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Q: What protects car sensors from damage caused by debris and heat?

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What protects car sensors from damage caused by debris and heat?

A: The automotive industry uses a coating call...

The automotive industry uses a coating called Parylene for almost every sensor on the engine. Parylene is a very tough coating used in many electronics, not just for automotive use.

Parylene conformal coatings are ultra-thin, pinhole-free polymer coatings that provide a number of high-value surface treatment properties such as excellent moisture, chemical and dielectric barrier properties, thermal and UV stability, and dry-film lubricity. These properties make SCS Parylene coatings the ideal choice for a number of applications throughout the medical device, electronics, automotive, military, and aerospace industries.

Parylene coatings for the automotive industry provide sensitive electronics and other components long-lasting protection from moisture, corrosion, fumes, chemicals, dust, solvents, temperature, and more. Automotive engineers who require barrier protection and dielectric insulation in an ultra-thin conformal coating turn to Parylene.

Parylene forms an ultra-thin polymer layer on almost any substrate with superior crevice and multi-layer penetration, and with its unsurpassed barrier protection, automotive Parylene is used in a variety of applications. For example, the gold wires used in some sensors is often coated with Parylene. Other times, whole sensors are coated in Parylene.

Unlike some other coatings, Parylene is also extremely tough. It can easily withstand the cold of a car parked outside during a Minnesota winter, the heat of an interior exposed to the Arizona sun in summer, or the temperature of an engine's combustion chamber. The coating is also so chemically inert that it can withstand exposure to brake fluid, antifreeze, salt, air, and even automotive chemicals with solvent properties like gasoline.

When you buy new sensors to replace the old ones, they sometimes have little of the Parylene coating, or none at all, depending on the product you purchase; this could lead to premature failure. There is no way of knowing by looking at the sensor if it is on there or not; just remember you get what you pay for.

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