The process of taking electronic components and submerging them in a compound material to keep them safe from vibrations, shock, heat, moisture, and other issues is crucial for a number of reasons. The potting electronic components process itself is not a complicated one. That does
ot mean care does not need to be taken in the potting and encapsulation to get it right the first time. Here are some considerations that need to be made:
- Get the right temperature for the resin. When you are working through one of the potting solutions, it is crucial to start with resin that has been heated to the right temperature. When everything is heated properly, the mixture used for the potting to move through your system when the production starts. This is not as simple as it may seem because there are a number of kinds of resins and each has different temperatures that work best. It is for this reason that before starting the process, you should look at the resin manufacturer’s website for guidance. This may also depend on your resin dispensing system.
- Get the right hardener to resin ratio. The exact ratio that you will need when potting electronic components differs depending on the material that you select. You can also work to create different levels of hardness or flexibility in your final cured product. In addition to talking to the manufacturer before you start, it may also make sense to conduct a few trial runs before you start your official process. There are two main ways to handle potting electronic components.
- You can use a cylinder-piston machine. With this, you have a machine that contains cylinders that have set sizes for the hardener and resin. These are preset to give you the correct ratio of hardener to resin. When combined, you have your potting compound. Pistons are added to supply the right amounts to the mixing compartment.
- You can also use a gear pump mechanism. This can give you a more precise way to control the ratio of hardener to resin. Electronic motors power screws to set the right amount of each material. They set the speed at which the screws will push out the hardener and the resin so that the proper amount of each is dispensed. On the upside, it is easier to control the exact amount here. On the downside, the equipment for potting cost a lot more.
expensive to buy.
- Get the mix right. Even when you have the right amount of hardener and resin in a container, it can be hard to get the mix the way you want it. Often, a detachable mixing nozzle is used for this important step. It may be tempting to go with a non-detachable model but that is a mistake. These nozzles have a shorter lifespan than the rest of the equipment so you are going to need to replace them before you need to replace everything else. Mixing nozzles help you get the best mixture and performance by splitting up and recombining your material to create a more homogenous final product. To get the best result, a longer mixing nozzle should be used.
- Get the pressure right. When the hardener and resin are combined, it needs to be done at the correct pressure. This will help you ensure the mixing process is as effective as possible. Too little pressure will give you an uneven final product. Until you are sure about the correct pressure, you should talk to the manufacturer to get their feedback.
- Get the right weight and volume. When it comes to potting electronic components, you can do this all at once or in a few steps. A lot of this will depend on the system you are using. If you are using cylinders, you do have the limits of the actual cylinder. Many people who go this route do it in steps. By contrast, if you are using screws, one shot can work well.
- Get the right speed. Just as you need to take care with the weight and volume, you need to watch your speed. Just keep it controlled and it should be fine.
The process of potting electronic components is not hard but needs attention to detail.