3 Ways Micro-Abrasive Blasting Powers the Electronics Industry

From microchips the size of a grain of rice to multilayer printed circuit boards, delicate electrical components power everything from pet ID chips to sophisticated aerospace technology. Micro-abrasive blasting provides the precision and control that is essential in the manufacture and repair of these components.

For example, the circuit board that provides the brains for your television consists of electrical circuits mounted on a wafer of semiconductor material, usually silicon. The resistors, capacitors, transistors and other components that comprise the circuit board must be precisely shaped and cleaned in order to work properly.

Micro-abrasive blasting offers a number of essential benefits to the electronics industry. Three key uses include removal of conformal coating, preparation of semiconductor materials and wire stripping.

Removal of Conformal Coating

Conformal coatings are applied to electronic circuitry to provide protection against moisture, contaminants and extreme temperatures. Occasionally, the coating must be removed from part or all of the circuitry to allow for repairs or to fix faulty initial coating.

Micro-abrasive blasting is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical solvents for removing conformal coating. Because micro-abrasive blasting offers so much precision, this method can be used to safely remove coating from a single tiny component or from an entire circuit board.

Preparation of Semiconductor Materials

Electronic circuitry is mounted on or embedded in a semiconductor material such as silicon. Micro-abrasive blasting provides an effective method of cutting, drilling, deburring and beveling silicon wafers in preparation for the electrical components. In addition, blasting can be used to etch the circuit boards and to texture the wafers to improve adhesion.

Because the abrasive blasting process is so precise, workers can target cuts without damaging surrounding circuitry or underlying circuit layers.

Wire Stripping

Fine wires, such as magnet wires, are often coated with a varnish or other insulation. Removing the varnish to make connections can prove challenging. Scraping or using chemical strippers can be time-consuming and may damage the wire. Micro-abrasive blasting allows technicians to remove the varnish or other coating while preserving the integrity of the wire.

This is particularly critical for medical electronics. Tiny guide wires that can be inserted into blood vessels make minimally invasive procedures possible. These guide wires are typically coated with a polymer that reduces friction but makes bonding with other components difficult. Micro-abrasive blasting provides a way to texturize the portion of the wire that needs to bond.

Protect Fragile Electrical Components

Removal of conformal coating, shaping silicon wafers and stripping wires are just a few of the applications available with micro-abrasive blasting. The technology is also invaluable for cleaning intricate components, etching, engraving and removing oxidation.

With more than 65 years of experience, Airbrasive provides versatile solutions for delicate electronics.