NanoClear Stencil Treatment

World’s #1 Electronic Stencil Coating

Aculon’s NanoClear® SMT Stencil Treatment is the world’s premier stencil coating. NanoClear will improve print quality, increase throughput, reduce defects and enhance printing with small apertures.

NanoClear Stencil Treatment

Aculon, an award-winning & proven supplier to the stencil industry, introduces Aculon NanoClear®, the best-in-class stencil treatment technology that improves print quality, increases efficiency, lowers total costs and enhances printing with small apertures.

By using NanoClear, your stencil will repel flux which means:

  • Better Quality Printing
  • Reduce Underside Cleaning
  • No Capital Equipment
  • Durable Treatment
  • Apply in less than 5 Minutes
  • Treat Sensitive Apertures
  • Treats Aperture Walls
  • Cost Effective
  • Industry Proven
  • Increased Print Reliability
  • Reduced Paste Transfer
  • Reduce Flux Bleed
  • Reduce Solder Ball Transfer
  • Improve First Pass Yield

Stronger Formulation

Oil Contact Angles Graph
Faster release and improved print resolution is achieved as the paste is more easily released from the aperture walls due to the fluxophobic nature of the treatment. The Aculon NanoClear Stencil treatments are now 50% stronger due to a greater concentration. As can be seen from the contact angle graph, a treated stencil is 8 times more oil repellent than an untreated stencil even after 100,000 abrasion cycles.

Best Practices for Durability

  • Use soft, non-abrasive Understencil Wiper Paper such as Eco Roll SCER360 or Hyperclean PP4200
  • Utilize a solvent wipe rather than a dry wipe – engineered solvents are best for lead-free no-clean pastes
  • Utilize pH neutral cleaners
  • Reduce understencil wipe frequency

Fluxophobic and Abrasion Resistant

Independent testing proves that NanoClear offers best-in-class durable performance. The ability of a stencil treated with NanoClear far outperforms the initial performance of all competitive materials. NanoClear’s ability to repel flux is maintained for over 100,000 abrasion cycles after treatment, while the performance of a well-known vacuum applied competitive material quickly falls off after 5000 abrasion cycles from an already weak, barely fluxophobic starting point.

Aculon VP of Technology explains how to correctly apply NanoClear Stencil Treatment

Survives Aggressive Cleaning

Testing proves that NanoClear survives stencil washing in even the most aggressive stencil washing solutions. In general Aculon NanoClear is compatible with organic (solvent) based cleaning systems and non-caustic aqueous cleaning systems (pH < 11). See below for confirmed compatible cleaning systems:

  • Zestron: SC 210, SC200, SC202, SD301, SD100
  • Kyzen: Aquanox A8820, Cybersolv C8622, Kyzen E5616, Aquanox A881D, Cybersolv C3400
  • Tech Spray: 1570, 1571,1572, and 1574

Cleaning Test Reports

A treated stencil was subjected to the following tests:

Nanoclear Cleaning Test Results

Zestron Test Details

Download the Zestron Compatibility Test Report Here!The NanoClear treatment was found to be compatible with ZESTRON’s MPC® Technology based VIGON® SC200 (pH neutral), VIGON® SC202 (pH alkaline), solvent based ZESTRON® SD301 and ZESTRON® SD100, & VIGON® SC210 during the above compatibility testing. There was no delamination or discoloration observed after exposure. There was minimal degradation in the fluxophobic performance of the NanoClear treatment with highly repellent Water contact angles of 110 degrees and oil contact angles of 60 degrees.

Kyzen Test Details

Kyzen test for NanoClear Wipes

Issues with Understencil Wiping

Better Quality Printing

The better quality printing is due to the reduction in bridging as the flux is now repelled from the aperture walls. Tests have shown that treated stencils show significantly reduced the cleaning cycle frequency resulting in both improved print quality and better manufacturing efficiency.

Case Study: How NanoCoatings Helped Reduce Defects by 50% and Increase Throughput by over 20% – Sep 7, 2017

Click here to download a PDF of the webinar presentation

Presenters:

Chrys Shea, President of Shea Engineering Services, an expert in Surface Mount Technologies.
Jimmy Crow, SMT Process Engineer, Rauland-Borg.
Edward Hughes, CEO Of Aculon Inc, producer of NanoClear

This webinar will focus on a real life success story of how Jimmy Crow, Senior Project Engineer at Rauland-Borg used NanoClear as part of a SMT Stencil Improvement program to deliver spectacular results. Chrys Shea, an independent SMT expert will interview Jimmy Crow to discuss the program and the results.

Nanocoatings Aren’t Just For Fine Pitch Anymore – March 9, 2016

Click here to download a PDF of the webinar presentation

Presenters:

Chrys Shea, President of Shea Engineering Services, an expert in Surface Mount Technologies.
Edward Hughes, CEO Of Aculon Inc, producer of NanoClear

This FREE webinar explains why leading OEMs and CEMs are adopting stencil nanocoating technology to improve quality, enhance productivity and reduce costs and this webinar will share the data to back the claims!

