Component Management

StenTech introduces chemical vapor deposition surface treatment for SMT stencils

6th February 2024
Kristian McCann

StenTech has announced the launch of its groundbreaking stencil coating technology, the StenTech BluPrint CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) Surface Treatment, aimed at advancing the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) processes. 

This innovative coating introduces a host of benefits designed to enhance stencil performance, extend its lifespan, and improve the overall quality of the SMT assembly process, thereby facilitating smoother production workflows.

As the electronics industry continues to face challenges posed by the miniaturisation of components and circuit boards, the precision of solder paste printing using laser-cut stainless-steel stencils becomes increasingly crucial. StenTech's BluPrint CVD emerges in response to these challenges, offering a cutting-edge solution that aligns with the latest advancements in laser and coating technologies. It is positioned as the leading choice in North America for fulfilling the complex demands of the semiconductor and EMS industry with precision and efficiency.

Jeremy Nolan, Director of Operations at StenTech, expressed enthusiasm about the launch: "We are thrilled to introduce StenTech BluPrint, a precision-engineered stencil designed to achieve consistent high-volume printing."

The BluPrint CVD Surface Treatment utilises a sophisticated method to deposit thin films onto substrates by introducing chemical precursors into a reactor chamber, where they react to form a solid material layer on the surface. This approach ensures uniform thickness across the stencil, overcoming the inconsistencies associated with traditional liquid spraying techniques. The result is a durable coating that offers uniform printing across all apertures, significantly reducing the need for frequent stencil replacements and thereby lowering maintenance and replacement costs.

Prior to the application of the CVD process, stencils undergo a plasma polishing step, resulting in exceptionally smooth, high-gloss surfaces with improved corrosion resistance. This initial step polishes both the stencil foil surface and the sidewalls of the apertures, creating a smoother sidewall that enhances the subsequent coating application. The BluPrint CVD Surface Treatment is applied at a fraction of the thickness of current alternatives, approximately 1000 times less, with a thickness range of 3-5 micrometers compared to the 3 nanometers of existing coatings.

StenTech BluPrint stands out as the optimal solution for high-end SMT solder paste stencils, offering superior transfer efficiency and outperforming existing nano-coatings, particularly in high volume manufacturing scenarios.

The full capabilities of StenTech BluPrint will be showcased at the upcoming IPC APEX EXPO, the premier industry event in North America, taking place in Anaheim, California, from 6-11 April 2024.

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