last >200 uses in production.

Contact us to request your quotation for conformal coating masking boots.