We put our electronics through a lot of abuse. We need them to work everywhere and anywhere, in nearly all kinds of temperatures and weather. With the advent of the circuit board, the electronics industry has only grown exponentially. How are our electronics kept safe? By potting and encapsulation, using an epoxy dispenser or silicone dispensing system. Read on to understand more.
The Important of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
These circuit boards are used in just about every electronic item you can possibly imagine. They are crucial to the military, industrial, automotive, and domestic applications of all kinds. And while the circuit board allows all types of electronics to work smoothly and correctly, the PCP itself can be vulnerable to all kinds of environmental issues. There is moisture in the air that can damage components, or electrostatic charges, and even corrosive chemicals, salt, or atmospheric conditions.
How are PCBs Protected?
To make sure that a PCB performs just as it should, it needs to be protected with either a conformal coating or by resins, dispensed using an epoxy dispenser, for potting and encapsulation. The highest kind of protection comes from potting and encapsulation, but conformal coating can protect from a variety of harsh conditions as well.
What Is Potting and Encapsulation?
The entire printed circuit board is encapsulated in a resin emitted from a special machine through a dispensing valve. This resin allows electricity to be conducted, so the performance of the circuit board is not compromised. But the resin the dispensing machine pours out of the epoxy dispenser provides great protection. The mass of the resin will protect the PCB from chemical or environmental exposure, and from heat or vibrations. Typically, any potting and encapsulation resins are poured out through an epoxy dispenser using a metered liquid dispenser. The materials are fully tested under real environmental conditions before being used.
What is a Conformal Coating?
This form of PCB protection is usually applied as a thin film of a single material. Its main advantage over the potting and encapsulation method is that it does not add much to the weight or dimension of the circuit board. These coatings are also tested against salt mist, high humidity, and high temperatures. While conformal coating does not provide the same level of protection as potting and encapsulation, there are times when its advantages in weight make it the preferred choice.
Both types of protection have their uses and can offer a good solution to protect the electrical components of a printed circuit board. There are a number of companies that can offer both types of coatings, whether you need something quick and light or something heavier that will protect from anything. Now you understand a bit more about how an epoxy dispenser and the resin it uses protect our electronics from every type of issue.