German supplier of coating materials Peters has announced that it is cooperating with Atotech, a leading supplier of specialty chemicals, on the development and testing of environmentally friendly inkjet solder masks. Peters has set up a new laboratory test facility for the development of an inkjet solution for the fine-structured application of solder resists on PCBs. Atotech, meanwhile, will supply the pre-treatment chemicals and advise Peters on the fine-tuning of the associated process. The aim of this cooperation is to provide the electronics industry with a coordinated system of pre-treatment processes and inkjet solder resists, Peters said.
Johannes Tekath, responsible for research and development at Peters, commented: “We are pleased to have Atotech at our side as a competent partner for the further development of our product. The challenge of this complex process is to coordinate the interaction between the surface treatment and the ink.”
Atotech‘s Global Product Manager Christopher Seidemann added: “Peters is a market leader in high-tech PCB coatings. We find it particularly exciting that we can support them in working on a perfectly matched inkjet solution that brings both economic and ecological benefits.”
The inkjet method, as a digital printing variant, allows for the application of solder masks in fine structures, Peters explained. The substrates to be coated with inkjet solder resists are pre-treated using Atotech‘s CupraEtch SR8000 method, which ensures an excellent adhesion of the solder resist to the PCB. Atotech has also specifically developed the InkPromotor T15 method for this process that prevents low-viscosity coatings from uncontrolled bleeding.
The company said there are still questions surrounding the fine-tuning of the application system:, including which process parameters, which compositions, and which dosage should be chosen?
Kevin Poth, project manager at Peters, explains: “First of all, we want to become familiar with Atotech‘s pre-treatment method and apply it, before we adapt our inkjet solder resist and the printing process accordingly.“
“Once this development project is completed, one can expect two excellently matched products,” the company added.