Participants in this 60-minute webinar will:

  • Learn how you can benefit from coating every stencil
  • See CEM data showing the performance improvements before and after NanoClear
  • Review a matrix showing when you should use a nanocoating
  • Learn about our cost of ownership calculator showing the cost savings of using a nanocoating
  • Get introduced to Aculon’s worldwide distribution partners

Click here to download a PDF of the webinar presentation

Presenters:

Chrys Shea, President of Shea Engineering Services, an expert in Surface Mount Technologies.
Edward Hughes, CEO Of Aculon Inc, producer of NanoClear

This FREE webinar covers the recent release of Aculon’s NanoClear Technical Bulletin Series. The Nanoclear Technical Bulletin Series are designed to succinctly summarize explanations to several of the most common questions and concerns about utilizing NanoClear.

Rauland Borg Discovers Benefit of Surface Coating on Stencils

How NanoClear Reduced Defects by 50% and Increased Throughput by 35%

About Rauland-Borg & Jimmy Crow

Rauland is an American manufacturing company based in Mount Prospect, Illinois that produces workflow and life-safety solutions for hospitals and schools worldwide. Rauland is a division of AMETEK Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with manufacturing, sales and service locations across the United States and other countries throughout the world.

Today, Rauland responds to market needs worldwide with two distinct communication system product lines: Responder, designed for the healthcare industry and Telecenter systems which serve the educational market.

The Problem

As with many electronics manufacturers printing with SMT equipment, Rauland was experiencing a high number of defects related to the printing process. Jimmy Crow, an SMT Process Engineer at Rauland, was tasked with identifying the problem and determining the best options to help the company reduce defects, and thus, save money. Jimmy learned from previous studies that 65% of defects on an SMT line are a result of the screen printing process.

The Method:

Jimmy decided to troubleshoot the printing process using a systemic approach to root out the problem areas on the line. The method used was a “trifecta” of solutions, changing three key elements.

After converting to a new wipe material and ceasing usage of IPA in favor of Zestron Vigon, Jimmy still wasn’t seeing the target results. The “magic bullet” in Rauland’s process was Aculon’s NanoClear Stencil Treatments. By treating the stencil with NanoClear, the stencil becomes fluxophobic and repels solder paste much faster, improving print quality and reducing cleaning intervals.

The Results:

This three dimensional approach yielded staggering results for Rauland’s SMT line. Instead of wiping every 4-6 cycles as normal, they were able to extend wipe intervals to around 25 cycles for many of their products! This added process efficiency freed up 8 seconds per board, an incredible 35% throughput increase.

It wasn’t just a throughput increase that Rauland found after implementing their new SMT program. Within 3 months, SMT defects had dropped by over 50% and ATE defects had declined by over 42%.

There is the old adage: services can be cheap, quick, and high quality. Combined, only two of those three are possible. Rauland’s SMT printing process has identified the way to have all three. By wiping at increased intervals, the process is faster and more efficient. By reducing defects, consistency in quality has improved, saving additional costs. Powered by Aculon’s NanoClear Stencil Treatment, Jimmy Crow and Rauland have provided a great model that all SMT printers can mimic for fantastic results in their printing processes.

The Nanoclear was the missing piece of the puzzle. We had done all the things we were aware of. I learned about NanoClear at one of the IPC conferences. Then a friend of mine told me, “Jimmy, the things you are trying to do; there’s a few people out there already doing it.” That’s when I was introduced to Aculon…and found out you guys were already doing what I was trying to do in a production environment. When I added the Aculon NanoClear, it was the missing piece of the puzzle.Jimmy Crow Rauland-Borg

Aperture Wall Study

Download more information about this study

In order to quantitatively prove that Aculon does coat the aperture walls, Aculon recently conducted TEM analyses on a range of stencil samples. As you can see from the results, NanoClear successfully coats the aperture walls!

Test Samples:

  • No nanocoating on stencil
  • Nanocoating on stencil prior to printing by Aculon
  • Nanocoating on stencil after 15,000 printed: 5,000 cleaned by auto wiper with solvent.

Procedure:

  1. A thin layer of chrome is sputtered onto the surface of the stencil in order to be able to distinguish coating layer and the stencil.
  2. C-based sharpie ink coating and then Pt coating – both to protect the sample from charging during sample preparation process.
  3. Tool used for sample preparation: FEI Helios 450
  4. Tool used for TEM Analysis: JEOL 2010

Summary

  • Stencil with no nanocoating: No coating was detected
  • Stencil with nanocoating: Nanocoating was detected with thickness ranging from 0.99nm to 4.76nm.
  • Stencil with nanocoating after 15,000 printed (5,000 cleaned by auto wiper with solvent): Nanocoating remained intact. However, there appears to be a buildup of solder paste/contamination beneath the chrome layer that was not present before. Due to a lack of cleaning solder paste / contamination has essentially overwhelmed the nanocoating as material has built up on top of it.