Circuit boards are the brains of all electronics. Marine and other outdoor rated electronics commonly have a coated circuit board to help protect against the elements. The coating is commonly called conformal coating, since it is flexible enough to effectively cover and protect the many nooks and crannies of a complex circuit board without interfering in its operations. These coatings can come in any number of materials from acrylics, to epoxies, to the ever-popular silicones. Some coatings are hard, some are soft and all offer a different cocktail of uses and protectants, such as abrasion-resistance and temperature balance. In the marine environment, coatings are primarily used for moisture-resistance. Try to make sure that any electronic equipment you purchase for your boat has a coated circuit board — it’s worth it!
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